Before there was Isla, there was Daphne.
Back in 2004, when I first moved to Kamloops and was having pangs on homesickness and missing my main man Tanner, I begged and begged my dad to let me get a dog. It only took a couple of months of nagging, and finally he said that I could get one. “Consider it a Christmas present,” I believe is what he said. So, cash in hand, I started searching the “Pets for Sale” ads in the local buy & sell publication. (Nope, I didn’t even look on Craigslist or Kijiji!)
To be honest, I didn’t have a specific breed in mind when I started to look. Labs were probably going to be my number 1 choice since my mom already had one, but they need a lot of attention, especially when they’re in that destructive puppy stage. If I learned anything from having Tanner as a puppy, it’s that they are wrecking machines.
I eventually came across an ad for Alaskan Malamute puppies. They weren’t pricey – only $150, and they were ready to go. After researching the breed a little bit, I decided to call the person selling them, and shortly after that, I was off to pick out my new puppy with Kyle in tow!
As it turns out, the reason why the puppies were so “cheap” was because the litter was an accident. Another crazy fact? There were 10 pups in the litter! I couldn’t believe how cute they all were, especially this one little doll with the bluest eyes. She was the runt, but managed to somehow push her way ahead in line and was born 7th instead of last. Kyle advised that I shouldn’t get the runt, but I couldn’t resist her. After a few cuddles, I handed over the cash and was the new owner of a little puppy. I chose Daphne as a name, after the character from Scooby-Doo, and the rest is history.
Baby Daphne, the night I brought her home. (6 weeks old.)
Since bringing her home nearly 10 years ago, a lot has changed. She went from being the solo dog of the house to having a partner in crime four years later (Kyle’s dog, Molly) when Kyle and I moved in together, then back to being a lone wolf when Kyle and I bought our townhouse (strata bylaws allowed only one dog per unit, so Kyle’s sister “adopted” Molly), then being the Alpha Female when we adopted Campbell two years ago.
Daphne has taught me a lot. Patience, for one. That first night was the HARDEST I had ever experienced, having to get up three times because she needed to pee. She also had digestive issues, which caused a horrible runny poop mess on more than one occasion. (After switching her food, it was quickly fixed.) She also showed me the value of the almighty dollar, as her vet bills often skyrocketed with emergency trips to the vet, special medication, and blood work.
Still, I wouldn’t give her away for the world. Today she turns 10. While she’s starting to show her age in that she’s slow and stiff when getting up sometimes, and displays a bit of “Old lady crankiness” from time to time, she has moments of excitement and puppy-like energy. (Usually when there’s treats or a soccer ball involved.) I know her days are numbered, but for now I’m just going to enjoy every moment I have with my ol’ Daphne.
Here’s 10 fun facts about Daphne:
- She doesn’t have a bark, but a “talk.” Think Chewbacca.
- She has many nicknames, including Old Balls, Daffy (Isla’s name for her), Tron, Dapher-Dan, and Dapheroo
- She can hear the block of cheese coming out of the fridge a mile away.
- She loves to get her face REAL close to anyone she meets. We have dubbed this “Face Too Close” and everyone who knows her looks forward to her display of affection when they come to visit.
- I could brush her for an hour and probably not get all the dead fur out of her coat.
- She once escaped the house and just casually walked up and down the sidewalk until some neighbourhood kids brought her back home.
- She does surprisingly well in the summer. Usually she finds a shady spot on the lawn and lounges around.
- When walking anywhere, she has one speed. I don’t know if it’s in her blood as a freight pulling dog, but she could go along at the same pace for hours and not get tired.
- Her breath is horrible. Like, peel the paint off a tanker ship horrible.
- She often thinks our laminate flooring is lava and won’t step foot outside of our carpeted bedroom. She’ll just stand in the doorway, whining and panicking.
Happy Birthday, Daphne!
May your winters be always be snowy!