Krabloonik owner a professional |

Krabloonik owner a professional

Dear Editor:By way of establishing my credentials let me say that I have owned three malamutes and loved them and also that I knew Stuart Mace and that I was on friendly terms with Dan MacEachen back when he was working for Stuart. I watched them many times when they worked with their dogs. Like really good generals they didn’t mess around sentimentally with them. They were tough and consistent masters – as anyone has to be with sled dogs, or any dogs. The dogs knew who was boss and there was no question about it. They loved their dogs and their dogs loved them.So, when it came time for Stuart to give up his operation and turn the dogs over to Dan, I was really pleased for both of them. Like the rest of us back in the ’60s, Dan had come to town just to be here. It was probably as much a surprise to Dan as it had been to Stuart that dogs were to be their thing. My second and third malamutes were brothers that I bought off the sidewalk in front of the Brand building after my wife called me to say I better come and have a look. Boy were they cute. A few months later we were all in the kitchen when the quieter brother got the noisier brother by the neck and wouldn’t let go. We tried throwing water on them and kicking them but nothing would interrupt their battle. I was really afraid it was a battle to the death. Eventually, they did break apart, but with Mr. Quiet now in charge.That night I called up Stuart and told him the story and asked for his advice. He was completely professional and unsentimental. He said that these were pack animals who worked out their differences and their hierarchies in their own way. I asked if one might kill the other and he said we had to be prepared for that. Usually, however, one dog will become dominant over the other and the relationship will settle down. I learned to love them and respect them in a different way. And I learned to fear them, too.I kept one and gave the other away. He was great with us but he killed cats and he wasn’t to be trusted around children. So eventually I gave him to Dan at Krabloonik. As I had suspected, it turned out that what he needed was a good job. I would go up and visit him once in awhile, but it proved to be too much for both of us so I stopped. Time passed. One day I asked Dan how “my dog” was. Like Stuart before him, Dan stoically told me that he had had to put him down because of his unreliability with children. He had had some puppies.Dan is a good man, a really good dog man. He’s a pro and all the bleeding hearts need to get off his back.Jim BreastedCarbondale

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