Everyone has their own husky story. Huskies change people’s lives and I wanted to share this with you.
This touching story is from my friend, co-owner and caretaker/trainer of Delta Dawn our Seppala puppy.
Why a Husky?
By: Heather Fulger
It all started in 1994, and that was the year Disney’s movie “Iron Will” came out. It was also my introduction to the Siberian Husky. Along with a glimpse into the world of “Mushing.” Although it was a fictional movie, from that point on in my life… I knew that I wanted one.
I was just a little girl of five years old, but I knew that I had to have a husky of my own someday. Seeing that movie set into motion feelings that would never leave me.
A year slowly passed and in 1995 the Disney movie “Balto” hit theaters. Again, I was reminded of my underlying passion for the Siberian Husky. But not just any Siberian husky…I wanted a Siberian Husky of my own. Although the hero of the movie “Steel” was a wolf/husky mix, I loved him just the same.
Steel was the lead dog as the movie began. I loved his coloring, he was such a beautiful animated dog! I also loved “Gus” who was the lead dog in the movie “Iron Will.” Gus a was more common black and white husky. 1995 would pass without a husky of my own, but my desire never stopped.
As time passed those feelings seemed to recede. Whenever I asked my Auntie for a husky she reminded me that money didn’t grow on trees. She just couldn’t afford to buy me my hopes and dreams.
In time, I quit asking because I knew the answer would be no. My dream wasn’t dead but at times it seemed so helpless that I tried to keep it out of my mind.
The husky dream wouldn’t die that easy.
In 2002 another movie came out called, “Snow Dogs.” The dream was still there but I had no way to chase it.
At the time, we still lived in the city, and I knew better than to ask for a husky. In 2004, we moved out of the city and I thought my life was over again.
No more friends down the road, no more walks downtown on the main strip of the city, or seeing my friends just two houses away. I’d forgotten about huskies, and worried more about how I would survive without my friends that I was used to seeing every day.
A few months passed and I ended up making friends with the neighbor named Brian. He owned the most gorgeous Rottweiler I had ever laid my eyes on. His name was Elvis, and that dog would change me, and make my dreams come true.
You see Elvis was an escape artist, and once free he usually ended up at my doorstep every morning, looking for some love and as many treats as I could give him.
When I think back now, it seems just like yesterday.
Elvis would show up in the morning just like he was on a schedule. He did it every morning for a couple of months.
One day when I was walking him back home…everything changed.
I was only sixteen years old during that walk and I spied the most beautiful dog in the world tied to a tree. Right there in front of us was a magnificent grey & white husky!
I could hardly wait for Brian to get home from work so I could ask him about that husky.
Brian told me that she had been given to him by a friend, and that he was looking to find her a new home. Suddenly my heart raced and the dream so long forgotten came back in a rush. I raced home to talk to my Aunt about that beautiful dog.
My Aunt was surprised that I still wanted a husky. She had thought it was just a kid thing that would pass but she saw how much it still meant to me.
My Aunt agreed to let me get that dog and it was the happiest day in my life. After all those years my dream had finally come true. Her name was Silver, but I called her Shay. Shay had a great personality, and her love for kids was beyond explanation.
For the next few months I was the happiest teen in the world!
Shay did that, she made my life better from the first moment I saw her. That big grey & white husky healed my pain, and made me forget all the little things that bother you when you are a teenager. But Shay wasn’t done teaching me yet. She had one more important lesson for this young girl to learn from her.
A few months passed and I was walking with Shay through Greenville one day. My Aunt had a job there at the time as a house keeper, and I had free run of the city. I happened to meet a younger couple with a daughter around the age of 5 years old or so.
The little girl had a bandana around her head, and they explained to me that she was a cancer patient. I can’t for the life of me remember the child’s name, but I remember her exact words to me “When I grow up, I’m going to get my very own husky!”
Emotions filled me in ways I really can’t explain.
I stood there talking to the parents as they had told me how they already had a husky at home, and hoped to have the funds someday to buy their daughter her very own puppy. They didn’t know if they could make it happen before it was too late.
As we talked I noticed Shay with this young girl, laying her head on the child’s lap. Shay just seemed so happy and content next to this sick little girl.
Now being a husky, Shay used to drag me on walks, and could pull my arm off. But when I gave the leash to this girl Shay never tried to yank or pull the leash.
Shay seemed to know that the little girl was very sick.
I don’t know what came over me at that moment but I knew Shay had a higher calling than me. I handed the child the leash and told her that Shay was now hers, if it was okay with the parents.
Mom & dad nearly cried as they thanked me and watched their sick child’s dream come true right before their eyes. And I really didn’t regret my decision. I had a long healthy life ahead of me. That little girl did not.
I knew I’d have another opportunity to own another husky. This sick little girl wrapped her arms around me and said thank you!
She told me she would keep her name and that she would never forget me. Shay licked my hand, but when we said our goodbyes, Shay knew she was going with them because that is where she was needed most.
I still feel like Shay walked into my life as a lesson.
A lesson in selflessness. In giving, and being kind to others. And at age sixteen I really was struggling with life, especially after our move. The fact that I had just changed a little girl’s life made my heart smile.
And to this day I remember her sweet little smile and her fragile and tiny little hands. The look in her eyes when hearing that she now had her very own dog was even better. I don’t know what happened to her or Shay in the end.
But if I know Shay they spent some grand days together no matter how long they lasted. All I have left is this old photo, but her memory will last a lifetime.
That’s why a husky.