Loki J. Starling

Loki J. Starling

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Chief of Security

"It gives me a large charge to put the bite on malicious intenders. Go ahead. Trouble is my line of business."

Malicious Attacks Prevented

Nicknames: The Cracker, Alligator on a Leash, Daddy-O

Born: ~May 2007 in Taiwan; Rescued by Wild Dingo: May 31, 2008

Breed: German Shepherd Formosan Mountain Dog


  • A.B.C. Certified, K9 Clinic, Santa Cruz, CA
  • Iron Dog Certified, K9 Clinic, Santa Cruz, CA

Spirituality: All's fair in Tug-n-War

History: Born in Taiwan, abandoned, rescued in Taiwan. Sent to the US to AHAN. Three foster homes who had difficulty with him. His final foster was a dog breeder and dog trainer, experienced with mouthy, dogs. Came to us in 2008, somewhat reformed but still completely nuts. Loki really tries to do the right thing. He's a loud, obnoxious talker who talks back when he doesn't agree with you. Hey, we all have our opinions, right? None-the-less, Loki loves to work. He's deeply anxious with severe pack drive and separation anxiety in public. At home, he's the perfect house dog. with excellent manners. Polite and neat, he's non-destructive and will do exactly as he's asked.  His strong pack drive is his highest motivation. He would rather be with this partner than do anything else, such as chase a small animal, fight a dog or be lured away.  He loves to lean on you if he likes you and will do anything you ask if you will play a game of tug. He isn't much of a retriever except in a working capacity. He will find any item and retrieve it for me but doesn't enjoy endless games of fetch. He doesn't swim but loves his baths.  He earned his nickname "the cracker" because he acts like he's on crack. He has tons of energy, full of anxiety and will generally run around like a cracked out mess to relieve stress. We have to admit, all those who tried to live with Loki (and there were many) did not understand the gold they had in their hands. His unending loyalty to us has been a cornerstone of our connection. He has saved us from countless threats and a house fire. Every day we shake our heads wondering how in the world anyone could throw such an amazing, loyal companion away. We've come to the conclusion that most people who don't get dogs like Loki are not smart enough to be their life companions. We're humbled that the universe sent him our way. He's just what we needed.


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The Cracker's Rap Sheet

Vet of the Year

Congratulations to our favorite vet and friend, Hilary Wheeler for winning PetPlan's Veterinarian of the Year Award in early February. (I may, or may not have sent this photo to the judges with an "offer" to send the cracker to "speak" to them on your behalf of your outstanding qualities.) We're so proud of you! Even […]

What the What?

To me, in the world of blogging, there's nothing more uninteresting than a post explaining why the writer hasn't posted in a while. The point of a blog is to write something interesting, right? And nothing is more boring than how I spent the last 2 months battling a relapse of Babesiosis. To make a long […]

Cracker Versus Crow

It was a beautiful morning. The dogs and I made our rounds around the property doing our daily chores. I cleaned the dog yard while Juno hunted for moles. Loki ran his daily perimeter check and implemented his standard pre-emptive strike, barking along the fence line to warn away any critters creeping too closely. The […]

The Best Kind of Mess

"Essscusuuuzzze me? What exactly did my pal Jim say about me?" A few weeks ago, we ran into one of Loki's biggest fans Jim, not once, but twice in one weekend. Jim was one of the first people who not only didn't shriek or flee when he first met the cracker, but laughed and delighted […]

Some Kind of Cracker

I don't say it often enough, but I love this dog more than words can say. Last month, I lost the cracker and criminal on a forest run. Before you panic, I’ll just skip to the end and tell you both were found and everything is OK. And before readers claim “Never let a Sibe […]

Reluctant Roommate

"Princess, this crate's not big enough for two dogs." About a  month or two ago, Loki suddenly developed a deep fear of his crate. He's gone through highs and lows with his crate but for the most part, he loves his crate, because we played tons and tons of crate games before moving to Switzerland. […]

Bring It

"Dude! I swear. I was just bustin' your crank!" "If you can dish it out, you'd better take it little man!"

What's a Little Rumble Among Strangers?

"Come a little closer Dollface, so I can get my kicks every-which way bitey." Don't be fooled readers. Juno brought this on. She flirted with this sweet gentle giant for quite some time.

Head Games

"Wait a minute. Princess, something's wrong. Someone's missing! Where is Mom?" "Big boy, the only person I'm searching for is the Ice Cream man. We are downtown Morges after all."

Reason #987 Why Puppies Shouldn't Play with Crackers

"Hey Loki, I'm gonna annoy you until I win and you will bow to my cuteness!"

Pack Crack

"Swiss Cheeses Mom! Don't leave me! I'm comin'! Wait up!" It's never a dull moment with a pack-cracker like Loki. He has a few rules when we go out for walks:


Dog lovers generally like or love Loki when they first meet him. They're fooled by his charm.  Even Bernard, our kennel keeper, had a mile-wide smile the first day he met him. "He's well-trained," he said. But that was before he chose to live with the whacka-cracker while we vacation. The last time we picked up the dogs after […]

Punked Out

"Talk to the jodhpurs, Punk. This Sibe's not listening." Juno anticipates Loki's punk move. On our walks, if I'm not recalling Juno for straying too far, then the rest of my time is spent calling Loki off of Juno.  Their relationship is complicated. In the house, Juno rules supreme. On walks, Loki pulls out the punk […]

Those Who are Nutty Do Not Get Fruit Cup

"Maladive attachée," said Bernard when we picked up the dogs last week. This trip, Loki never settled down. Bernard had many dogs this time and apparently, Loki plays really well with the big dogs, but when he wasn't playing, he was barking, crying or trying to escape.

The Judge is in the House!

