Saturday, October 29, 2011

Boomer of The Vermilon River. A Post to MWT And Scenic Sunday.

Winter Photo
I'm asked a lot about Boomer and in fact Boomer has his own following. So what could be more appropriate, than a post about Boomer, a post which explains his history, and answers the questions that various people ask about him. Boomer is the son of Thunder, a pure white Malamute, and the brother of Timber, likely a wolf throwback as he was leggy and weighted 120 lbs. Boomer is in every way the normal Alaskan Malamute, in colouring and size(about 85-90 lbs.), although they come in reds, and more rarely, whites. Boomer is a native of the area, although the kennel is no longer here. Boomer was purchased by a couple who divorced, gave him to their parents, who chained him in the backyard and Boomer eventually ended up in doggy jail, the pound. A responsible breeder, Cheryl, rescued him and brought him back to the kennel. Boomer could not go back into the pack as he would have had to fight his way through it. So he became a house dog. I knew Cheryl vaguely, but once on my way into the Valley of Death for a Bar-B-Q, I passed her place to discover a least 12 of these guys loose who had dug their way out of the run. This was before  my accident. So I merely stopped traffic rounded these errant guys up, and put them back in the run while I watched the hole. They enjoyed every minute of the break and rounding up!! I never though anymore of it and Cheryl showed up shortly after my fun with the errants.

 All dogs are descended from the Gray Wolf, but Alaskan Malamutes are unique in that they were not European bred, but were bred by the Inuit some 3 thousand years ago. Inuit are the descends of mongols who moved east into the Artic lands. Horses, of course, were useless, so some other animal was required. The early Inuits stole wolf cubs from the wolf dens, breeding those pups who were friendly to humans, and amendable to training. Continual selection based on service and friendliness bred the modern Malamutes. The selective breeding stopped there. There is no miniature or lap dog offshoots, as there are of European dogs. All potential Malamute owners should be aware of their Wolfie traits. They are pack dogs, and that pack  includes their human family and they're dedicated to that family, and want to be part of it. So if you like winter, they'll pull you on cross country skies, or sled with you but don't ignore them. You have to be a strong leader with them, because they have an independent streak. If the ice is soft, they'll automatically turn the sled to safe ice. The males are excellent child rearers, just as they are in the wolf pack. As far as guarding goes forget it, but threaten the pack and these guys fight to the death, literally. They're not barkers, but do they talk. One more thing, they shed like crazy. Their undercoat is a short wool without the lanolin, and can be mixed with sheep's wool.


If you follow this blog, you know I had a fairly heavy accident, in which I shattered my hip, broke my shoulder, and dislocated my jaw. I had just had Boom a short time, and was worried that I would have to give him up, but a wonderful young friend took Boom, whose name is Cindy, and trained him to the haltie leash, that rig, that Boomer wears. He was trained to walk me with no pulling and a heel that keeps him far enough from me that I don't trip. For a solid year while I did therapy, he walked me. Unheard of for a Malamute. I'm pretty mobile now, but the haltie is a symbol of Boom's intelligence and devotion. Now we're both retired, and spend all our time together.
 For more information on Alaskan Malamutes, see Dorris Heffron's City Of Wolves. It is a historical novel in a Yukon setting, but the research she did for it is contained in the book. Heffron also headed the commission on BC's sled dog shootings that resulted in changed legislation. She became intersted in Malamutes when she acquired her first Malamute, Yukon Sally. For more information on dog's intelligence, eye sight etc see" Ideas "@ cbc.ca ,public radio in Canada, and their dog series. Any general dog comments pertain to working dogs as I've never had a toy dog. P.S. I forgot to add. They love to hug!!

30 comments:

  1. This is a beautiful post. It is well written, informative and your picture to words relationship is right on the money. I also like dogs and we just got a new one from a local dog pound.

    You can see him at this link:

    http://www.ourpepperjax.blogspot.com/

    He is a Jack Russell Terrier and runs in our fenced yard, like the wind, leaping great distances. He doesn't have to chase anything. He just loves to run.

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  2. Fascinating post Gary. I hadn't realised that there was so much history between Boomer and yourself. I can see why he has his own following.

