Wohali's Return To Joy
Breeder: John and Dorothy Moyers
Owner: Patti and Jacob Hord
CH Tessa's Sir Charles X Int. Jr CH Wayeh's Cherokee Faith CGC, WWPD
Joy's owners have owned Alaskan Malamutes for over 20 years. When they got Joy, they had been fighting a battle with cancer in their 13 year old Mal girl named Frost. Frost had fought a tough fight, but as she grew older, her time to cross the Rainbow Bridge was drawing close. The Hord's also had another female Alaskan Malamute that they had gotten 2 years earlier from Sleddog Rescue, a 6 year old named Ginger. Ginger had a rough life before finding her way into rescue, and hard as it is to believe she was a Malamute that had forgotten how to play and have fun. Before her illness, Frost had done her best to teach Ginger to play and have fun like a proper Malamute should, but Ginger's shell was hard and calloused so she wouldn't despite Frost's best attempts.
Now this part of Ginger's world was about to change. Ginger and Frost were close and Patti and Jacob didn't want to loose Frost and then have Ginger fall into a deep depression when it came time for Frost to cross the Rainbow Bridge. They were looking at some other rescues, but Frost had been their last puppy 13 years ago and they thought it might be a good time for another pup. (Yes, after that long you start to miss watching a Malamute pup grow-up.) So in January of 2003 they made the long drive from Memphis Tennessee to East Tennessee to pick up Joy and to see how Ginger and Frost would get along with her.
Frost seemed to like the idea of having a pup around. While she didn't feel like playing all the time because of her illness, she still played with the pup. Over the next few month's Frost's battle with Cancer grew worse and in April she crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. Fortunately she had been able to show Ginger how to play with a puppy and since it was now just Ginger and Joy, Joy was more than willing to continue in educating Ginger on the importance of play. Shortly after this a major breakthrough happened for Ginger. Through Joy's unstoppable pestering, she learned that Malamutes do play and that they have fun doing it. It seems that Joy had helped bring some joy through the pain of loosing a 13 year old pet, friend, and family member. She had also taught a 6 year old rescue that it was ok to be a happy Alaskan Malamute, and they are now inseparable. So I guess her name fits quite well, "Wohali's Return To Joy".
In November of 2003, Joy went to be spayed and did so in true malamute form. Her mom, Patti, gave Joy a bath and groomed her up to look real nice for the trip to the Vets. Joy was clean, dry, and laying in the house chewing on a bone. So Patti decided that this was a good chance to clean up the bathtub and put the towels in the wash. But she forgot to lock the dog door in the sliding glass door. While she had gone to straighten up from bathing Joy, she swears it was only 5 minutes, Joy had escaped outside to play!!
Keep in mind that the Alaskan Malamute is a champion digger. While some owners and breeders consider them unskilled labor in this area, I consider them very skilled just misdirected. Malamutes will dig at any and every opportunity that they get and normally when and where you don't want them digging. In fact most yards that belong to Alaskan Malamutes look closer to a moonscape. So in 5 minutes Joy had managed to escape to the backyard after her bath and to dig a hole deep enough to bury her head, shoulders, and still keep digging. At one point she even fell all the way into the hole and had to turn around and jump out. Patti had to laugh watching her and took the photo's along with some video of a Malamute doing it's second or third favorite thing. DIGGING!! Needless to say from the photo below, Joy was satisfied with her efforts. It also should be noted that she received her punishment and just rewards shortly after this in the form of ANOTHER BATH. Baths by the way are the least favorite activity of most Malamutes.
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