Chena and I in Alaska the day we departed Anchorage for North Carolina on August 20,1999
I've had dogs for most of my life and when I started traveling after college, I decided that maybe I should wait until I settled down to find another companion. During the past couple of years I really wanted to get another dog and talked about it a lot. I started meeting other traveling Physical Therapists that had dogs, and although it was more difficult to find housing and there were other issues, they were able to accomodate and adjusted. I almost got a dog in '98, but then had been thinking about going on a bicycle ride, so I didn't.
After spending 5 months on a solo cross continent bicycle journey, I decided it would be nice to have a companion. It was at that time I found myself in Anchorage, Alaska, and found Nina Davidson of "Homes for Huskies". And it wasn't long after that, I found myself making plans to fly Chena back home with me.
Chena has become more than just a pet, at times it seems as if she's an extension of me. She is a very intelligent dog and can sense all my moods and at times, I'd swear she was psychic and knew what I was thinking.
The first 4 months were very challenging for me. I read somewhere about these huskies..."they're bred to be high strung speed machines" and that seems to fit her pretty well. She was very high strung and required a LOT of attention and LOTS of running! When she was left alone, she had bad seperation anxiety and did not like being alone, especially confined in the house where she could not be out running and exploring new scents. But as a trainer in AZ said, "Don't blame them, train them". So after a lot of hard work and training for a mimimum of 1 hour a day every day, she has calmed down tremendously.
Chena has turned out to be the absolute best companion I could ever dream of having, but it did take a huge investment in time and money for proper training... probably the biggest investment is time. And it still requires continuous training to keep her focused and obediant with her commands. Still working on specific commands to pose for the camera :)
She enjoys going on long hikes and she really loves wide open spaces to run, and really needs to have a good run everyday. Her favorite treats are red apples. Her favorite place to sleep is on the sofa. She has been attached to my bicycle with a "Springer" and she loves to run and pull me. We plan to try "Skiijoring" with rollerblades this summer.
Here are a few more photos of her(I have a LOT more, might organize them into a slide show later):
Chena in Anchorage
Chena would go to work with me when I was working in Arizona, she would sleep in the rehab gym or outside the back door. Isn't she precious, sleeping like a baby :)
Chena gazes over the edge of the wonderous Grand Canyon
this is how we travel together
Chena in Zion National Park
She's supposed to be howling for me in this shot, gotta work on that command :)
Chena sits atop a huge rock in another part of Zion National Park
See Chena run on a frozen lake in Juneau
See Chena sniff