Happy Tail: The eyes have it!

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Simone Erchov of Fairfax, VA, wanted to adopt a dog, but she had particular requirements. She wanted one that matched her energy but that would be okay if left alone for long stretches. The dog would also have to get along with Simone’s young nieces. She wasn’t having any luck.

“Ready to give up for the time being, I clicked through some listings on Petfinder one last time. That’s when I found the ad,” Simone says.

Dakota loves being out on the trail for a hike.

Dakota loves being out on the trail for a hike.

Looking back at her from the screen were the ice blue eyes of a Husky. She had the coloring of a Shepherd. Simone contacted Hampshire County Animal Control in Paw Paw, WV, to set up a meeting.

She grabbed her sister and nieces and off they went to meet this dog, who had been picked up as a pregnant stray. When they got to the shelter, “she threw herself at us in an effort to play but was never rough,” Simone says. The following week she returned to adopt Dakota.

Simone speculates that the dog may have always been a stray because she engages in tracking, hunting and finding small places for shelter. “She likes to hide in our woodpile, underneath the table and between couch corners. She was afraid of basements and storm drains,” although those fears have subsided.

“She is smart as a whip,” Simone says. “I tell my friends she can teach them to feed her treats in exchange for a new trick in under 15 minutes.” She likes fetching small tree branches–nothing else-and hiking, running and car rides.

“She greets everyone with what we affectionately deem ‘morning snorfles,’ where she snorts and grunts in excitement. And, like with little kids, when the house gets quiet you know she’s up to something.”

Simone sums her personality up: “She’s the perfect mix of independent (while I have to work away from the house) and affectionate (the ultimate cuddle bug when her people are home.)” She also has energy to spare when they’re on the trail.

A few months after the adoption, Simone’s sister joked that Dakota and Simone proved the rule that owners and their dogs often have similar personalities. Joking aside, it’s a perfect match.