I have this dog, he’s huge and hairy and a quarter wolf, quarter Rottie, quarter Newfie, and quarter Shepherd. And he’s absolutely amazing; when I got him I had to learn to speak in Cree and German and Russian to communicate with him at all. Basically, one day I got a phone call that said that family had found him in the wounds severely wounded, and they brought him to me. He was cut all to hell from an encounter with a cougar, and I treated him for gangrene with oregano, cat mint, and chamomile, with an end course of antibiotics just to be sure. He had a claw imbedded in his side for a really long time. Anyways.
We lived by a hospital in the ghetto of Edmonton. I liked it there, until my health mysteriously fell apart underneath me during the course of my brutal “marriage”. He was trained to do things like check the hospital grounds for people and I went roaming whenever I felt like it in order to get out of the house. People loved to stop and talk to my dog. They can’t help it, really; he’s just got this face that you want to smoosh and ears you want to rub.
My area was heavily Vietnamese and Native American. In fact, you could usually determine how severe a winter was going to be by the rate at which the Native occupied houses emptied or filled. This is not a racist thing; my neighbours were for the most part delightful people. But the area was largely used by nomadic renters.
Da Vinci and I would often stop and pass time with people passing by, and sometimes they would tell him Native American fairy tails, or even offer to bring him bannock. Crows like to chat with him; he’s very strange and very special.
One of the things that I learned as a result of being Da Vinci’s handler is that there is a trail that cuts across the North American continent, and this is the trail that he came up through, from probably the Sonora desert region, actually. Arizonian culture is something he is very familiar with. In fact, for some strange reason, he is afraid of the Yazhee nation. (We used to watch Zorro a lot)
This trail intersects with all major highways and has inlets and outlets all throughout the reserveration lands, and is used in place of more expensive means by those who have either the life experience – like were born on it or have a father or mother who were – or are professional trackers.
Da Vinci was originally bred for sale at the Iditarod, a dog sled race in the North, but he came from Arizona.