I lost one of my best friends this week. 10 years ago for my birthday (actually just before), Loki joined our family. Loki was an approximately 7 month old male Norwegian elkhound who came to us via the rescue. I got home from work and there he was, barking up a storm in the backyard. Loki was mine--without any thought or question. Callie put him into place right away--he knew she was alpha. I started training with him right away--with Ted as our faithful sidekick. Won a few awards--and then the infertility shit started. Would I have made it without my furbabies? I don't know. I spent many many days with them at the dogpark--getting exercise and getting my head straight. Apparently I came out of the pelvic infection surgery crying about how I missed my dogs--little did I know that Loki had apparently lifted his leg and peed on the furance! I left the hospital and spent the next couple of weeks giving myself IV antibiotics and curled up next to Loki on my bed or on the couch. Then we left for Russia. On trip 2 we returned with this little tiny spitfire peanut. Julia was sitting on my lap when Loki came in and skidded to a stop in front of me wondering what the hell is that thing sitting on mom's lap? Then that little thing reached out and smacked him right across the face! Love--true love. Loki became Julia's love slave from that day on until the day he died--of course it didn't hurt that the object of his affection would throw him food from her high chair. Men and stomach love! Callie just rolled her eyes and left the room.
And so it continued through the addition of 2 more human babies--Loki there through it all. We lost Callie prior to Chewie coming home. A few months later Belle came home. He accepted her too.
This is not to say he was without fault. Our bedroom furniture is situated so he couldn't jump up and scratch the window. He barked--at the lawn mower, at the snowblower, at people/children outside our fence, when a leaf blowed. Loki was passive aggressive--he would get pissed--and would literally piss and/or poop on my carpet in the basement. I am the proud owner of a carpet cleaner because of this.
But, as with anything--we all have faults and that makes us who we are. Loki never left my side. And he will never leave my heart. We will have another puppy to keep Belle company--since elkies are pack animals. But it won't be an elkhound. I love elkhounds and someday we will have another. But not now. God willing, Belle will be with us another 10 years or more--then we'll consider it.