I Love My Direwolf (Husky), But That Doesn’t Mean You Should Get One Too

Have you ever watched an episode of Game of Thrones, seen a direwolf and had the sudden urge to find a Ghost, Nymeria, Summer, Shaggy Dog or Grey Wing of your very own? If so, which is likely because we all have, this article is for you.

Peter Dinklage, currently most recognized for portraying Tyrion Lannister, recently connected with PETA to address the growing interest in huskies in connection to direwolves, only for owners to realize they’re in over their heads and leave them.

“Please, to all of Game of Thrones‘ many wonderful fans, we understand that due to the direwolves’ huge popularity, many folks are going out and buying huskies,” Dinklage said. “Not only does this hurt all the deserving homeless dogs waiting for a chance at a good home in shelters, but shelters are also reporting that many of these huskies are being abandoned—as often happens when dogs are bought on impulse, without understanding their needs. Please, please, if you’re going to bring a dog into your family, make sure that you’re prepared for such a tremendous responsibility and remember to always, ALWAYS, adopt from a shelter.”

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Last Saturday was National Dog Day – which I’m convinced happens three times a year – and this Sunday was when most of the world watched the last episode of Game of Thrones‘ seventh season. I spent both days chilling out with my 10-month-old Siberian Husky who’s honestly changed my life ever since we met six months ago. He’s given me all the things you’d expect from a canine companion; unconditional love, a new challenge everyday and an excuse to leave the house on a regular basis. [There are also some deeper, personal reasons but I’m saving that for another post.]

While these are all welcome improvements to my lifestyle, there are definitely some drawbacks, including some I hadn’t thought about beforehand. I come from a family that’s always had pets, most often more than one at the same time. But Ryder – loosely named after Iskandar from Fate/Zero – is the first one that’s solely my responsibility. So this is completely new territory. I imagine that’s a similar feeling that former husky owners had before they started abandoning their newly purchased dogs at alarming rates.

To be honest, I wasn’t even specifically looking for a husky when I wanted to get a dog. I was probably a couple weeks away from going to adopt one from a shelter when I got the call from a friend who was looking for a home for his new puppy.

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I definitely understand why people are drawn to them. They’re gorgeous, they look like wolves and they’re plenty of fun. But, it’s clear that a lot of people aren’t aware of the underreported drawbacks of the #huskylife. So allow me to catch you up with a short list of them.
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Huskies aren’t direwolves[/title]

Hell, they aren’t even really good guard dogs to be hones. In most cases, they’re so friendly that if anyone ever tried breaking in your house they’d either lick their face the whole time or run out the front door to enjoy the wide open spaces.

[title type=”h5″]Constant clean-up[/title]

I’m not talking the usual doggy clean-up. I’m talking about that pesky shedding. The words “huskies” and “hypoallergenic” have never, ever gone together. Ryder sheds so much that I’ve found enough hair around my house that I could construct a new litter of puppies. Sure, it’s the worst during shedding season but it doesn’t ever actually stop.

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[title type=”h5″]They never slow down, ever[/title]

Huskies were bred with the intent of pulling heavy loads across long distances through deep snow. As a result, they’re born with enough energy to run a small town if you managed to put them on a giant hamster wheel. You may think the constant attention is cute when you bring one home for the first time, but wait until it’s hopping in your bed at 5:30 in the morning because he wants to play. Even thought you just got in three hours before because you decided to go out with your friends for once.  You should probably either have access to a backyard or be prepared to go on 3-4 long walks a day.

[title type=”h5″]Too smart for their own good[/title]

As a breed, huskies are known for their independence and intelligence. Sure, this comes in handy when you can get on the same page, but just take a second and imagine those times when you aren’t. If I had a dollar for every time Ryder stared at me like he knew exactly what I was saying but didn’t care, I’d have enough for a car note.

Now, if these are all issues you feel you can deal with, go for it. I’m just here to make sure you know what the risks are. It breaks my heart to know that there are so many dogs out there just looking for homes that are given up because their owners watched Ghost save Jon Snow’s life way too many times.

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