All Rise! The Honorable Loki J. Starling Judge of Cracker Critters, Mango Minster 2012 The winners of the Cracker Critter Category (say that 5 times fast, crackers) at Mango Minster 2012 are announced today. Loki had the honor of judging this year's cracker critters. I don't know what he liked best:  reading all those posts about other […]

He's Still Got It

Look at that pansy. He's not even touching my hand. Switzerland's softened the cracker. And I told him so.

Every Cracker Deserves the Finest Cheese

If you told me 10 years ago, I would adopt a lunatic dog from Taiwan with a serious case of crackery-nosis, maybe I would believe you. But if you told me I would be journaling his ridiculous behavior on the Web and writing in his ridiculous tough-guy Raymond Chandler voice, I'd laugh and ask you who […]

The Fun Police Never Rest

Who are those two interlopers zooming up and down this farm trail?


"Everything's fine here. Hope you're having fun without us. Booo-wah-ha-ha-ha!" Can someone call my neighbor and make sure the house is in one piece?


"Bitin' isn't a disease, it's a symptom."  

Karmic Duty

"No Princess, I don't wanna play because I have an owie on my paw."

Protest Rally of One

Last week I brought Loki and Juno for a trial test day at Bernard's kennel. Let's face it. The place is a dog luxury spa. It has a huge garden to romp in. There are no cages. Dogs have access to the garden and house all day long and they sleep in the house. They […]

It's Contagious

I made a mistake and didn't get Juno vaccinated. She caught it from Loki.


A carefree afternoon on the shores of Lac Leman.

Flooding Agoraphobia

He's a natural born beauty. If he were human, he'd be a surfer dude or model, with naturally chiseled features and six-pack abs that he didn't have to work for. Unfortunately, with such beauty comes the heavy price:

The Return of Juno's Inner-Cracker

One of the things I love about Loki is his ability to go from zero to completely crackers in 3.5 seconds--for no reason. He'll suddenly bust into circle sprints:  tail and butt tucked under, ears flat back, mouth wide open, eyes dialed wild and paws in full-throttle. Yesterday, Juno busted out the crack-a-tude too-- for no apparent reason: Oh yeah, her body language meets all […]

If the Shoe Fits

Oddly with a title like that, this post is not about Juno! It's about Loki. Mr. Wild Dingo often comments that I portray Loki as dumb. Then I remind him that it was he who nicknamed him Retardo Montalban. And as much as I'd love to use that name on this blog, I know it […]

"Am I Worthy, Mango?"

"I had some words with the labrador up the street who I'm certain was in ca-hoots with the labrathugs in Mango's  'hood."

Look Who's Cracker Now

  Rarely, do I ever catch Juno looking like or acting like a goofball, or worse, cracker. She's much too sly for the camera to catch her looking less than perfect. But every now and then, I'm able to catch her behaving just as cracked out as Loki, who is pretty much cracker whenever he's […]

The Welcome Home Committee

Below is a video I took on one of Mr. Wild Dingo's home coming from a business trip shortly after we came to live here in August. The house is a bit empty and both dogs are excited to have him home. I'm posting it so the Internet knows what kind of cracker the three of us […]

When Chicken Legs Attack

Animal Planet called the other day. They received an anonymous tip from my phone number about chicken legs that attack. They were interested in doing a series replacing their series about sharks. Hm. Think. THINK. THINK!  Who could have called from my telephone and complained about scary chicken legs? "It wasn't me. I pity da […]

WTF? Backseat Driver

Like all stereotypical males, Mr. Wild Dingo enjoys critiquing my driving skills.  Last month I drove Mr. Wild Dingo to the airport. Loki and Juno came with us and provided an eye-opening, err ... ear-opening critique of Mr. Wild Dingo's driving skills. Internet, feel free to make your own judgements. But I feel the impartial critics have […]

When the Cat's Away, the Dogs Will...

... have pillow fights. "Nothing says "I missed you" like pillow entrails. I cared enough to shred the very best."

Whacked, Cracked and Ready to be Smacked

"Hey sugar lips. Looks like I got you behind the eight ball. Are you going to make a move?" "You must be cruisin' with your lights on dim if you think you have me cornered."

How to Chill a Hot Dog

Our friend, Tartok over at the Herd Annex asked Loki for a little help in squaring a beef with his sister Ruby, who's been gangin' up on him.  (Let's all hear a collective, "Awe!")  Loki has a bit of experience with a bossy Siberian dame so he happily stepped up. Here are a few of Loki's best tips on How […]

WTF? Wednesday

"WTF are you doing to my Juno Dogtor?" 

Loki Thanks the Readers of Mango Minster

I've been holding off telling Loki of the good news about his Readers Choice win at Mango Minster, because, well, we just fixed our ceilings from the last time he went cracker insane on us and it was nice to enjoy flat ceilings with no holes in them. But I couldn't wait any longer so […]

Mango Minster Entry #2: Loki J. Starling & Bonus Entry

Since Juno's alpha doggie around here, Loki had to wait his turn to compile his entry for Mango Minster . He's been patient (ha!) so lets get right to it. Naturally first we thought of the Herding category since he is half German Shepherd, but the only photo we could find was this:   But lets face it. Loki […]

Training Complaining

I brought Loki to a private training session this week. I told the trainer "I think Loki has a problem." The trainer asks, "What's the problem?" Advertisements "Let me show you," I reply. I turn to Loki and say, "Loki, Fetch!" Loki slowly walks away then turns around and replies, "So why are you talking to […]

In the Dog Yard No One Can Hear You Scream

Before anyone calls the local cruelty police, take a gander at how I arrived at this month's banner. That's Loki's "Game on!" face. If you didn't know him and saw that face, you'd most likely have an accident in your pants. But when you know him, and see that face, it makes you laugh so […]

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