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Open Features: A Husky On Loan

“It cannot be denied that huskies are the Ferraris or supermodels of the dog world and Zac certainly attracts a great deal of attention wherever he goes,’’ says Sandy James, introducing us to a most lovable dog.

It was a case of love at first sight when our neighbour introduced us to his new husky puppy, Zac. It was impossible to ignore such a noble, intelligent creature. Being pure white and fluffy, he resembled a baby polar bear. When he placed his oversized paws on our arms and stared at us with eyes which seemed to pierce our very souls, we became instantly infatuated. My son and I succumbed to Zac’s charm and gained a shared best friend in the process.

Zac soon learned to recognise the sound of our car and would start howling for us to come and walk him the moment that we returned from school in the afternoon. These plaintive cries proved impossible to ignore and so began our ritual of walking him every day.

Huskies, we soon learned, are more like wolves than dogs and they have an obsessive need to power their way over great distances, something innate and inherited from their ancestors in the Siberian Arctic. Within a couple of months I had lost four kilograms, my blood pressure and cholesterol readings dropped dramatically and my son had developed markedly large biceps on his husky-restraining arm.

That was four years ago and we still walk Zac daily. For those who choose to run with huskies there is no respite, not even on rainy days. When a storm threatens, other dogs may be hastily dragged on a circuit of the park or skip their walk altogether, but not us. Huskies, with their thick, fur coats are designed to withstand temperatures of – 60C and Zac is never more alive than when it is wet and freezing cold. So, on such days, accepting the inevitability of our fate, we rug up, Zac battens down his ears and, with a mighty howl, we set off on the Iditarod.

It cannot be denied that huskies are the Ferraris or supermodels of the dog world and Zac certainly attracts a great deal of attention wherever he goes. Zac’s famous exploits include attracting a whole netball team of admiring girls over all at once, having his photo taken with a model in a gold bikini on Manly Corso and dragging my blushing son into a front yard where a young lady was tanning in her g-string. As my brother asks, “Mate, where can I find myself a dog like this?” My brother’s problem is that he lives on a heath in Surrey where he is more likely to come across lady foxes than the foxy ladies we have here in Sydney.

Zac has certainly eased my son’s journey through his teenage years. On days when school work is proving difficult or hormones are causing inexplicable anger to rise then a great big, soft hug and a lick under the chin from the Leader of the Pack puts everything into perspective. Suddenly life’s trials seem trivial in comparison to what really matters. The Beatles were so right when they sang, “All you need is love” and we spend our afternoons bounding around the neighborhood behind borrowed, unconditional love on a string.

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