I haven’t written too much about the third being in my day-to-day life, the Kracken. He just turned three years old. He’s approaching full maturity and at his recent check-up topped out at 80 pounds. 80 pounds of muscle, bark and intelligent civil disobedience.
The Kracken is the Drama King of the house. Through whimpers, whines, sighs and barks, he communicates endlessly throughout our days. He also does the “sad dog” eyes just to make sure he’s getting his message across. The beast does make me laugh. He has an opinion on everything. He also is incredibly nosy, literally. If you bring anything new into the house, he needs to thoroughly smell it. I mean stuff his nose inside it and snort in the smells. If the Hunter and I are hugging, he squirms his way between us to be part of what has now become a group hug. If we are cooking, he squirms between us and the counter. I claim because in his next life he wants to be a chef, but we all know he’s simply positioning himself for a fortuitous dropped morsel.
He awakens us each morning and cajoles us out the door for our walk. The Hunter has been teaching him patience. Although the Kracken believes we should spring from bed and immediately run out the door for a long, long walk, the Hunter leisurely gets up, has some coffee, checks his email, goes to the bathroom, has some more coffee, checks his Instagram, heads back to the bathroom and then perhaps we will head out the door.
After a good walk, the Kracken and I enjoy mornings sitting on the front porch. He’s on a long lead and I’m drinking coffee while reading. We both watch the neighbors stroll by. He has those dogs he likes and those he can’t stand. He hates huskies — that wolf-like stare raises his hackles and elicits fierce barking. Cue the training collar. He loves little dogs, labs and kids, although no kids on scooters. For some reason, he hates scooters. He likes bikes because The Hunter takes him around the neighborhood with the bike. We think the scooter situation is because he hasn’t had a chance to check it out up close.
He and I get along fine although it’s a constant skirmish of who is #2 in the household pack. The Hunter is clearly the Alpha male, but the Kracken likes to see what he can get away with when he’s with me and he will push his boundaries. His latest bad habit happens when we are alone. Those days when the Hunter heads out to work appointments before me and then I’m dressed and heading out the door myself. As soon as the Kracken hears my heels hit the stairs, he starts barking.
It’s not just any barking. You need to understand that The Kracken is bred to be hunting dog. He’s a chaser, so he’s fast and has a loud bark so hunters can keep up with him. His bark is huge. Add in high ceilings and it echos throughout the house. I can’t hear myself speak when he cranks it up.
The Hunter isn’t having any of that nonsense. He puts on the training collar (aka shock collar) and that usually subdues the Kracken who knows what will be happening next. I’m the softie and I hate using the training collar. I know it’s the only way, so I reluctantly will do it to save my hearing and my sanity. The Kracken knows I’m a softie and uses that to his advantage. I have to remember that….
The training collar has been a game-changer with the Kracken. Yes, I thought it was cruel, but it isn’t. It’s necessary. He can get a beeping warning and/or a vibration before he gets zapped and even the zap has different levels. He’s smart enough to know that when we put it on him and pick up the control, he better get his ass in line.
Now that his shots are all up-to-date, he got to go to the dog park near the house. It was glorious. He spent the first 10 minutes running flat out all around the park. Many of the dogs joined him in an attempt to chase him down and he easily outran them all. He was in his glory — full speed, leaping around, outracing all who challenged him. It was a sight to see. He is an incredibly handsome animal and watching him in his prime was beautiful.
Then, just like any youngster, he was done. He had sprinted himself into exhaustion and plopped down in the shade on the damp grass to cool off. After a few minutes, he was ready to trot around and make some friends, wrestle and just generally play like any kid on the playground. I love it when he burns off all that energy because he returns home calm and ready for a day of napping.
For all his noise, drama and mess, he is a great buffer/third wheel/member of the household. He is a wonderful diversion, gives the Hunter a companion all the time and keeps us active by walking ALL THE TIME.
So, we have made it to the other side with the Kracken. The Hunter has spent countless hours training him and it shows. He does the commands of “Stay”, “Sit”, “Get inside”, “Go to bed”, “Quiet”, “Come” and more. He’s defender of the home with a fierce bark, but loves every person he meets. He’s an unusual breed and this article gives you some insight on his daddy , the Plott hound. and his mama is a Florida cur — two tough breeds bred to be outside. I understand him and respect him, but he is not my dog. He is the Hunter’s dog through and through.