Sheba Rae the Crazy Husky

It wasn't exactly a surprise, but that doesn't make it any easier.  Last week my family's dog Sheba passed away at the age of 15.  She was an absolutely beautiful white husky with ice blue eyes and a very happy smile.  

We got her when I was away at college.  She was one year old and needed more room to run than the condo she was living in.  Between our large yard, the 10 acres she got to run around in twice a week in the mountains of San Diego, and the walks like clockwork every night, she was one happy dog.
Year old Sheba when we got her
Year old Sheba ready to pounce
It was quite easy to get Sheba to smile - all it took was a little food.  In fact she eventually trained us to share our dinners with her, have her lick our plates when we were done, and for dessert she got not one but two dog biscuits.  She taught my dad to play Tiddlybiscuits, where he gave her one big biscuit and one little one and she wouldn't eat them until he'd flipped them around with his foot for her a few times.
Smiling for biscuits
Our pretty blue-eyed blonde
Gimme more biscuits!
Pretty Sheba
That one time we thought she might have a drinking problem

Sheba had a lot of friends.  She would get to sit out on the front lawn all morning and watch the world go by.  She also had lots of friends she would check in with through peemail.  
Her neighbour friend Babe
She was also friends with our cat Bruce, and when I moved out and got a cat of my own she welcomed him as well.  She taught George from when he was a kitten that dogs are our friends. 

Kitten George and Sheba playing
She also really loved it when I took her to the beach.  She would sit in the back panting with excitement as we got close and she started to smell the salt water.  She'd run around and sniff butts and splash around in the surf.  She loved tennis balls, and if I brought one with me she'd go for a paddle to retrieve them.


Sheba joyously splashing around at the beach
Cone face Sheba
Another smiling Sheba
She loved going to the mountains.  She would help my dad with whatever task he was working on and was a great hiking companion. She even helped my brother run the Cat when he rented one to work on the roads.
Sheba and I on the Cat
We always took her whenever we went for hikes in the San Diego mountains.  She was a happy companion, never running too far ahead.
Sheba at Kitchen Creek
Happy dog
Sheba and I taking a break
Splashing through the water
Concentrating on her swim stroke
My brother and Sheba
Cooling off
She also really liked to help my dad vacuum.  And by help I mean bark really loudly whenever he used it.  Which was a lot because there always seemed to be a mountain of white dog hair covering everything.
Helping vacuum out the truck
Bark bark bark
Reindeer Sheba
Sheba unwrapping her Christmas present
One winter it snowed a lot (for San Diego) so we took her out to play in it.  She loved it of course.
Running through the snow
My brother and Sheba
Happy derp
We also hiked up Cuyamaca Peak every New Years' Day and of course she went with us there.
Hiking up Cuyamaca Peak
But as much as she loved us all, there was no doubt that my dad was her favourite.
My Dad and Sheba
He was the one who taught her how to sit in a chair at the dinner table and politely eat with a fork. Something he never managed to teach my brother...
Sitting at the dinner table
Eating with a fork
She wasn't a big fan of tricks, though she would sit if you made her and she did love to shake.
Perhaps if I shake I'll get more food?
She also liked to give my mom hugs, although something she also liked to trip her and knock her over depending on what other exciting thing she was trying to run to.
Sheba giving my mom a hug
Even though she was white, she wasn't afraid to get dirty.  She didn't particularly enjoy having baths though.
Dirty Sheba 
Running in the mountains
She always went to the mountains in the back of the van.  I remember one Sunday my dad was getting ready to go so she climbed in to wait.  It started raining so he ended up not going.  She sat in the front passenger seat with her head resting on the door waiting for hours after that to go.



She did clean up well though.


Dirty Sheba in the van
She did clean up well though.
Pretty Christmas Sheba
She also liked to jump up on the couch and take a nap.  You could never come over without getting covered in Sheba hair.  Ever try kicking an 80 pound stubborn dog off the couch?
Sheba on the couch
One summer I had an internship at the Petco corporate office and ended up with some fabulous outfits for Sheba.  She was very patient and modelled them for me.  She even won a costume contest once for Scariest Costume for her dinosaur look.
Queen Sheba
Dinosaur Sheba
Camoflauge Sheba
But she was happiest wearing her beautiful white coat.
Green makes white whiter don't you think?
Pretty Sheba
When my husband and I first started dating she was introduced as one of the family.  We went on hikes with her to Three Sisters Falls and to the mountains of course.  When we got our own little mini Sheba she taught her how to be a big dog, showing her how to run around the mountains, go for a swim, and smile.  We even took them to Baseball Games at Petco Park a couple times.  Sheba was Maybe's best friend.
Phil, Sheba, and I at Three Sisters
Hiking Three Sisters
At the baseball game
At the baseball game
Sheba teaching Maybe how to dig
Sheba teaching Maybe how to enjoy the scenery
This is what you do little dog
Sheba teaching Maybe how to swim
When we moved to Australia we knew there was a big possibility we wouldn't get to see Sheba again.  We made sure every time we saw her we left her with a smile and a great big hug goodbye.  She lived a few lives those last few years.  She got bit in the nose by a rattle snake, and then a couple years ago she accidentally got run over by the van.  She was almost put down, but after a few months of recovery her arthritis actually got better.
Sheba and the poppies
Sheba in the mountains
Sheba digs a hole
Hula Sheba
Happy Sheba
I was really happy to see her again after her accident.  I made sure my brother and I got pictures of Sheba while wearing our Sheba shirts in case we didn't have the chance again.  Sheba even made me take her for one more walk while I was trying to leave for the airport.
Sheba selfie
Sheba shirts
We got to see her one last time last July.  We could tell she was getting old, she was getting growths on her face and she had finally slowed down enough that she didn't constantly pull on her walks.  Only took 14 years!  We had one last trip to the mountains,   and one last hug goodbye.  Poor Sheba.

Hanging out with Sheba in the van
Cooling off in the mud
Walking with her person
Sheba smiling for ham
Are you going to finish that?
Cooling down in the mud
One last goodbye hug :(
Goodbye Sheba.  You were a great dog and we will really miss you.  Thank you for all of the smiles and memories.





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