When I brought home this 8-week old puppy from the Humane Society in 1981they told me she was St. Bernard and German Sheppard. It took us a few days to come up with the name Denali, which means “Great One.” My x-husband was born in Alaska. We kidded about her growing into her saucer-sized feet. And my 6-year old step-son constantly asked, “How big will she get?”
Denali was the smartest dog I’ve ever had the honor of friending. She was housebroken in two days. We already had two cats who taught her they were the Queens of the house and she always respected that. Although I did have to teach her not to eat the cat’s food. She ran like the wind chasing the kids, plus eventually horses and snowmobiles. Denali also loved to swim and her thick coat rarely got soaked to the skin. She would follow us in our inner tubes on the lake and then tired of paddling around would join my x on his tube, laying across his lap for a float. When it was time to return to shore she would tow us in. She didn’t like the canoe but would gladly jump on board the powerboat.
She moved several times with us. At one place, I walked the 1.5 acre property line with Denali twice and she never crossed that line. But she loved to chase the neighbor’s cats back home, right up to the edge. At another place we rented with 12 hillside acres she could run as she pleased along with the horses. In fact a man stopped at the house one time to report seeing a wolf. His jaw dropped as Denali came quietly up by my side, no threatening just protection. She was the family pet, but she was My Denali.
Eventually my x and I moved aboard our 22 foot sailboat and My Denali couldn’t come along. (We did take a cat.) A dear friend living on acreage gave Denali a new home along with her two Sheepdogs and several cats. Almost a year later when I returned to the same area hoping to bring Denali back into my life I discovered she had been given another home with a family when my friend returned to school and had no space for any pets. I didn’t try to find her. I just knew she was happy.
Sally from The (Mis) Adventures of Karl and Sally has started a new meme where the past is remembered through sharing old family photographs and this is #11. I love the idea and hope you will too. So join the fun by clicking here.
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