It was Juno's anniversary this weekend. Saturday, August 15, she had made her 1-year mark of living at Wild Dingo. She (and Loki) got the usual celebration dinner: tri-tip, salad and a mini white frosted cupcake.
Dearest Juno, so much has changed in the past year with us.
In the beginning, you tolerated Mr. Wild Dingo and didn't fear him. Something changed. We never put our finger on it. We blamed a lot on Loki and worked to stop him from being so bossy to you, but you continued to fear Mr. Wild Dingo tremedously. You left rooms when he walked in, left the house at night when we were in the living room. All of this causing our hearts to ache and made us wonder if you didn't want to live with us and if we should find you a home where you'd be happier.
But we're stubborn and would not give up simply because we didn't understand you. So we tried a few tricks. Mr. Wild Dingo fed you. A lot. In hopes of gaining your trust. In no time you went from 53 lbs to 67 lbs. You were no less fearful of Mr. Wild Dingo and instead you were overweight and had a set of cankles.
So he took you for walks, by yourself, to make you feel special. You love walks and runs. And Mr. Wild Dingo complied. He ran you and built up your confidence with praise. Still, you ran from him whenever he came home.
I took you through basic obedience and certified you in Therapy Dog service, hoping that would bring you out of your shell. You became friendly to strangers, but sadly not to Mr. Wild Dingo.
Finally Mr. Wild Dingo broke down and took you to obedience classes. You broke him in at his first beach class and made him like working with you. It's pretty easy when you pulled out that "down to a roll over" trick with a big smile on your face. You won his heart enough to make him give up his Saturday bike rides to go train you in the Saturday morning obedience classes.
You embarrassed Mr. Wild Dingo every Saturday class by going to every location on the field but to him when he called you. You went to the gate, you went to Loki, you went to me, you went to other dogs and other people. But never to Mr. Wild Dingo. Over time, and through the power of the God "Oscar Mayer," Mr. Wild Dingo won your confidence. Even when Loki whined at you from the sidelines you could ignore Loki and run into Mr. Wild Dingo's arms knowing it was far better to listen to him than it was to listen to Loki.
You've become a silly, more social dog now, proving at parties you can be every bit the ham that Loki naturally is. People have remarked at how more confident you have become, especially since you now know your Juno Mind Trick will undoubtably win you delicious snacks.
Juno Mind Trick: "Come to mamma!"
Though you seem more confident around the house, and you no longer extradite yourself from the pack, you continue to run from Mr. Wild Dingo when he comes home and it breaks his heart. It gives him no greater pleasure than to see you jump and dance around and wiggle when you're happy, yet when he's here, you put on your sullen face and retreat to a fortress of solitude. Things are changing and you are starting to play again with Loki while Mr. Wild Dingo watches. But you remain cautious, convinced that he is always on the verge of stealing your gumbdrop nose. The nose that holds all your super husky powers.
Here are the things we've learned about you.
You love long walks as a pack, not as an individual. You get more confident when Mr. Wild Dingo walks you with Loki rather than by yourself.
You love to be treated equally. Perhaps you don't enjoy playing the same games a Loki (like his rough and tumble tug), but you love to be given the same amount of one on one time as Loki gets, whether its playing tricks for treats, or jumping over hurdles, as long as you're treated equally to him, you feel better.
You prefer to do the "low cal" platz (a slide from a sit to a down) rather than sitting when hanging around the home.
You prefer the nicknames: Jodphers, JunoBelle, June Bug, Gumbdrop Nose and Fluffinator. You do not like: Cankles or Fatsy. Neither of which fit anymore since you've lost 6 lbs. (Three more to go for your bikini figure!)
Happy Juno-versary Juno! You're so special to us because you taught us a "different" kind of challenge from the challenges we had with Loki and those before him. Challenges that we had no idea if we could live with or overcome. They were the kind that take patience and perseverence. And slowly you're proving to us that you're on your way to getting over those hurdles. That you're worth the investment in time it takes to learn what you really need to help you through those challenges. You are the first dog we've ever had that wasn't boisterous and obnoxious, but instead overly shy and fearful.
June Bug, you've made huge leaps this year and made us proud over and over again. At least now you don't growl at Mr. Wild Dingo anymore.
Happy Anniversary. No matter WHAT Loki tells you, you light up our lives!
The BBQ aroma is much too alluring to the husky, and she approaches while eyeing the threat from Mr. Wild Dingo's plan to steal her gumbdrop nose.
"Hmmm... that looks inviting. I wonder if there will be one or two pieces they will forget to eat?"
The husky closes her eyes tightly to make her anniversary wish. "I wish, I wish that tri-tip will find it's way onto my plate and into my Belllleeyyyy!"
A Husky's impression of "Kilroy Waz Here"
"Hey pop, I'll take my tri-tip rare, with a side of salad!"
"Yum..Lots of delicious salad too!"
Check out the rude boy to the right, taking advantage of Mr. Wild Dingo's back ache, breaking his "wait" command, digging in before the plate hit the floor. Bad boy knows better and Juno shows him up in being much more polite by waiting to eat.
"The salad is good, but could use a little more ranch dresssing next time. Thank you. Thank you very much."
"I ate most of my veggies, can I get more tri-tip? Or how about dessert?"
Juno moves in on the rest of Loki's uneaten salad. "And that silly boy wonders why he's backed up now and then..."
"Just two more pieces of spinach and then I'll be ready for dessert, mom."
I have to admit, It's nice to have an automatic mop for your floors.
Happy Juno-versary to You! Happy Juno-versary, to YOU! Haaaappppy Junoooo-veeerrrsary, dear....um....Juuuunoooo. HAPPY Juno-versary, tooooo Yoooouuuu!
"Awee...shucks...you shouldn't have...but I'm glad you did!"
"I'd like to thank my manager, my make up artist, my hair stylist, my coach, my fitness trainer, ...oh wait, wrong speech..."
Juno makes a wish, blows out the candles and in one gulp has her cake and eats it too.