It’s been ten months since we officially adopted Tekken and we can’t believe time has gone by this quickly. It feels like it was only yesterday, that we pulled into Peterborough with him in the car, taking him in as a foster family from SHARP until he found his forever home elsewhere.
It only took us a few weeks to fail at fostering the sweetheart, but who could blame us? While he had some interesting idiosyncrasies about him at first, his innate kind nature and immediate bond with our husky mix Burton made it hard to imagine him going anywhere else, and we’re pretty certain that Tekken would agree that this is where he belongs 🙂 his skinny, scruffy appearance has changed dramatically; he’s filled out nicely, his coat is shiny and soft, and he’s calmed down in a way that indicates he feels safe and protected in our home with us. Though, like all huskies…Tekken is a high energy pup who requires ample exercise and stimulation, which we continue to work hard to provide, and Burton is a tremendous part of that regime. The two are inseparable and play all the time, showing no competition with each other, even around food, bones and toys. Truly, Tekken is unique and special and was meant to come live with us.
Our days with Tekken and Burton mean tandem 5 km runs every morning along the river, and evening 1 hour city trots along the inner city pathways. Our neighborhood dogs friends meet up with us for play time nearly every day, and a few times a week we go hiking at nearby wilderness and conservation trails. Tekken is extremely playful- we have never met a dog we didn’t like, and over the past ten months we’ve never witnessed any signs of aggression or uncontrollable prey drive. I wouldn’t trust him near a porcupine most definitely, but he was quite compassionate around the litter of kittens that inhabited the household last fall, even cuddling and grooming them at times. He plays marvelously with even the smallest dogs, and approaches pets with his curiously kind nature.
Tekken loves all people and children and can’t help but try to say hello to every stranger walking by us on our walks. He loves affection and shows no discrimination towards men or women (though we think he flirts with pretty girls the most) but he is particularly gentle with children and those with special needs; a trip to the farmers market last week had him leaning against wheelchairs for love and surrounded by crowds for pets and cuddles while he calmly basked in the attention! It made us think that one day in the future, he could have the potential to be a therapy dog (once he learned not to jump up and give obnoxious hugs to everyone he meets). He walks wonderfully on leash. Brother Burton pulls like crazy, but Tekken is happy to stay by your side (until we see another four-legged friend, when he quietly whines to catch up with them for socializing).
Tekken is also a cuddler. He’s always on top of house guests, he sleeps ON us at night, and would curl up on a stranger’s lap if it meant he’d have his ears and neck scratched. He loves to lounge on the second-floor patio bench so that he can be sure to howl at any sirens that may go by during the day, and is easy going enough to chill out at social gatherings, fall asleep by family fires, and camp in a tent in the wilderness. It’s hard for us to believe that this guy was once homeless at a garbage dump in the middle of Manitoba, as his disposition is so kind and laid-back, in spite of his past. Admittedly, he had some trust issues when he first arrived; slept at the door, cried when we touched his paws and neck, howled and snapped if we attempted to brush his coat, and ran away at loud noises. Over time however, all these little issues have disappeared. While Tekken cannot tell us that he’s happy, we’re sure that his strengthened trust, his bond with us and his calmed demeanor are all evidence that he’s happy, safe, and feels loved in his forever home, right here. We know that Tekken loves us, too, and we feel blessed, honoured and rewarded to have him in our life.
We are truly grateful for SHARP and all of the work that Melissa, Alan and Marilyn do to find homes for huskies like Tekken. This experience has forever changed us! And we’ll never regret our decision to foster or adopt a rescue dog, which has brought enrichment into our lives since the moment he arrived. We are now huge advocates for fostering and rescue adoption programs, and will continue to share our positive experience with animals lovers everywhere, in hopes of finding homes for all the others out there, in need of love, safety and kindness. Thank you so much for everything ❤
Shelby, Kristin & Burton