Ghost was born September 15, 2014. I had been in contact with Jalerran Siberians since around spring of that year, while I was still in residential treatment for anorexia that nearly took my life. I’ve struggled with anorexia for over 14 years, but that year, I had hit an all-time low, and coupled with my depression, it sunk to the point of needing physical 24/7 care. I spent four months in treatment at Monarch Cove in California, and by the time I came home, I sunk into deep depression.
On November 9, 2014, I drove with my mom to Pennsylvania to pick up Ghost. Unlike my experience with Chai, these people knew what they were doing. We got a full tour of the facilities, met the parent dogs, and spent about 2 hours listening to how to care for a husky. Prior to that I had been extensively screened. While I still truly believe in adoption, I needed Ghost for therapy purposes.
When it was time to meet the puppies, they opened the floodgates and about 15 puppies barreled out in pure chaos. Ghost ran right up to me and laid down on my foot, while the other puppies ran around chewing shoelaces and acting like classic hyped puppies. I think he knew I needed him as much as he needed me because ever since he’s never left my side.
I cannot thank the facility enough for providing me with a healthy, well-behaved, gorgeous dog. He has become my parter-in-crime, my best friend, and more than that, my therapy dog.
While Ghost definitely has some husky tendencies—mildly chatty at times, a bit grumbly, food aggression issues that are a WIP—he was so not the terror child I expected. Growing up, he never destroyed a single toy, never ripped through walls or doorframes like the horror pictures you see. He sleeps about as much as my cats. In all truth, he’s exactly what I needed him to be.
I was lucky in that I had 24/7 to train him when he was puppy, and while I’m certain that was a huge portion of why he turned out so great, I still have to give credit to Jalerran. There was something well mannered in him from the start.
When I got him, I was suffering crippling depression and social anxiety that had me stuck to my bed, but he forced me to take him out on walks, to go to parks once he’d been fully vaccinated, to get out and about and push through that darkness that’d consumed me since returning from treatment in California. Even now, being able to take him with me places makes that anxiety feel less consuming.
Friendship with Chai
I have two cats now, one who was around in the Chai-era, and Ghost is more than willing to befriend them. But the cats aren’t into it. With Chai, she was so laid-back that they ended up bonding in ways the other cats have never allowed. I think he knew something was wrong back in March 2017 when she passed before any of us really knew because he was constantly wanting to go into my room where Chai hung out, which was pretty unusual for him do unless I was in there. That whole week, he just cried at my door wanting to go in. Who knows what was going through his head, but it was certainly strange in retrospect.
It will be interesting to see how he interacts with Chai’s clone. I guess it depends a lot on her personality. Original Chai watched Ghost grow up from a puppy, so he started off smaller than her and unimposing. It will be the opposite way around with the clone, so who knows how it will work out.