Alpha Tidbits: Ditto the Undead Dog
For nearly 20 years, I’ve shared my home and life with Siberian Huskies. I’ve bred and shown them, trained in obedience and even taken them to mushing bootcamps. (that convinced me to leave the sledding to the truly courageous!) Because they are a primitive breed, Siberians have some behaviors that are very similar to that of wolves. Of course, Siberians won’t usually dig holes in your walls, shred your curtains, and piss all over your every possession. Well…not every day...
Anyhow, Siberians flourish in packs, and their pack structure is very similar to that of wolves. I have 7, with an Alpha bitch, a kinda Alpha male, and an omega. Of the seven, one elderly female is a loner. She’s never been happy with the other dogs. Ditto was born at my house, moved in with her owner/breeder at 6 months old, and then returned to me years later when Mo was diagnosed with cancer.
Ditto has only one pack member other than herself, and that’s me. She sticks to me like Velcro. Where I go, she goes. Sadly, she’s approaching 15, and I swear she actually died a couple years ago; she just doesn’t know it. Ditto is the guardian of my personal space. She’s blind and totters around unsteadily, but all the other dogs tread in fear of her. She sleeps next to my bed at night, and if she’s in a particularly foul mood, in the doorway to prevent any other dog from entering the room.
Last month, she died again. I was working and noticed that she didn’t react when I bumped her with my computer chair. Getting down on the floor with her, I checked her breathing. It was shallow, and she didn’t respond to stimuli. Mom and I sat on the floor with her for a half-hour, keeping her company as she passed.
Outside, the other dogs were romping and playing. One apparently hit the work table and knocked the dog dishes on the floor; Ditto suddenly opened her eyes the rest of the way, (yes, they were open the whole time) and got to her feet, stretching and yawning. She sauntered into the kitchen and waited patiently for her dinner. Mom and I just sat and laughed.
I think that was the third time she died this year.