sun, 09-dec-2007, 19:36Deuce was our first sled dog. I was supposed to get a different, older sled dog upon his retirement, but we found out that one liked to try to eat small animals and we had three cats at the time. My friend asked if I could choose any of her other dogs, which would I want? I had planned on making Deuce my “project” dog for the winter of 2001-2002, so I said him. He was only about four years old at the time. The thing about Deuce is that he has a few screws loose — mentally, that is. One minute he's sweet and rubbing his face up against you for pets. The next minute he's backing away from you and woofing like he doesn't know who you are. He's still not 100 percent comfortable with Chris. Heck, he even has his moments with me! When he wants to be, Deuce is a fabulous sled dog; he has a lovely, smooth gait and knows gee/haw better than many lead dogs. But he doesn't want to be a lead dog; at least not always. He'll do it on occasion, but one never knows when or if he'll just stop leading and try to sit down (which he never does when in the team). And he doesn't always want to be a good sled dog so sometimes he dips snow or doesn't pull, although he never completely quits. When we got Deuce, the plan was to let him be a house dog like our pet dog, Nika. Turns out he didn't want to be a house dog. We were eventually able to convince him to come inside for meals (most of the time), but that was about it. He'd occasionally come inside at other times, but would just wander around and sniff things; he'd never relax and hang out. Some times he'd seem like he wanted to be in the house, but he'd still just walk around. We figured that it was his choice and we'd let him decide when or if he wanted to be a house dog. The years went by and we got more sled dogs. Next came Piper, who took to being a house dog like she'd done it all her life. Buddy, Kiva, and Koidern are all semi-house dogs — they get to be inside when we're home and awake, but sleep outside and are out if we're not at home or can't be watching them. We thought that maybe Deuce would take a lesson from the other dogs and learn to be in the house. Alas, Deuce still preferred to be outside. That is, until the evening of 6 December 2007, approximately six years after he came to live with us. Then, out of the blue, this happened: We were so shocked that I took pictures to prove it to ourselves (and others!). After six years to have Deuce finally lay down in the house! I couldn't help but wonder: was this a fluke? A one time event? Did a loose screw in his head temporarily shift? That was yesterday, 8 December. This one too. He actually looks comfortable and relaxed! He's been laying down again today. So maybe it's not a tiny bit of oil burning for eight days, and we don't live on 34th Street, but it's our little holiday miracle anyway.