Likes: Sleeping on her huge pillow, walks, that first charge out the door to chase squirrels and birds when we let her out back, and food food food.
Pet-Peeves: Being bothered by her "younger brother", Cairo, when she'd rather be sleeping.
Favorite Toy: She doesn't really play with toys much anymore, but once upon a time she had a little orange squeaky football she loved to hunt. When she was younger she was an avid toy murderer.
Favorite Food: Well she once won a contest that involved 'bobbing for hot dogs'. There was definitely enthusiasm in that like never seen before...
Favorite Walk: Sneaking off into the woods and swamp at our lakehouse.
Best Tricks: "Paw, now Other Paw", balancing a treat on her nose and then catching it, plenty of obedience and lots of agility.
Arrival Story: I was about to go into 5th grade and had spent about 2 years pestering my parents to get a dog as I'd always wanted one. Eventually they said 'ok' and after much research/preparation I began calling pounds across the state, looking for available puppies. What may seem like a drastic problem in most states is completely reversed in Massachusetts: it's quite difficult to find a mutt puppy for adoption. So hard in fact that shelters have started importing puppies from problem areas. We finally called the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem, MA and found that they had about 16 puppies available. This shelter is known for importing mutt pups from areas like West Virginia and even Puerto Rico. Well, when we got there (right before closing time), we browsed through the pups they had and after almost falling for a little chow mix, we found a cage holding Nikki and her brother, a little white pup with golden spots (they came from West Virginia). We asked to take Nikki out and after spending some time with her decided she was a spectacular little girl and promptly took her home that night to begin my days of dog ownership.
Bio: Nikki is my first dog and dearly loved. We don't know for sure what breed she is but as near as we can tell she's half Golden Retriever and half Saluki. We know it's a bit unlikely for a dog to be crossed with Saluki as it's a fairly rare breed, but we've found no other dog that resembles her as closely. The slender waist (characteristic of hounds, including Salukis), as well as the long fur between the toes (characteristic of Salukis), combined with her black "eyeliner" and long, thin face tipped us off. Many people refer to her as an "underfed Golden", but she is neither underfed nor pure Golden. She's got a lovely Golden coat (maybe a bit too short to be pure Golden hair) with a fantastic plume of a tail, and silky-soft Golden-esque ears that fit a bit too large on her slender hound face.
Ever since she was a pup she's always been quite different than other dogs. She does a remarkable job blending in nicely with the family and learning all the rules of the household. Her only problematic behaviors are her inability to stop herself from growling even after we've 'ok'ed guests as friends and her inability to interact with other dogs. Her idea of 'playing' with other dogs is a bit too rough to be normal, but I'm pretty sure that was our fault for not giving her the proper socialization as a pup.
My favorite little quirk of hers is her "Burr Headbutt" -- whenever she's feeling particularly friendly she'll sidle up to you and press her face into your leg and just stand there. This is usually rewarded with much scratching and rubbing of the ears by the human being headbutted and when they stop, she rubs her face all around in an irrisistibly cute manner that usually results in more scratching and rubbing and overall fuss over her adorable self.
Nikki's getting a bit older and spends most of her days sleeping on the comfiest spot available in the house (usually her dog pillow or any other pillow lying around), and most definitely beside the fireplace in the winter. While neither insistent for attention nor ignorant of the human race, her personality is a perfect blend of the two - she prefers to show affection on her own terms, but when she does, there's no doubt she loves you.