Whenever I picture Tamere, I picture here in a ballerina costume. She’s a tough feisty female. She’s a very girly dog and she owns every bit of it. Tamere is a female in charge and she is 100% ok with letting you know that.
I should know. You see, Tamere and I have a very long drawn out and overly dramatic history together. For a long time, I was the other-woman to Tamere. Travis was her man. Travis got Tamere when she was young from another musher — “too young,” he’ll say sometimes looking back now — and so he raised her inside and took her everywhere with him. As a puppy she spent many nights curled up next to him in bed (I am sure she loved every minute of it) and bonded fiercely with him.
Then, of course, one day I entered the picture and everything changed.
Tamere tolerated me — at first. You see, she’s the type of dog that can’t help but be friendly. But, like a teenage girl, she soon came to see me as an enemy. As the other woman. As the thing she had to fight for Travis’ attention.
Of course, she utterly despised me.
She was very subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle in how she showed it. One one particularly memorable occasion in the fall of 2012 when Travis started training for Iditarod, he choose to camp the team right outside our house. He came inside and got a sleeping bag and curled up with the dogs. It was a beautiful night so I followed suit. I went to lay my sleeping bag down next to Travis who was curled up with Tamere, but she would have none of it. She put her hackles up started barking at me.
This is my turf. She said.
Travis laughed. “Well, the lead dog has spoken. Sorry, inside for you tonight honey!”
You can imagine how put out I was by that.
She would often act friendly to me when Travis was around but as soon as he’d leave she would bark at me as if to say go away you’re not welcome here.
And once, by my own ignorance and sheer stupidity, Tamere got me completely tangled in the gangline. I was the evil-step-mother and it seemed like she would do anything to chase me off.
It didn’t work.
And then, with time, she softened.
Tamere is one of the spunkiest dogs in our kennel and has one of the biggest personalities. When I think of Tamere, I always think of her in a ballerina costume. How this idea first sprang into my head I could not tell you, but I can tell you that I think it is fitting. She is a very graceful and determined dog. Although she doesn’t always believe in herself, with encouragement she has done some pretty amazing things. She is another small dog with a big heart.
We love you Tamere! Thank you for all your hard work over the last few years. Tamere has two young pups in our kennel, Coda and Bensen. They share their mom’s incredible zest for life and over-the-top personalities.