Loki saves the day ( September 2013 )
He was a "small hero" for us when he alerted to a fire that started in our garage in the very early morning (5 am) while we were still sleeping.
Hi Cindy and Vickie,
I just wanted to write you a quick email to update you on Loki (formerly Bobby/Billie). I don't know if you know this, but recently, he was a "small hero" for us when he alerted to a fire that started in our garage in the very early morning (5 am) while we were still sleeping. Our garage is not attached to the house and we would NEVER heard the fire start if it hadn't been for him. In addition, that area contained tons of flammable fire fuel, such as 2 cars with gas, paint thinner, and just above where it started, a gas-weed-whacker! If Loki didn't wake us up, we wouldn't have a garage, and in fact, it may have exploded and could possibly cause our house to catch fire.
Here's the story on it: http://www.wilddingo.com/2013/08/16/red-alert/
I'm so proud of him. He's come such a long way. I couldn't love this dog any more than I love him today. He's incredibly loyal, smart and I've really come to understand him. When I first got him, I couldn't take him on trails without him barking like a fool at anyone, cyclists, runners, dog walkers, whomever. Today, I can hike or bike with him OFF LEASH and riders will pass us without a peep from him. In fact, even if they surprise him, he'll recover pretty quickly and carry on, which always makes me smile because he used to be so edgy and vocal about being surprised. In fact, i'm also teaching both dogs to not only bike OFF leash with me, but to PULL my bike via "bikejor" (like skijor, urban mushing on scooters, cart pulling etc. ) He doesn't love it, but I do it because it's safer in some areas to have them attached to me while we ride versus off leash and he does it fairly well for a dog who doesn't love it! He's such a great dog and good boy.
You may know we were living in Switzerland for 2 years. I would never dreamed of taking a dog "this edgy" to another country, but I did and boy did he just blossom! He got comfortable with cows and goats and horses and all sorts of farm equipment. It was work at first but looking back, it got easier and easier each time we came to something he had to "overcome." We took them hiking in the ALPS ! We climbed the Matterhorn Trail and that in itself wasn't so much the issue, but I had to get him on a TRAIN and also on a SKI LIFT GONDOLA to go DOWN The mountain! What an adventure. He was so scared the first time but he did it! And we went back another time and did it again!
Each time he overcomes something he's afraid of, his bond is stronger with me. Our neighbors in Switzerland had 2 daughters and a little boy of 8 years old. He and little Ludwig bonded so much. Ludwig adored him. When they family adopted a small labradoodle puppy, they asked Loki and Juno to do socializing visits so their dog could learn manners---- FROM US! That makes me smile because Loki for so long battled "bad boy" labels from tons of trainers and people who didn't understand his anxieties.
Loki may be living a life of luxury now, but he's paying us back many times over with his protective powers. The alert to the fire isn't the only time he's done good. This year, both dogs got lost in the woods for 3.5 hours. He stuck to Juno like glue, tho he could have abandoned her. Which is good because Juno would not survive a mt. lion or coyote attack, while Loki could easily win with either of those. In Switzerland when I left the garden door open one night when I was alone, and went to bed---he wouldn't let me go to bed until I went down and found the open door, then he went to bed when I shut it. More recently he chased off a really dumb cyclist "macho" idiot who almost hit me on the trails. Normally Loki is polite to bikers now but he did not like how this guy almost ran me down! (he came right back to me when I called him.) There are so many more ways too that he's paid us back, but these are the ones that come to mind.
Anyway, I'll post a few of my favorite swiss stories below so you can visit at your leisure. But I wanted to touch base, 5 years later, to let you know how he's grown into a more mellow (but not entirely nut-free) grown up mature dog with a heart of gold.
http://www.wilddingo.com/2012/09/12/such-great-heights-2/ (our trip to Zermatt, hiking the Matterhorn , with a video and Lok on the Gondola, looking so scared while Juno looks confident and happy)
http://www.wilddingo.com/2012/08/06/best-buddies/ (our neighbor's little boy and Loki)
http://www.wilddingo.com/2012/09/04/mine/ (our neighbor's little boy and Loki)
http://www.wilddingo.com/2012/10/29/these-open-doors/ (summary of our time in Switzerland with long video of photo montage of our time there.lots of dog photos!)
http://www.wilddingo.com/2012/11/05/once-in-a-lullaby/ (another small summary of our time in Switzerland with video and some footage of the dogs playing at the beach)
http://www.wilddingo.com/2013/07/22/bikejoring-adventures/ (more recent from this year, teaching them to "bikejor" (pull the bike from the front). yes it's a safe sport, when done properly)
http://www.wilddingo.com/2013/04/23/some-kind-of-cracker/ (One day, the dogs got lost in the forest, Loki stood by Juno the entire time they were lost when he could have easily abandoned her because he's stronger and faster than her)
I love this dog. He's awesome and whoever gave him up doesn't know what they missed! He's loyal, smart, protective and a lover!
Hope you both are doing well.
Julie & Loki (aka: Bobby/Billie)
Read AHAN's first article on Loki
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