Nikita was the first to come along. She was almost entirely lupine, her heritage was timber wolf, but she was an albino and the runt of the litter. I used to wrestle with her mother who was the pure wolf (mostly domesticated), and she was twice the size of Nikita. Nikita was with me during my bum days when I was cruising around the US stopping to work here and there in the US and camping a lot. It was fun camping with her as when we took walks she would see wild animal such as deer, and immediately go into a crouch and start creeping towards them. It seems instinct made her forget about the leash, and she always gave me a glare when it stopped her progress. :)
The first two pictures of Nikita are from those days at Mt. Rushmore and the Grand Canyon. She was about 2 then. The third picture of her is more recent at the Potomac River in Virginia. She loved to swim far out into the water on slow current days.
In her youth she was very very friendly, and would play with any animal she met. After Mystree came along she became a bit more aggressive. Sometimes I feel it was because she had to show Mystree she was the alpha in the house and could take on any animal that came along, so Mystree better behave.
Nikita passed on in January of 2006. It was for her that I burned your design of Man & Wolf into wood and to this day I always carry it with me.
Stream off the Potomac
Mystree came along after I stopped bumming around my country. A friend called me one day and asked if I wanted a dog. I asked what type, and she did not know. Apparently she found Mystree on her porch, almost dead, and could not keep her. I took her in (so glad I did) and it was touch and go for the first few days. But she pulled thru, and over 16 years later she is still kicking. I had no idea what breed she was when she was found, so since her breeding was a mystery, I called her Mystree. To this day I still have not tried to discover her actual breed. People always offer suggestions, but there have been at least twenty possible breeds offered so far, and I doubt she is that much of a mutt. I am tempted to do a DNA test, but if I do, I will not read the results until she has passed on. It is not that important to know anything other than she has been a great companion. (Albeit, a spoiled one.)
She was definitely the docile one when Nikita was alive. But after Nikita was gone she stepped up to principal pup, barking and growling when she felt it was necessary. But she is still an incredibly friendly creature. I think because I kept her alive in those early days she has always been very clingy to me. After her sister passed I told her she had to hang around at least two more years. She honored that deal and she is now a few months into her fourth year of hanging around. There was a couple of occasions last year I felt she was done for, but each time she bounced back. At this point she definitely has to be over 17, which is not bad for a mid to large breed canine.
She is a very very loving dog, and even tho she has slowed down a fair amount, she still can keep up in a walk, and on occasion she gets a burst of puppy-itis and runs around the yard like she can catch anyone. Most of the time she shows her age tho and moves along at her own slow pace. And she does stay close, I have never once had to use a leash on her since Nikita left us.
The nose cover. (I think she gets sympathetic allergies, as she only does this when I have the sniffles.)
Guarding the room. :)
The two of them
The first two pictures are when they were very young. As I said, Nikita was definitely the Alpha in the house. But a very, very tolerant alpha. (Unless you tried to eat her food.)
Six days after Mystree joined the household. (Found on Friday the 13th.)
The girls getting along.
This is about 2002 when they used to do their forest walks off the Potomac. I could leave them unleashed as they always came back to me.
Nikita loved the water and would dive into the river. Mystree on the other hand was not so water loving, and she rarely got much deeper than you see in this picture.
Enjoying their leash freedom.
So that is some pictures and stories about my girls. Just to give you an idea of who Nikita was and Mystree is.