A very, very tough day last Wednesday as I had to make the decision to put Akla to sleep. He was 13 1/2 years old, which is remarkable for a big dog and he had made it through at least two near-death experiences, but it was still a very hard decision to make.
I’m extraordinarily glad to have known him and Bear – they were both very special dogs in their own way – and to lose them both in the space of three months is very hard.
Akla was born in Iqaluit, on Baffin Island and he was a Canadian Inuit Sled Dog . In fact, he was a rare type of Inuit Sled dog, a merqujuq , which is a genetic variation found in some northern dogs – his coat was extra long and didn’t have guard hairs. That’s why I got him; because he would have been used for parka fur if I hadn’t taken him to Vermont.
Anyone who ever met Akkie knows he could be a handful – he was always the boss in the hierarchy (I have scars to prove that), he was noisy, stubborn, demanding, and unbelievably bad when whe was young. But for the same reasons he was a wonderful character; I don’t think too many people have met such an “original’ dog. By that, I mean he was from a place and type of dog that preserved his dog-ness. He was as close to a wolf as you can get, but he liked to have his ears scratched, to walk on the beach and in the woods, and to greet anyone who came near to him. I have no doubt that he could easily have killed a person, but the only human he ever hurt was me, and those were always unintentional.
Thank you for being in my life. Thank you for opening my eyes to what “a dogs’s life” could be. I love you and miss you.