Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Iceman´s Story

Some days ago I promised you Iceman´s story. He truely is one special dog.

He looks and acts just like his mom. You can clearly see that on the picture above, taken after she took him for a six hour adventure in the woods (Or I should say after their triumphal return), setting us on an intensive search party, which is, in case you didn´t know, really wonderful in deep and melting snow). But that is another story...

Iceman is one of H.R.H. Mouse´s seven puppies, sired by another special dog, Nugget, aka the "I" litter. Having a white dog born again in our kennel in years (a color I am very partial about, don´t ask me why, I don´t know) was awsome to see, and we were even blessed with three of them in one litter!

The goal was to keep just one or maximum two puppies, in which case it would have been a boy and a girl. But how do you order your heart, when there are seven little cuties and beauties. Right?!
Anyway, the goal WAS to be responsible and we had some friends and generally great folks interested in a few puppies. Since Iceman´s brother Inuk is the pick of the litter and was really attached to us from the beginnig, he was the one we would keep from the two boys. But somewhere deep inside, I was hoping Iceman will stay with us too. Hoping there will be no inquieries about him... Little did I know how the story will unfold...

The first inquiery came when they were just a few weeks old. A really nice family, they already have dogs, great refferences, and all. My heart jumped, but deal was a deal as I respect my partner. When I was answering with a heavy heart, that Icey is available, I got a reply, that they found a puppy from another litter they fell in love with.

In the beginning of December our friend from Czech Republic came to pick up two puppies. He loves whites. He is crazy about whites. The deal was to take two brothers from the Northern Exposure litter. But he really fell for Iceman. In that time Ice was the lowest in the puppy rank and all his siblings picked up on him and beat him up. He ran to me all the time, to hide and get protection. Our friend said this dog will bond strongly. That he will be a grateful canine. And that he´s interested in him. But on the last minute he decides to go for the original deal, saying he sees I feel so much for this guy. I gave it a thoroughfull thought and came to a conclusion, that he would have a fairy tale life with Roman, and we simply have too many dogs so it would be a win win situation to offer Ice as the third adition to Holling and Eddie that Roman was taking. He nearly took him. But he would have no place for him as his pack was reaching the total limit of 20 dogs, and he had puppy plans for the spring, etc. ...

Iceman as a puppy, after the first two unsuccessful inquieries

Few months went by and Iceman started growing stronger and returning the "abuse" to his vicious siblings. He created a distance. It felt as if he knew we were going to let him go. Deep inside, I heared this voice again, telling me not to abandon this dog. I never have such thoughts usually. But I loved him and addored him so why was I so dum and wanted to let him go to another home?! I made the decision he will stay. Despite Jachym´s wishes.

Things with Ice didn´t get better and he was like a distant spirit, a soul of his own, not connecting. Beautiful, charming, strong, but totally closed inside himself.

In February Roman was struck with tragedy. Three of his dogs ran away, two were killed by train and one had to have her front leg amputated. Roman was devastated, and we were shocked. I called him and said that if he wanted to have Iceman, he could have him. He would be a gift from us to ease down the pain of the tragedy. I had a doctor´s appointment in Prague in March and thought the best would be to surprise Roman, so I booked a flight for Iceman too.

The dog went nuts. He started picking up fights, he behaved as the biggest rebel.
The weekend before my flight and before the meeting with vet who would certify Icey´s health for the travel, I got a terrible migrene headache. My stomach felt like it will explode. A whole weekend of nonstopping migranges, which I, by the way, do not suffer from. I had no idea why and kept working on organising my schedule and all. The night before meeting the vet, feeling totally sick, something like a voice from inside struck me. "Do not take Iceman to the vet", "do not set him on the plane". I thought about it. I felt a tiny relief of my physical symptoms, which convinced me I was on the right track with my thoughts. I called my mom and she said "folow your gut". So I cancelled the meeting with the vet. Right after that, I got a call from a dear friend, who had no idea about my thoughts or how I felt. She said she had this strange dream and something told her to tell me not to take Iceman with me. I was quite shocked, as she had no idea what my thoughts on that subject were!

With this in mind, the migrane and the stomach tention disapeared instantly. Spooky? Yeah, talk about spooky!

The next day we took the puppies out for a walk. Iceman was a happy trooper, but basically his lately usual introvert self. But he did have a different look in his eyes.

Now, the thing is, Icey loves food. And I always have kibble with us, when we walk in the woods. The pups know and are used to getting a bunch of it as soon as we get home, so they all run for their kennel. Iceman, knowing what was comming, ignorred the temptation, and went straight for the house. He jumped over the fence (!) and right to the front door. He sat by the entrance, bagging to go in.

When Jachym carried him back in the puppy pen, I decided to spend a few more minutes with the puppies. And while I was giving Iluq a belly rub on the top of one of their houses, I saw the white wolf resembling dog gently aproach me, silently sit beside me and softly lean with his head, than with the whole body, against my leg. I stood and he sat there for a long moment. Then I looked in his eyes and told him he was not going anywhere. He smiled with his eyes.

The next morning, as I was getting in the car, going to the airport, I turned one last time around to say "bye guys, see you soon" as I always do, when I leave for more than a day. A pair of dark eyes was following me the whole time. Iceman sat alone by the fence of the puppy pen, watching my every move.

I made the decision, that "something" simply didn´t want me to take Icey with me this time. Whatever it was, one should follow their inner voices or senses, the gut feeling, or whatever you wanna call it.

At 5 months, during the walk, before my flight to Prague
(after last minute decision that Icey won´t be going)

I did tell my friend about my original plan and that I just couldn´t bring Icey now, but would bring him in May, if he wanted him. But that I needed to know if he really would want him. He smiled and said he was touched by my gesture. However, he could never take this dog away from me, because this dog meant more to me, than I could even realize. Darn, he was right!

The moral of the story is that when I got back home, one of the first things Jachym reported was that Iceman was acting like a different dog. He stopped fighting just as if you press a button. He started to be more open and "smiley". Within a week.

Yes, the conclusion and the ending is very easy to reveal. Iceman is staying home. For good. He is no longer available. He is my very special dog, the one I´ve been waiting for for a long, long time. A dog that means a lot to me, although he is only 6 months old. His soul is old and gentle and is familiar to me. Perhaps resembles some of the dogs from the past.

And I have been so blind, deff and ignorant, that I didn´t see him, although he was here beside me all this time, trying to tell me that we belong together. Us humans are sometimes so hard to deal with. The dogs have great patience with us.

Last week, at home. Six months old and
permanent resident of the Kipp d´Amundsen Kennels

One question I´ve been giving myself the last couple of days is, weather Mouse took off with all her puppies exactly the morning when a friend was picking up Icey´s sister Inali (four of the kids returned exactly at my friend´s depature time!), not showing up together with Iceman for another four hours, for a reason. Weather the dogs were once again trying to tell us that Iceman is not going anywhere. They could have thought we didn´t get it again, so Mouse just escaped and hid Iceman away, until it was safe :)

So when you look at the very first picture above, it was not only a "happy to be reunited", but I was telling Iceman again, that this is his place, he is our dog and we are his humans. Forever.

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