Huskavarna's Flexible Flyer. "Ace".
Siberian Husky, black and white, dark brown eyes, not a rocket scientist but oh, so gorgeous! And such a sunny, happy, loving boy.
Ace Cadet the Space Cadet. Jetski Cadetski. Flex. Flex Non-Mentallo. Cabana Boy. Friendly Fire. Brainless Boy. Mr. Perfect Ears.
He loved people. We have video of him as a baby puppy being let out into the yard; while the rest of the puppies in the litter scattered at once to the four winds like huskies do, he ran up to the people and followed them around. He followed me, too, all over the house for close to sixteen years, never sleeping more than a few feet away if he could help it. When I worked, he was always under the desk or chair with his head on my feet. He'd wedge himself between the tub and the toilet when I took a bath. He liked to sleep touching me. By preference he slept curled against my side, his chin settled in the hollow between my hip and my ribs, or his head on my chest, or my lap. He was never neurotic, though; he could safely be left at home and would wait quietly, but oh, the joy when I returned!
He was a great traveler; he went with me all over the U.S., on many cross-country camping trips, from coast to coast and up into Canada. Wherever he went he was a wonderful ambassador for his breed; always happy to be petted and loved on by strangers, always ready to give kisses. He was so very sweet-tempered, and he always meant so well, but in his younger days his enthusiasm got him in trouble; he didn't know his own size and strength, and he was always going: "Hey! Why are you holding your nose like that?", when he'd just whacked you hard in the face with an unexpected turn of his head, or: "Hey, what are you doing down there on the gound? Are you okay?", when he'd just bowled you over because he wasn't looking where he was going. Hence the nickname "Friendly Fire".
He was breathtakingly beautiful, but hereditary cataracts ended his show career early. He was very athletic; he could leap straight up to a ledge six feet off the ground from a standing start, as if he was levitating. He was a big boy, but not too big, with striking markings and smooth movement. He was put together right, and he was a joy to watch. He could have been a contender.
It was clear from the beginning that he was not, however, the sharpest tool in the box. Once, he spotted a plastic bag caught in the branch of a tree he was peeing on. He stopped in mid-pee, stared at the fluttering bag for a few moments, then lost interest. You could see him think: "Okay, that's over, now what was I doing? Oh, yeah, peeing on this tree!" So he peed on the tree again, and again he noticed the bag: "Wow; that's new! What is it? Oh, well, not very interesting...what was I doing, again? Oh, yeah, peeing on this tree!" He repeated this over a dozen times, noticing the bag anew, losing interest, peeing on the tree, noticing the bag again, while we counted and fell out laughing at him.
He was a decent sled dog; willing and happy; he enjoyed it but he did not have the fierce drive that many have. Despite his lack of intelligence he was a good lead dog when paired with Youbetcha, my shy, tiny, brilliant, driven, energizer bunny; she knew the commands and had the desire to run forever; he had the self-confidence and the desire to listen to me and please me. Bets was as small as huskies get, and Ace was as big as the standard allows; they made an odd couple but they did a good job together. He was even on the TV news in Canada one year.
Unlike most huskies, he loved to swim. My Dad has a swimming pool, and on his first visit there he was chasing the other dogs around the yard and figured he'd cut across the pool, not knowing it was water. After that, he'd just jump in and swim around whenever he felt like it, but he always had to be called to the shallow end and showed the steps when he was done; he never did learn how to get out on his own, so he was never allowed out there alone. On walks he would head into whatever body of water offered itself and go out as far as his flexi-leash allowed; he wasn't interested in wading; he wanted to swim.
I don't know how to end this. He told me it was time, and I honored that, and it hurts like hell. My good boy.
Gildan: "I'm not as good as I once was, but i'm as good once as I ever was."
"I'm stubborn as those garbage bags that time cannot decay; I'm junk, but I'm still holding up this little wild bouquet." -Leonard Cohen, "Democracy"