"Sukie"
  

     

 

If you never owned a Siberian Husky before, please read on and learn from the heart wrenching lessons I endured due to ignorance and lack of information when purchasing my very first Siberian Husky.

Back in 1993 there were not that many breeders in South Africa. I knew nothing of dogs, especially not of Siberian Huskies and was totally ignorant of the difference between responsible breeders and puppy farmers. As a Joe Public, I had not the faintest idea what KUSA or AKC was, that there was such a thing as confirmation shows and a breed standard.

To me a dog with a pedigree and real registration papers equalled to an outstanding specimen of the breed. After all, in Switzerland you are not allowed to breed with every registered sire and dam. The dogs have to undergo breed exams and be declared as good specimens of their breed, must have passed genetic health tests and fullfill all kinds of criteria before they get entry into the breed register.

I of course fell for all the stories of the puppyfarmer, who did mush with his dogs but basically made me belief that people who showed their dogs at conformation shows were a bit cuckoo and that he had the best Siberians in South Africa because they could win at races. Of course he had walls full of trophies, certificates, self made pedigrees and the like that looked most impressive to a novice..

So I got my first black & white Siberian Husky with bi-eyes in 1993. He was KUSA registered and definitely mischievous.

Not knowing that Siberians are not a breed that should EVER be off-leash, I used to jog to Zoo Lake with Sukie and even got myself a Frisbee, imagining how much fun the two of us would have to play with this Frisbee together.

Well, not only did Sukie never ever bring the Frisbee back, he even disappeared  running after the mountain-biker and his border collie.

I was frantic because my "expensive" darling was gone. I looked over the entire Zoo lake area and luckily 1 ½ hours later, the guy with the mountain bike and the collie & Sukie came back!

I learned lots of lessons with my first Siberian Husky, because due to lack of knowledge, I bought him from a puppy farmer, which did not give me the do's and don'ts of Siberian Huskies.

When I went hiking with Sukie on Braamfontein Spruit Trail, he disappeared over the river, onto the golf course on the other side chasing after an Egret. This Egret kept Sukie busy for almost 2 hours and kept on landing just out of reach. Needless to say it was no fun to be rather helpless on the other side.

Exasperated at home, I phoned the breeder rather angrily and told him he sold me a "dud" as despite all the obedience training, it was my probably 25 th encounter with Sukie not coming back within 10 minutes when called. The breeder just laughed and told me to try with Biltong next time, still not telling me, that this is one of the shortcomings of the breed. 

DO NOT EVER TRUST A SIBERIAN OFF LEASH!

The hardest lesson I learned about Siberian Huskies was also with Sukie. After owning him for 4 years and never having had any troubles with him escaping or similar, I had to move because the house I rented was going to be sold. Sukie did not like the new place, respectively, he did not enjoy the jealous dalmation male there and was homesick after the boxer girl he grew up with.

He kept on making new holes in the fence through to the neighbors, which had an electric gate, through which he escaped the minute I went to work.

I got him back probably 35 times from the old place, once from the police and once from the Vet. After numerous empty promises from the landlord to erect a solid wall, and fixing new holes in the derelict existing fence on a daily bases, I decided to rent a house with solid walls all around and the area where cars drive in, walled off from where Sukie was. We even got him two new Siberian Husky puppies, because he always had companions in the 4 years we shared our live together, which belonged to the people I was sharing the house with.

2 days before I moved into my new house in Midrand, Sukie managed to make another hole into the fence and out he was of the neighbors gate. .

This was the last time Sukie dashed out. Despite Posters all over the suburb, flyers at robots, ads in the Paper etc. I found numerous lost Siberian Huskies, but never my own Sukie despite his microchip!

That is when I started to realize, that this is a breed specific trait, not just my Sukie's stubbornness.
All that is left of Sukie is loving memories and the hope, that wherever he is it is a peaceful place.