Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunny and Storm

I've mentioned my two Siberian huskies, Sunny and Storm before-- but not enough to tell you how they influence my life

First of all, they are brothers. They've been together from birth.
I don't know which one was born first, but I can tell you that Storm is bigger than Sunny and quite a bit more athletic.

I got them when I going through a personal crisis--a divorce to be exact. I thought a puppy would give me something to think about besides myself.

I picked out Storm first. He was a beautiful grey color. And he was strong, healthy and affectionate. But then I picked up his brother,  a tiny ball of reddish fluff that fit exactly into the space between my neck and shoulder. He nuzzled against me peacefully, his eyes closed as if he'd found the place in the world he never wanted to leave.

Maybe I should take this one, I thought. He's so sweet. But how can I leave the grey one?

I couldn't.

Well, I said to the breeder, how much more work can two be than just one? Wisely, she didn't answer me. If she had she either would have had to lie or tell me to forget about adopting two puppies at once if I wanted to retain my sanity.

For the first four months I had them, I slept less than I wanted to--they did not have the same bathroom schedule, not by a long shot! And I had almost no time to tend to my ordinary pursuits since I was either wrangling them out of the bushes or the fences or the middle of the street, or watching to see whether they needed to go outside.

Did you know that Siberian huskies are great escape artists? During those first few months they would wriggle through what I thought was a secure fence and wander the neighborhood, small balls of fur, faster than they looked and hard to catch. Did you ever try to catch two puppies clever enough to run in opposite directions when you try to seize them?

They are almost two years old now and great pals. They love to run wildly after each other or wrestle or pull each other's tails. They are best buddies. And why not? They've never been separated. Not once!

They are both sweet-tempered and affectionate. They both want to please and love meeting new people. They also adore meeting new dogs to play with, though they prefer each other's company to all others.

But having said that, they could not be more different.

Storm, as I said, is bigger, more athletic, stronger. He learned how to manage stairs first. He jumped into the back of the jeep long before Sunny could manage it. He climbs better, jumps higher and runs farther than his brother. He is also more affectionate and far more willing to please. You only have to call Storm once and he's there.
Storm is sweeter and enjoys being petted more.

Sunny, on the other hand, is stubborn, willful. In a completely non-agressive way, he challenges to see if he can avoid doing what he's supposed to, or more accurately, if he can do what he's decided is appropriate. If I call him, for example, he stops doing what he was doing and stands stock still. That's his compromise position. (He used to run in the opposite direction until we scared him one day by leaving the park without him.)  Sunny loves affection too, but controlling his brother is more important to him.

He lords it over poor Storm. Storm will not try to go upstairs, though Sunny spends as much time as he wishes up there. It's nothing I've done--I've invited both of them to come up. But Storm will not budge from the living room, though he whines piteously all the time Sunny is upstairs. It's not that Sunny growls or threatens. He just IS. Somehow through his very bearing and posture, Storm knows what is expected of him.

It beats me how he does it!

But I think I have learned something from observing my dogs. Leadership is not what you say or even what you do. It's what you are. It's how your being communicates your expectations of others and yourself. It's your energy and how you project that energy into the universe.

Maybe if we want to influence others we need to see to our level of confidence and self-belief.


  1. You are so right Lee.Knowing these two guys personally,You have described them to a T.They are just like 2 boys that completely rule their house.

  2. I know the importance of Sunny and Storm in your life. Sometimes I think it is only a animal that can feel the void we are missing during a stressful or sad time. I watch wtih children too. the need for animal contact.