North Wapiti Siberian
Iditarod 2008 - Tales from the Trail
August 20, 2007
The Life of Kara
At the request of my very spoiled lead dog,
I thought that I'd take a few moments to update everyone on
'The Trials and Tribulations of Kara'.
First off, I don't think I mentioned the stress we took out
of Kara's life last fall. During the process of a few house
renovations we had the smoke detector moved to a spot 'away'
from the kitchen (our house is little, it isn't really
'away' from the kitchen - just not as close as before). It
took months to convince Kara that my cooking and burning
things was no longer going to cause the evil box to squeal.
In fact, it was has only been the last month or so that she
has relaxed to the point that now she heads INTO the kitchen
to see if their might be any scraps for her when I'm in
there rather then running for the screen door!
Life was good in Kara's world - then came The White Monster
aka Cricket. Now Cricket has settled wonderfully into our
family and is day-by-day turning more and more into a viable
'replacement' for Fly in the dogyard. She plays with all the
dogs in the yard, walks nicely with puppies and loves Fly -
she does, however, hate Kara. When you weigh 38 lbs - as
Kara does - having a 90 + lb enemy is not good - even if you
have the backing of your Mom and Dad.
There have been 2 incidents between Kara and Cricket. Both
happened in front of me and were VERY quickly stopped. Kara
had no injuries other then slobber on her fur, bruised pride
and a crushed ego. There was no doubt that she was simply
appalled that this had happened to her. It had just never
occurred to her before that anyTHING would DREAM of actually
Of course, there is nothing amusing about the incidents. We
understand the dynamics that are creating this situation -
we are treating it seriously and are actively working
getting the two of them past this - but that is not what
this entry is about.
What it is about and what is amusing is Kara's reaction to
First off, you must remember that Kara is buck-naked after
having her litter a few months ago. She has virtually no
undercoat, just some scraggly guard hairs, so when she lifts
the hackles on her neck and butt every time she sees
Cricket, she looks much like Pumba, the Warthog in the Lion
King. It's very hard not to giggle at her, but the killer
looks she shoots me when I call her Pumba do stop me in my
It took a bit, but she has regained her confidence in the
dog yard and, with hackles raised, trots back and forth from
the house to visit her babies (who are still not entirely
weaned). However, when she is in the house and Cricket is
loose in the yard, Kara insists on remaining out of sight of
all windows and doors. That limits her to my office, the
bathroom and our bedroom. Watching her sneak from room to
room is like watching an episode of 'Mission:Impossible'.
Dund. dund, dund, dund..
Now, in order for the world to be in balance, if Kara has
this added stress in her life, there must also be something
good happening to her - and there is. It came in the form of
the 'cat door' Mark installed in our screen door off the
living room. Now, it is well known that Kara only tolerates
the cats (or that is the official 'position') so how could a
door allowing the cats to come and go at will bring so much
joy to her life??
Well, I believe I mentioned in an earlier entry that Bait
had begun bringing dead and partially dead things through
the door and into the house. So now, the cat door has become
some kind of special 'Special Delivery' window for Kara.
I'm not sure whether Bait is intentionally giving his kills
to Kara - or whether she just takes them, but the pattern is
now (on occasions that I foolishly leave the sliding door
open when not in the room to enforce inspections when the
cats come in) that I will hear the cat door flick, there
will be a flurry of feet and toenails clicking on the floor,
and then Kara will trot into my office smacking her lips.
The result is that Kara is quickly regaining the weight she
lost nursing her puppies. I'm not sure I recommend the 'Bait
Mouse and Shrew' diet for anyone looking to gain weight, but
it is sure working for her - and keeping her happy while we
work to resolve her conflict with Cricket!
Karen's Diary - Iditarod 2008 Edition
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