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  3. What a great story, thanks for sharing!

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  4. A moving and well written account of how Boomer and you came together.

    Thank you for sharing it, Gary.

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  5. Great story, I like your friend Boomer. I see the meaning in the name of your blog.

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  6. A wonderful post Gary he really is beautiful.
    Thanks for sharing your story.

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  7. great information on Boomer and the breed.

    Gill

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  8. What a wonderful post. Just love your story of how wonderful your dog is for you. Dogs are so much smarter and more wonderful than most people realize.

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  9. Great post and story on Boomer, he is a beautiful dog.

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  10. You can count me as a Boomer fan, and I was so glad to see this post and learn more of his story. I think you have yourself a remarkable animal there, and I'm glad that he is part of your life.

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  11. So very interesting. I'm awfully glad you wrote this post. Boomer is a beautiful animal and now I understand just how intelligent, too. I enjoyed learning the history of the malamute, as well. Thank you!~karen

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  12. What a great tribute to your best friend Gary! He is a magnificent "beast", and I must say he's pretty darn cute too!

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  13. Such a great post about Boomer. You love of him and the breed is obvious. My neighbour here has a malmute who looks very much like Boomer called Uke short for Uculete. Also when I live in the Yukon erons ago my property was next door to a couple who bred and trained sled dogs of which most were malmutes. I had the pleasure of being a "flunky" for them and know their amazing loyalty and intelligence.
    Thanks for sharing this with us.
    Smiles

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  14. Aw, he looks so sweet! "They love to hug" - this is good, he looks like a perfect dog for cuddling :) Sooo fluffy!

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  15. Hi Gary

    As a big fan of Boomer I really enjoyed your post. He is a beautiful dog. Wendolene our pom cross thinks he's dreamy. All the best.

    Guy

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  16. Hi there - what a splendid post and a splendid dog. Not really the sort of dog for suburban Melbourne!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

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  17. Nice to read this inspiring story!
    I must admit, I am not a dog person, so anything written about specific breeds is a new learning experience for me.

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  18. Boomer is such a lovely and faithful friend to have. The Prof worked withMalamutes in the Arctic as well as the Antarctic and became quite attached to them.

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  19. Absolutely beautiful dog ~ so endearing ~ Wonderful post also ~ Be well and enjoy ~ thanks, namaste, CArol (A Creative Harbor) linked w/OWT
    ps. Had a Siberian Husky for 14 years ~ she was a love and part of our family.

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  20. Oh, how glad I am that you have a wonderful friend who trained Boomer. He is a majestic dog - you can see the intelligence in his eyes.

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  21. How interesing to get the story about Boomer. I love it and read every word :)
    As you know Boomer is a favourite of mine - he is so handsome - hugs from me

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  22. What a beautiful dog Gary!
    Greetings from Holland,
    Anna :-))

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  23. Boomer and I thank you, and of course he sends hugs to all his friends!! Boom & Gary.

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  24. I love that last comment "He loves to hug" - well he is a very huggable looking dog, just downright beautiful; and he has lovely soft expressive features.
    I am glad you found each other, and he has a good home with you.
    The history is very interesting and I will go look for Doris Heffron's book, I love historicals anyway.

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  25. Sounds like you two have a very deep and special bond! I must admit that I didn't know there was a difference between Malamutes and Huskies. I've always wanted a Husky.

    My old dog, Molly, visited me in my dream last night--it was good to see her again.

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  26. Boomer is such a handsome dog, and it was really nice to read his story. Fascinating information about the Inuit breeding as well.

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  27. The best friend anyone could have.
    A wonderful post Gary, and I can understand the great love between you both.

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  28. Hi Gary
    I really enjoyed your story with its mix of history, facts and the personal.
    Your Boomer sounds a very loyal friend and companion, he looks very inquisitive.
    happy days

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  29. As I'm a new reader to your blog, I'm so glad you put a link to this story in a post last week. I'm a dog person, and my dogs (German Shepherds) have accompanied my on many of my outdoor adventures over the years. I love that you include Boomer in your adventures and posts and am pleased to know him better!

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