Before Mauja and Atka, an adorably high-maintenance husky/lab mix entered our lives. He was presumed to be about a year of age and had been bounced around his first year of life. When Nick and I went searching for our first dog as a married couple, we found Kaeto at the local shelter. He cautiously approached the edge of the kennel with his ears pulled back and his tail tucked under, but it only took a few minutes for him to lean in for some ear rubs. We were hooked.
We asked the shelter workers if we could take Kaeto out to the meet and greet area and we were able to see his personality emerge. He sprinted around, jumped on us, and tried to crawl in our laps. We knew he was going to be a handful, but he had a way of capturing your heart.
He went home with us that day.
As many of you know, Kaeto passed away a short 8 months later. The vets believed a blood clot in the brain was the cause, but at the time it was too painful to investigate further. We were just thankful to have that time with him.
So today, National Mutt Day, is for you, Kaeto. It’s for you and all of the other mixed breeds in shelters across the world.
Because of you, I became extremely interested in training and understanding dog behavior.
Because of you, I learned more in those 8 months than I ever thought possible.
Because of you, I learned techniques for reactivity, resource guarding, and separation anxiety.
Because of you, I understand the meaning of “velcro dog”.
Because of you, Mauja came into our lives (and now she has a particular love for huskies).
I’m sorry you left this world so early, but because of you, my life was changed forever.
Has a special mutt changed your life?