I did not choose Loki. Lauren wanted a dog, so we visited the local shelter to look at them. We met a few and then we met Loki, who did not have a name. He had arrived at the shelter that very day, May 18th of 2013. Found as a stray on Highway 1 between San Simeon and Ragged Point, he was labeled as a "Gold & White Golden Retr Mix with Speckled Feet". Age was estimated at 7 months old, he was about 37 pounds and well fed. He was the sweetest dog, quiet and shy but very friendly and joined us in sitting in the plastic chairs in the playpen. Lauren was sold on his personality and hoped his size wouldn't be too much for her dad and stepmother whom she was to be living with after finishing her undergraduate degree at Cal Poly. Since he had just arrived, he had to be held for a week and be neutered before they could adopt him out. We just hoped he didn’t have neglecting parents that would come pick him up, he was such a good dog it seemed likely he had just escaped or something and someone was surely missing him.
We visited him again and he had really changed after becoming more comfortable with the kennel environment. He had a lot more playful energy in the play yard and continued to be super adorable. Lauren adopted him on the 24th of May, named him Misha, and then brought him all the way up to Oakland while he sulked from his recent surgery. He had a bit of a cold, so had nasty yellow snot leaking whenever he slept. He chewed up a glove, I believe, but was overall well mannered and slept a lot. The stepmother however did not approve, and Lauren was not going to be able to keep him. He was the perfect dog, and I couldn’t allow him to be returned to the shelter. I asked Tyler, and he agreed that I could take him but HE got to name him. Hence began the deal: I can bring in new pets, but Tyler gets to choose the name. I do approve the name, however, so he has to come up with a few options 😉
It was a little bit of a challenge, as we lived in an apartment that lacked a fenced in yard, though there was a yard outside our door which made things easier. I was still going to school, so we had to make up a kennel for him when I was in classes he couldn’t accompany me to. He was fine with the horses, though wary, but was scared of the barn itself. He had terrible recall in the beginning, and would literally get into strangers cars whenever he had a chance. It was difficult to train him, because though obviously intelligent he was terrified of doing something wrong. Not for fear of punishment, as I immediately learned severe punishment for him was a simple disapproving tone of voice, but just for fear of not pleasing me I think. For instance when indoors and you asked him to come, no matter how happy and joyful you sounded, he became very stressed and would take a few steps towards me and then turn and run away.
As his trust grew our training sessions improved drastically, and his recall became much better. He loved running at the barn and thought Tucker was his new best friend who loved him just as much. Even after getting kicked in the face by Tucker, he quickly forgave him. Tucker quickly realized Loki was there to stay and accepted his presence. I got to take Loki to my new job at PetDoors.com which helped get him out enough while I still took classes. Loki became the perfect dog. So much smarter than most dogs I know, he has a level of intelligence and understanding that makes him appear (and feel, his ego is slightly large) to be above other dogs. He has excellent obedience training but is not push button. He questions commands that are not logical, though can understand full sentences regularly and respond accordingly. He has tricked me numerous times while we played hide and seek, scaring me and dancing with doggy laughter afterwards. When we got Thanos, it was only made more obvious that Thanos was our first dog. Loki is something else, having him in our family is not like having a dog at all. He means everything to me, on a level only Tucker understands.