This is Comet.
Although the picture is with me, she was definitely my husband's dog.
Comet was a lead dog at a dogsledding outfit around the corner from here. From the first time she and my husband set eyes on each other it was love. Comet – usually a rather skittish and distrustful soul – went straight up to Ken and just leaned into his leg. Staying there in an almost zen-like trance, propped up against him in what we came to understand was her version of a cuddle, until he had to go.
She did this every time Ken came by. Only and always with Ken.
When Comet turned 11 it became evident that she may have to retire as lead dog. Since a born leader will never really successfully be a follower, that meant total retirement. Of course we asked if we could provide her with that.... a cushy retirement.
I hadn't really thought ahead on this one. Here's a dog who had lived her whole life outside in a clearing in the woods, with between 100 and 200 other dogs (whom she never really had happy physical contact with, as they were tethered apart unless being harnessed together for a run). Her life's mission was to run. Fast.
I was bringing her to a home. A heated home. With a kitten in it.
A kitten in her previous surroundings would almost necessarily have meant “food”.
Then there was the issue of actually walking a runner. The minute she was harnessed, she pulled. HARD.
What I hadn't counted on, was Ken. Within ONE walk with him, Comet had settled down and learned to heel, rather than pull ahead, leading. She learned to mostly ignore the other dogs, rather than snapping at each one. She never did master playing with other dogs very well.... but did get to a point where we could set her free with others without worrying about injury. She would enter a free group of playing dogs... voice her stance.... and they would pretty much leave her alone to wander around doing her own thing. She was a loner. That never changed.
Nor did her disdain for the heated house. Outdoors it was for her. The only times she'd come inside willingly was when it was during the really brutal -40 days, or in the heat of summer, to enjoy some air conditioning.
And she never did eat the cat. In fact, Larry may well have been her only close 4-legged friend ever.