Storm (the Husky Trooper)

This is Storm. AKA Stormie Bug. AKA Sterrie Stumpie (because he has a stumpy tail).

Storm
Storm

Storm is our senior rescue (husky) dog. Depending on who you ask, he is between 8 and 12 years old. We adopted him on February 6 this year, adding him to our, already large, pack of 3 dogs.

I did not want 4 dogs. Hell, 4 years ago I did not even want 1 dog (that’s a story for another day). And at the beginning of this year I was quite happy with just 3. However, in January husband man started making a case for Storm. He had seen his adoption advert on Facebook before, but Storm had a partner, Sasha, who had to go with him. Unfortunately Sasha passed away from cancer in December 2015, and Storm was therefore a lone wolf.

Storm Uitsig Advertisement
The Uitsig Animal Rescue advert

I told him that IF we got permission from the council I would consider it. Then we got permission, without any problem (it took exactly 10 seconds). Then I told him that IF the meet-and-greet went well, I would think about it.

So one Saturday, we took a trip out to Melkbosstrand to the Uitsig Animal Rescue Centre. And that was where we met him. Despite a brief run in with Gordon (who can be quite protective), things went reasonably well, and despite the fact that I still had some reservations, he came home with us.

According to various Facebook posts, Storm was at Uitsig for more than half his life (approximately 6 years). When we got him, he wasn’t in the best condition (please, I don’t want anyone to think that this is a reflection on Uitsig. They do amazing work with, like other rescue centres in SA, very few resources). He had 2 large heatspots on his side, the tips of his ears were scabby, he was overweight, his front teeth were practically worn away, his tail had obviously had something nasty done to it, and his underpaw hair was LONG. Just 3 months later, and even though he still has no front teeth and only half a tail, the heatspots are gone, his ears are scabless, his weight is down, and his underpaw hair is a normal length.

Storm Paws
Check out that back paw hair!

The fact that Stormie Bug has one bright blue eye and one dark brown eye means that I often feel like I am looking at two completely different dogs. When I look into his Blue Eye it seems like I am staring into a sea of intelligence. When I look into his Brown Eye it seems like I am staring into the most pensive soul in the world. It was a little disconcerting at first, but it has become just one of the things that I love about him.

He has already given us many hours of fun and excitement. He is a dustbin diver, and not long after we got him, he got his head stuck in the kitchen dustbin. Naturally we took a photo before rescuing him. Surprisingly, he hasn’t done much dustbin diving since then…

Storm in a Dustbin
Storm in a Dustbin

He also got himself stuck at the top of some stairs in our house. It took me a good 45 minutes to get him to come back down, and I was almost late for work (but again, I think that is a story for another time).

In many ways (perhaps apart from the two I mentioned above), he is the poster dog for senior canine adoption. The way that he stares at his daddy and I just melts our hearts (which is quite impressive, seeing as husband man will insist that he doesn’t really have one). He also spends an inordinate amount of time licking husband man (mostly on his face and head, but sometimes on his chest). We haven’t yet established exactly why he does this, or why it is only to husband man that he shows this particular gift of affection, but we are taking it as a positive sign.

Storm2

Huskies live, on average, to between 12 and 14 years old. If Storm is 10 or 11 year old (which I’m inclined to believe that he is), then we probably don’t have very much time with him. But even though I will be devastated when he ‘crosses the rainbow bridge’, I will never regret giving him a space in our family.

*~*~*

 

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13 thoughts on “Storm (the Husky Trooper)

  1. Thank you for writing such a lovely story about our (now yours) Stormie. I am so so unbelievably happy and grateful that he found his happy ever after. I clearly remember the day you and your husband-man came by, looking at you and seeing the reservations on your face 🙂 I am really glad you decided to give it a chance. I don’t think people always comprehend the immense impact they have on the lives of dogs that they adopt from a shelter, especially those that have been there for so very long. For your readers’ clarity: I am a husky volunteer at Uitsig ARC and spend a lot of time with the pooches. My mission is to give them as much exercise as we can and to help find them homes. Volunteering gives much insight into the lives they live and, as you rightly say, what the shelters do with so few resources is a huge task.

    But because people are people and not everyone always understands and many are quick to criticise and judge, I thought I would try to give some insight into why he had the conditions you mention when you first brought him home:

    Being summer at the time, fleas were rampant as they always are at some point during the months that the sun toast the earth. It feels as if every thing that can crawl, fly, bite and sting, hatches and attacks. Even though the dogs are all regularly treated for fleas one or two do slip through. The hot spots were likely caused by Storm continuously licking or chewing an itchy spot. Luckily they cleared up fairly quickly with the treatments we were using.

    The long paw hair….well, I tried clipping nails and trimming under paw hair, but huskies being huskies they don’t like their paws being touched. His camp was also on sandy soil so there isn’t much that would help to wear down the hair or nails. Any groomers out there who would like to volunteer their help…? (hint-hint)

    The scabby ears: in the summer months we fight a losing battle against flies. It doesn’t matter how much you clean, or spray or dust, they just keep on coming. And they LOVE husky ears. Ointment is put on regularly to help protect and heal the ears, but it’s tough going. And it only takes an hour or so for a few flies to ruin perfectly furred ears. Where I live with my own dogs, I am surrounded by livestock and my own dogs are the target of the flies produced by said animals. So it’s not just a shelter environment that struggles with this problem.

    Whatever might have happened to his tail I don’t know and won’t speculate, and his worn down toofies is just due to old age. I have a few seniors in my own house and their teeth are showing the same signs.

    Overweight he definitely was, just simply due to receiving perhaps a little too much food, plus stealing his kennel mate’s too 🙂 While neither extreme is ideal, rather a little on the big side than too thin I say!

    All animal lovers can rest assured that all the animals in our care are provided with all the medicine that they need for as long as they need it, they are taken to the vet if they need veterinary care, they are fed the best and highest quality diet that is available and we do try to take those that need it to the groomers when funds are available 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much for your reply, Monique. I’m glad you didn’t take my description of him the wrong way. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that he was well cared for and loved 🙂 The work you do is unbelievable.

      Please, if anyone out there can support Uitsig you should do so… Something as simple as linking your Woolworths MySchool card with them as a beneficiary will help…

      Monique, perhaps you and I can talk about some fundraising (or just food raising) opportunities? I have some ideas…

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  2. first, thank-you for rescuing stormie, he looks like a great dog. glad he gets along with everyone now you can show him n give him the love he desperately wants n needs.you all will appreciate it. god bless you. he’ll probably live longer now he has a forever home. good luck.

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  3. So glad Storm has a loving home and a family who loves him. He will teach you more than you could imagine. Love you Storm!

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  4. You are a very good writer and a wonderful person for taking in a senior dog. I adopted a German Shepherd years ago named Stormie that touched my heart so deeply that when he crossed, I had to switch breeds and now I have a female Husky. I hope that your Storm touches your heart deeply and God rewards your family with the love and acceptance that you have for him. Thank you for adopting him. I know that look that you speak of when he looks into your soul. I have only seen that in a Husky – they are so intelligent and soulful. Keep loving him and may God bless your family.

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    1. Thank you. My first doggie love was a German Shephard (perhaps I will write about her in a future post). I was absolutely heartbroken when she passed away at the age of only 2 (just 7 months after we adopted her).

      May God bless you and your family and husky 🙂

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