Rook is no longer a puppy

Well…since we rescued him as an adult, he never really was a puppy to us, but after yesterdays events, he is certainly all grown up 🙂


Okay, so if you did not see the movie “UP” you will likely not get the reference I just made.  Basically Rook has been very interested in Rats, Cats, Squirrels, and the occasional small dog.  All this time I thought he simply wanted to chase them around and play since there were many occasions when it appeared easy to catch one of these.  Normally he will sneak up on them and they will simply scurry up a tree, or when cats or dogs are concerned, we certainly pull him back in on the leash.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010.

The day arrived when Rook was stalking his usual squirrels and rats.  He came upon a squirrel that was having a nut for a snack which happened to have his back towards Rook.  Rook ducked down and did his usual stalking behavior and lunged.  My roommate watched in amazement as he held and shook the squirrel, who by now wished he paid more attention to his surroundings and had enjoyed his snack up in a tree!  Rook tossed it on the ground and then ended its suffering by stomping on it.    WOW.  If I were there I would have been really shocked.  He is a Malamute, but I don’t think I would enjoy a warm furry moving object in my mouth.  I would have said “tag, your it” and left the furry thing alone.

Rat next?

Thankfully it is a common squirrel and not one of the rare black ones that I see occasionally.  Now that Rook has proven that he can catch a squirrel, I wonder if he will still be interested, or if he will move onto rats which we probably all agree could be reduced in number a bit 🙂

One Week with Rook

This time last week Rook was at the Malamute Rescue facility in Staunton, VA.  He came to DC in the afternoon last Monday.  Just a recap of events….

  • Rook is adjusting to the noises of a “big city.”  He is still very intrigued by buses that go by, but is no longer startled.  He still does not like construction zones, so we will try to avoid those, though in DC, that is hard to do 🙂
  • Rook has learned that it is fun to chase cats, squirrels, and rats.  I doubt he has seen many rats with his previous owner, but he certainly is up for chasing them.  One minute you think he is marking a tree and the next thing you know he is lunging for a rat you see scurry across the street.  While I think most will agree that cats and squirrels should not lose their life to a dog, I doubt anyone would complain if there were a few less rats around DC.
  • Rook is very attached to Patrick who has taken the “Daddy” role.  No surprise since Rook is able to go to work with Patrick.  “Mommy” does help out and has the respect of Rook.  I have come to recognize the signs of exerting dominance and will be sure to fight for Alpha status if necessary.
  • Eating and drinking. He does love to drink often to be sure he has some liquid to use for marking, but he is still adjusting to his new home and does not scarf down his food as soon as you put it down as most dogs do.  At first I thought it was just me, but when Patrick put the food down this morning and he did not eat it, I was a bit relieved.  “Daddy” may be a chef, but “Mommy” can hold her own as long as it requires a Microwave or pot of boiling water. 🙂   He eventually does eat his food later in the day.  I hope he is not worried about his figure like the anorexic purging celebrities!
  • Watering hole dried up?   Very funny to see this and I will have to catch it on video again if I can reproduce it.  We normally keep the bathroom door closed.  I opened the door the other day to get ready for work and the next thing I knew, Rook was sitting in front of the toilet, staring at it.  I thought…what an odd behavior.  Perhaps we can train him to use the toilet?  LOL.  Next I saw him sniffing around the lid and then it struck me….does he want to drink from it?  YUCK!  Rook was probably hoping that if he sits nicely and looks at it that it will automatically open.  I went to check his water bowl and sure enough it was empty.  I put water in his bowl and he came over and started drinking.  I thought this was very funny.  While the toilet is not some place I will be drinking from, Rook certainly knew where to go if his water dish was empty. 🙂

All jokes aside,  Rook as been a wonderful addition to our family.  He is very energetic when we take him for walks and gets very excited when we are about to go out.  At night he chills on his chair.  He sleeps most of the night without any issues and if he needs to use the bathroom, will gently nudge us to get up.  We did have to leave him alone for several hours yesterday and while he whined as we each left, he did not destroy the apartment which is very good 🙂

More to follow….  I have more pictures to post later today.

New Family Member

Pet Option

With the move to a new apartment comes the prospects of a pet and my partner and I just rescued a 3 year old Alaskan Malamute named Rook.  🙂  I will post pictures later once I get my camera unpacked as cell phone cameras really are terrible.

Patrick used to breed and show Alaskan Malamutes and St. Bernards.  Both large dogs, most apartment buildings do not allow them.  The last place I was in that allowed pets had a 35 pound restriction.  If I recall you could have 2 pets, but the combined weight had to be less than 35 pounds.  Fine if you want a small yippy dog or evil cat.

After contacting both rescues in the DC area, we identified both a Malamute and St. Bernard we would be interested in.  After further consideration, our apartment would more easily support a 75 pound Malamute than a 150 pound St. Bernard.  Having a St. Bernard in the past, I was also considering the size of the fecal matter 🙂  Not to go into too much detail, but you get the picture I am sure.

Life in the Big City

After the 3 hour trip back from rural Virginia where the Malamute Rescue is, we showed Rook a metropolis.  Our observations so far..

His likes

  1. Chasing Rats
  2. Chasing Cats
  3. Marking everything!
  4. Patrick’s $1200 Chaise and a Half has become his “bed.”
  5. Human food?  See below, perhaps he just likes the smell of steak or gets jealous when people eat and he is not getting fed.


  1. People…not that he does not like them, but he would rather explore than let people pet him.
  2. Big Trucks / Busses – Strange loud noises
  3. Loud Noises – They startle him, but he should get used to it
  4. Bananas – While not spoiling him, fruits and veggies would be good for him. He basically pretends he did not see it!
  5. Bread – Granted it was the “heal” of the loaf, we know people can be picky about crusts, but he just watches it fall to the ground when tossed near him.  No attempt to catch.  When through right into his mouth.  He catches it and then puts in on the floor!

Our Likes

  1. He walks on a lease very well.  Does not pull hard.
  2. He only barks when he is excited.
  3. Ignores other dogs
  4. Seems to like all people
  5. Seems to ignore bicycles.

My Dislikes (Cannot speak for Patrick)

  1. Does not want to be very social with others.
  2. Does not want to sleep in the bedroom or on the bed.
  3. Loves to chase every animal he smells…rats, squirrels, cats (Tough when you don’t see it and you are attached by the leash 🙂
  4. Need to pee on everything…more than once on occasion.  Perhaps he did not mark it enough ):

Cute wakeup call….

This morning Rook came in the bedroom, sniffing on the edge of the bed and eventually nudged my hand. “I need to go to the bathroom he said.”  🙂

More to come 🙂