A Date with Nanook

There is the sweetest dog in our pack of snow dogs, a husky named Nanook. A rescue now in foster care, he is very much underweight and terminal. We are not sure how long he has to live and even if a time limit were set, they never matter. It’s the same as with humans. Some might say one to three months, and the dog can live for another year or longer. Unfortunately, they do not have a time frame set for him. His diagnosis keeps changing as well.

When he was first acquired, he was quiet and shy. Now, he is happy, and every day he seems to be getting better, prancing and pronouncedly vocal. Nanook even wanders further than the two feet from his foster mom, Michelle, and checks things out. He even tells the other dogs to leave his “mom” and “sister,” Macy alone, and it has only been a month. Being an older dog, they figure at least 10, he can be a bit of a curmudgeon, but because he is a husky, he is still pretty lively. He has a face and tail wag that is all puppy.

Nanook also has Heterochromia iridis (two different colored eyes), just like David Bowie did. One eye is the lightest blue of a spring sky and the other the darkest brown of a Cuban coffee. When you look at him straight on, it almost looks like he is winking at you because he has a black mask on his face. It makes sense because he is a flirt with humans. Not so much with other dogs. And don’t ever get in his face. He is not a fan of that. A few days ago, he and Lily, my Alaskan malamute, got into a big fight about that. She said, “Hi,” and he said, “F-off.”

Nanook is going to have the best rest of his life, however long that might be. He is loved so much and the community is so caring that they came up with a bucket list for him. Well, they were things he wanted, but it was interpreted by the humans around him. Something tells me they got some of it wrong because he hasn’t gotten to do his favorite thing, just chill. He has done more in the last few weeks, than I have in the last few years, or ever. He got to ride in a fire truck. I haven’t done that yet. He loved it, as he was smiling from what I saw in the video. I got to see it this evening.

That brings me to how I saw that video. Some of the items on his list were woo-fully unfinished. They were easy enough, but no one accepted and accomplished them yet. We took care of three in one shot this evening. The other day, my big fluff ball, always a flirt, seemed to be asking him out during our weekly dog park meetup when he told her to get lost. Being my dog, she is very persistent. She doesn’t take no to heart and tried again, with my help, two days ago. Michelle was kind enough to interpret and we agreed the two would go on a doggy date (item one off the list of items to get done in one night).

Earlier today, we decided they would grab a bite at a local establishment that was dog-friendly and had burgers (item two off the list of items to get done in one night). Normally, I would never let my dog eat a burger that I didn’t prepare, but it was February, she is a flirt, and love was in the air. Or maybe that was something else, with dogs, you never can tell.

I grabbed Lily, made sure she looked her prettiest, without going too far. He may be a dog, but she wasn’t going to make it too easy, and she needed to look like she wasn’t desperate. No makeup for her, she was going au natural.

We arrived right on time, as you never want to make your date wait, but showing too early makes you look desperate. Michelle was wondering if we were going to be late, but I taught my dogs, punctuality is man’s real best friend.

The two sniffed the air and acted aloof. Nanook was putting on a good show, by looking off to the sides, but I saw him peeking back. He was being coy. Lily, on the other hand, was wagging her tail and trying to sniff him. I kept them separated because I didn’t want him to go all Old Yeller on her after what happened earlier in the week. Got to give him some space, and Lily, the flirt, does not really know the meaning of that. I tried to take pictures, but they really didn’t get within shot of each other.

We found a table, and I handed Lily over to Michelle so I could get their food. What good is a date without food? Again, she is my dog, it goes with the territory. I asked the person behind the counter for two carb free burgers. Bread is worse for dogs than it is for people. He said they only had shredded lettuce, so I could not make a sandwich with two leaves as I intended. I then asked for two waters and two pup cups. Pup cups are small lids filled with ice cream, custard at this place (item three off the list of items to get done in one night). Then I ordered food for the humans. Burgers with cheese as a combo and two cups of two scooped custard; one vanilla and the other chocolate, because I am selfish and have to have chocolate.

I filled the cups with water, grabbed our number and pup cups, and went to see how things were going. Michelle had not taken a seat yet, but she was also still alive, so all in all, it was a good sign. I tried to take some pictures, but Nanook was still being coy. He would look over at Lily, but she was still too far away for him to care. She was being aloof because there was food. The way to a woman’s heart is through their stomach, and he was a gentledog and was letting her have her way.

The food showed, and like a good mom, Michelle tested the temp of the fries and burgers. I would have just given it to them. I’m more concerned with the content than the temp. While waiting for the food to cool, we gave them the water, and as the ever feminine Lily dunked her head, she drank too fast and started to choke. She sounded like an eighty-year-old man choking on a lozenge. Nanook, on the other paw, was gracefully lapping at the water. Because he was a gentlepup, he paused to see if she was OK. I’m sure he would have done the Heimlich, but it is really hard for a dog to get the right footing, as he is all paws.

The food eventually cooled and Nanook took a bite of a fry. He liked it. Being a liberated lady, Lily let him eat first. She then had a few fries and we tried pictures again. The food was much more important to them than the date (been there pup, I get it). It would have been nice if they could have shared a long fry, a la Lady and the Tramp, but alas, it was not so. So they ate and split their burgers. He had some of her, she had some of his. Fries were passed across the table and they had a great time.

Lily provided entertainment. I told her, ladies do not do tricks on first dates. That didn’t stop her. She showed him she knew sit and stay. He showed her he knew the same things. It seems they were a bit competitive. She showed him she can be taller than he could. As a lady, she knew she should not put her elbows on the table, while eating or otherwise, so she put her paws on it instead. She was a lady after all.

She had to keep his attention so she saved her best trick. Nanook was getting restless and pretty much done with eating, so she pulled out the last trick. Catch. She sat at a distance and I threw her a fry. She caught it. We did this repeatedly and she only missed two, mainly my fault because I threw one too far, and the other too close. Overall, he was impressed. He was actually watching her, and not trying to get her food.

As the dinner was winding down, it was time for dessert. We gave them their ice cream and Nanook was much slower, but devoured it, none-the-less. Lily, wanted seconds, and thirds. This is why I got chocolate. It’s very bad for dogs and she wasn’t having any of mine. Michelle was kind enough to give the rest of hers to Lily, and she gladly lapped it up.

Nanook, never wanting to overstay his welcome, indicated he wanted to leave. We tried to get a picture of a goodnight kiss, but my dog learned from me; never kiss on the first date. He seemed to believe the same thing. But, as a true gentlepup, he wanted to leave a gift, so he left a present for Lily, or anyone else that wanted it. Michelle thought it rude so she picked it up and disposed of it. While she was doing that, I was holding the dogs and they did kiss. He got over his shyness, and they did Malamute kisses, rubbing their noses together. He didn’t growl, and she didn’t bite. It was so sweet. I wish I got a picture, but I had two dogs on leashes, so I was not able to do it. Believe me, it was adorable.

So ended the night of Nanook and Lily’s first date with burgers and ice cream. Three more items off his bucket list and a happier dog was not known that night.

Pictures can be seen here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/g0n2siQIeIbvNqXH2


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