Some eleven years ago now, an Alaskan Malamute puppy tugged at our hearts the first time we ever laid eyes on him, a fluffy ball of fur so small that he fit comfortably into a shoebox. From that time on, we’ve been his.
Technically though, Gannon wasn’t ours; he belonged to our son and daughter-in-law. But we often joked that Grammy and Grampa had “joint custody” because we walked him three times a week and looked after him when his owners had to work long hours or went away on vacation. Our house became his second home.
Malamutes, as any owner will tell you, are strong, highly intelligent, independent and fairly pig-headed animals. They will obey an order if they feel like it, or if there’s food involved. They are also loving and friendly—some would say indiscriminately friendly. Malamutes generally adore people, so don’t ever get a Malamute as a guard dog. As the books say, “They’ll wag their tails, welcome the intruder into the house, and show him where the silver is kept.” They mostly don’t bark, although they can if they need to.
Gannon was a big dog. I could pat him without even bending over, and I loved to play with his soft, silky ears. Like most Malamutes, he was quite the conversationalist. If he felt that a conversation needed to include him, he would start up with his trademark Malamute “woo woo” to let us know that he was here too, thank you very much.
Gannon wasn’t much crazy about other dogs, but he loved humans, all of whom were his friends. He especially loved his four-person pack. As he grew into old age, he liked to have at least some of his peeps close by, and he would often round the two of us up if we were in opposite ends of the house, so that we were together, the way he liked it.
Today our beloved four-footed friend took his last breath in the loving arms of his two pack leaders, with us, the two other members of his pack, standing close by to see him off.
Godspeed, Bubby. You were much loved. Safe home.