Remembrance Stories

The Fabulous Furry Flying Fuzz Brothers (AKA: Da NorSled Boyz)

For the past 25 years, my wife and I have been blessed by the patter of tiny feet (well, paws really, and they’re actually not so tiny!) around our home. After deciding that human kids simply cost too much in today’s chaotic American culture (according to statisticians, it can vary from about US$ 125,000 to more than US$ 350,000 to raise a child from birth to age 18 in America), and given the severely deleterious effects of modern ‘pop-culture’ on their delicate growth and maturity processes (not to mention the odds against being able to bring them up properly, influenced as they would be by all their deadbeat peers), we elected instead to dedicate ourselves to four-footed canine ‘kids’. While it still isn’t cheap to care for and maintain doggie companions, at least one can be assured that they won’t grow up to become surly, ungrateful and resentful little paragons of social dysfunction who hate their parents!

But I digress. When our last two Siberians crossed the Rainbow Bridge, one right after the other, we suddenly found our lives profoundly empty and turned once again to NorSled to help us replenish the family pack. It wasn’t long before NorSled notified us that a pair of male Siberians (named Walter and Shiloh), actual littermates and about 7 years of age, were in dire jeopardy of being euthanised in the LA Animal Shelter simply because they were ‘middle-aged’ and the pound was overcrowded! This horrific precariousness of their status was compounded by the fact that they had just been ‘red tagged’ and were therefore already on the LA Pound’s schedule for imminent ‘disposal’.

For my wife and I, the timing couldn’t have been better and we quickly volunteered to take them in as fosters, with adoption pending satisfactory socialisation and bonding with them. I am pleased to say that they both turned out to be delightful boyz, each with a distinctly endearing and unique personality, and their place with us was assured. They soon became known as ‘The Fabulous Furry Flying Fuzz Brothers’ (or just ‘the boyz’, for short) owing to their sibling status and their incredible good fortune in having escaped a tragic and totally unjustified end.

Sadly, after about 6 months with us, Walter developed a fatal, fast acting cerebral lymphosarcoma that took him from us in a few short weeks, but Shiloh remained and has proven himself to be the sweetest, most loving guy you could ever imagine. In order to provide Shiloh with necessary companionship doggie at home, we shortly thereafter acquired another NorSled charge, a 6 year old male ‘Malberian’ cross named Peary, who has also turned out to be an irresistibly loveable goof, and who fitted into our family pack beautifully.

Words are insufficient to adequately express our appreciation for and gratitude to NorSled for their continued dedication and commitment to saving wonderful guys like Walter, Shiloh and Peary from the sad fate of having ended up in unsuitable homes with irresponsible owners. It is safe to say that we can’t conceive of existing without several of these big furry companions around us to bring both unbounded happiness and fulfilling perspective into our lives, every single day! We can do without problematic, expensive, and more often than not uncontrollable human progeny, thank you very much, but find that we are quite happy to settle for our wonderful and eternally loving doggie kids instead.

As Sam Clemens once brilliantly observed: “If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; this is the principal difference between a dog and a man.” How true!

He also famously remarked: “If dogs don’t go to Heaven, I want to go where he went when I die.”

Another famous individual, Sigmund Freud, was noted for having once opined: “Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people, who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate in their object-relations”. Thank you, NorSled, for our own purely loving companions!

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Epilogue dated 1 May 2017:

‘SHILOH’, now fondly known to us as SOOKA, has gotten progressively limited in his activities at the ripe old canine age of 17+ years (actually, that’s truly remarkable for a Siberian). For the past several months he’s been limited to low-energy, quiet walks twice a day, but retained his appetite and general awareness, despite loss of the vision in his left eye, limited vision in his right, and progressive doggie dementia. Very recently, despite being on strong pain meds for hip/hindquarter difficulties, he has lost most of his ability to get out and around without extreme difficulty. Over the past week that status has continued to deteriorate to the point where we feel that the very best thing for him will be to send him on his way across the Rainbow Bridge to join all the other lovely Sibes we have shared our lives with. It is truly an end to a life-long saga, since at 71 years ourselves, we’ve decided that we can no longer take care of further pups. When ‘NALA”, who is now a spritely & energetic 7 year old ‘junior/senior’, finally departs some years hence (hopefully), we will likely no longer have a family pack as we have always had in past. It saddens me to think that we are finally losing SOOKA, but he has had as good a life as any fondly regarded member of our rescue-pack could have hoped to enjoy and he has given us many, many moments of endearing companionship while with us. His affectionate nickname is ‘the Flop Dog’, but don’t even ask why…it just is, and we love him fiercely.

Sookadog will embark on the final journey of his life this coming Thursday, with us at his side and his favorite toy (which he passionately took to when his brother ‘WALTER’ passed away) under his paws. Think of him briefly on Thursday morning around noon and honor, as we will, his loving memory as another of NORSLED’s minor triumphs.

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[Note to Lorne: SOOKA was originally named ‘SHILOH’. ‘PEARY’, our lovely ‘Malberian’ also passed on some time ago from a sudden & acute cardiac event and was replaced on our team by our presently 7 year old girl, ‘NALA’, who will continue to be with us until she too passes eventually over the Rainbow Bridge.]

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