Jack Kerouac is the name of my dog though her gender doesn’t exactly match. She’s a cross of a cross of a cross. Her malamute heritage shows up in her webbed toes. Her stance is strictly German shepherd and her temperament and tail are husky. Jack Kerouac was christened so in celebration of her husky heritage, huskies being notorious wanderers as was the original Jack. The name has undergone several transitions since she joined our family a little over a year ago. Kera kabuki face and Keraboo as in caribou (she loves the snow) are just a few but for the most part she’s known simply as Kera. On the instance of our first acquaintance she looked fat, sleepy and dumb (that translated in my mind as “no trouble at all”)…all the things I was looking for in a dog. Time has made a liar of that first impression. Part princess, part drama queen and part dog genius she has all the charm of a pampered debutante.
Firstly I must confess that although I like Kera as a “person” I do not enjoy living with a dog especially such a hairy one. For those who don’t know, huskies shed all year long with a double helping of hair in the spring and summer. I don’t enjoy taking her out 4 or 5 times a day in the cold of winter and the heat of summer and I especially do not enjoy clean up patrol. That being said, although Kera was to be the family dog, I have acquired a shadow.
The first night when she cried for her littermates I slept beside her on the floor so she wouldn’t be alone. I taught her her first words; she can pronounce a passable “I love you” and also say “roll over”. She does sound exactly like Dame Edna but she’s a dog so we don’t give her a hard time about it. She does the usual doggie tricks. She can give you a “high five” or “ten” if you like. She will roll over and play dead but she refuses to close her eyes or cover her face with her paw. When I do my hair in the morning she likes to have hers done as well, she has her own silver hair clip. She’s not adverse to a little bit of powder on her nose and comes running for Blistex lip balm. When she doesn’t get her own way she sulks and I swear her bottom “lip” sticks out.
She loves to roll in dead fish at the beach and eat rabbit droppings in the yard. This year she learned what a skunk was the hard way but I don’t know if the lesson will stay learned. She’s a stalker of squirrels. She has a wicked sense of humour and loves to sneak up behind the cat and pounce right behind him (the cat doesn’t get the joke).
She is none of the things I thought her to be when I brought her home but those were my preconceptions. Although I do wish that she smelled a little better, that she’d shed a lot less and that she would cut out the occasional diva hissy fit she’s not all bad. Actually, as Henry Higgins once said, “ I’ve grown accustomed to her face”.
Come said the wind to
the leaves one day,
Come o’re the meadows
and we will play.
Put on your dresses
scarlet and gold,
For summer is gone
and the days grow cold.
– Children’s Song -1880’s