Two years ago today, I was both excited and supremely uncomfortable. After sitting outside from midnight until the animal shelter opened at 8am, I was sleepless, over-caffeinated, and suddenly dealing with a new creature in our living space.
But oh what a creature he turned out to be.
A year ago today I wrote about how Cloud came to be with us, and how that was a substantial decision for me based on prior experiences.
(Also, side note, if you were hoping this post was related to Final Fantasy VII, I’m sorry to disappoint you. This may also be the time to address that Cloud’s name didn’t come from Final Fantasy, or any game, actually.)
Since we didn’t know his actual birthday (not that animals probably give a crap about birthdays other than the likely occurrence of extra treats), we had decided to treat the day of his adoption as his birthday. So today, Cloud turns 4.
I took the above image of him on his 3rd birthday. I like that you see his husky grin and that the funny, ridged top of the inside of his mouth is visible. So much about Cloud deeply delights me.
I’ve explained many things about him before (e.g.: he spends a significant amount of his time upside down), so I’ll forego repeating myself, but I have to take a moment to focus on the ways in which he has changed since he came to live with us.
He never used to wag his tail. We knew when we adopted him that he had been abandoned (he was quite thin), but it was fairly apparent he had also been abused in the past. He wasn’t reluctant necessarily, but he didn’t wag his tail for the first year he lived with us. I still remember when he started doing it, and the feeling of joy that came with knowing he was finally in a place where he didn’t have to be afraid and could actually be fundamentally comfortable. I still am grateful every time I see him wag his tail.
For the better part of a year, he didn’t want to be in our bedroom. He just wouldn’t go in there (he didn’t go in the piano room, either). We didn’t push it, and, eventually, he started to wander in on his own. He now sleeps back there regularly. Though, in fairness, he will sleep pretty much anywhere now.
When we adopted him, someone cautioned us that huskies are like teenagers in that they want to be with you when they want, and alone when they want. I can attest that this is true. Often when I am sitting on the couch, Cloud will lay down next to me, and promptly fall asleep with his feet or snout (or both) touching me. There is nothing quite like the warm smell, the marzipan and stale corn chips smell, of a sleeping Cloud.
He spends more and more time upside down. I adore that. It’s the countenance of a dog who worries about very little. And for that, I’m beyond grateful. I have no idea how awful his life was in his first years, but I feel blazing gratitude when I know we have given him a home where he feels entirely free to turn his world upside down and fall asleep.
I just realized this piece is a bit disjointed and not as cohesive as I’d like it to be, but that’s okay. I really just wanted to say how much I love Cloud and that no matter how much I struggled to adjust to his arrival, I couldn’t be more glad he is here. Witnessing his evolution is a privilege.
He wags his tail now. A small thing that speaks volumes.
With that, I give you 15 images from this past year with Cloud. He is a deeply silly, wonderfully sweet, and yes, a very good dog.
My partner takes Cloud to a local dog park on the regular, and while there, he took this picture which literally cracks me up every time I see it. I have no adequate caption.
Cloud likes to watch my partner and I play video games and this was one such occurrence. I can’t remember what the game was, but he sure looked into it.
He ponders in a fancy way.
At the camp he goes to regularly, they told us he liked to hog the puppy pool. I asked if they ever had the chance to please take a photo so I could see. And here it is.
I find it terribly amusing that he is laying down, fully relaxed, with his face in the corner while the other dogs are just staring at him. What a delightful weirdo.
This is a common stance for Cloud. See his feet in the background? And his tail? But what I love best about this picture is that you can see his tiny front teeth and his tongue curled up behind them.
And that nose. I love his nose.
This is the forlorn and intense gaze of Cloud staring at my partner. He loves the crap out of him.
A rare case of just hanging out under the piano.
The husky grin in action. Also, toys all around.
A very sleepy Cloud.
Earlier this year I ended up with an intense case of food poisoning. Instead of the usual 24 hour time span, this lasted far longer. I was so sick and uncomfortable and laying on the couch trying not to barf too much in the double digits, and in one span of respite, Cloud got up on the couch and squeezed between me (that’s my leg on the left) and the back of the couch. He never does this when I lay on the couch. I assume he smelled I was sick, and it very much seemed like he wanted to comfort me.
A productive day at the dog park.
This is one of my favorite images of Cloud. Each year we go home for Christmas, so Cloud goes to camp while we are away. The camp took this photo and emailed it to me. Whether it was because I was calling each morning to check on him or not, I couldn’t appreciate it more. This captures his dog spirit quite well. He looks so happy.
Quintessential Cloud. He is like this often. What cracks me up about this particular image is the tiny bit of his tongue sticking between his tiny little teeth.
I love the crap out of him.
Thank you, friends, for reading this. I know it’s Friday and this isn’t about video games, but the timing seemed right, so I hope you’ll excuse the diversion in topic. And hopefully, these photos made you smile.
Please be safe out there. Cheers.