In posh Noe Valley, amid Victorian and Edwardian homes, lives smart and stealthy Rita.
This stunning Siberian husky keeps us on our toes with her wily, willful ways. We thought our Rome petsitting pup, Kiddo, was clever, but that was before meeting Rita!
With her wolf-like appearance, beautiful coat, and multi-colored eyes, Rita is definitely striking. Some people are intimidated by this particular breed, but huskies are actually quite friendly – and extremely smart.
We did some research before our petsit and learned that huskies thrive on human company. While all dogs have a “pack” mentality, it’s particularly prominent in huskies. They demand attention and interaction from their humans. Best to keep them occupied before boredom – or worse, bad behavior – sets in.
Fortunately, we love to wander and Rita is the perfect companion for long, meandering walks.
Our typical routine consists of heading down 24th Street with its myriad of cafes, restaurants and boutique shops. Rita doesn’t seem to mind when we take her out for a working lunch or an afternoon drink. In fact, she seems quite content to simply be out and about with us.
We love that San Francisco is so pet-friendly. And with even more outdoor dining after the pandemic, it makes it easy to have our furry friends along with us.
On days without a specific agenda, Rita seems to sense our ambiguity. She takes the lead, asserting her opinion on where she wants to go – and not go.
One afternoon, Rita insisted we follow her, tugging us in a new direction. She ending up leading us to a random store where she sat down at the entrance and did not budge. We weren’t sure what was going on until the store owner appeared. He gave Rita an enthusiastic greeting, promptly followed by a doggie treat.
Did we mention huskies are smart?
Afterwards, Rita led us to a couple more storefront owners so we could meet her extended “pack” (i.e. anyone with treats.) Very clever, indeed!
Well into our petsit, we made the mistake of not taking Rita with us to dinner one night. We arrived home to find a completely destroyed doggie bed in her crate – stuffing was everywhere.
When Rita saw us, she immediately started howling – a typical husky behavior. As inherent pack animals, they often become very attached to their humans and howling is how they communicate. Rita was expressing her frustration (that we left) along with her excitement (that we were back.)
One thing for sure, there is never a dull moment with a husky.
Since that incident, Rita accompanies us most everywhere we go. We took her on a picnic to beautiful Scribe winery in Sonoma County, as well as a stroll along Rodeo Beach near Sausalito. We also arranged a couple of playdates with Haru, another one of our San Francisco petsitting pups. The two of them get along great – primarily because sweet, skittish Haru is totally fine with Rita being the alpha dog.
No matter where we go – whether it’s Twin Peaks hilltop park, Cole Valley farmer’s market, or a quick stroll around the block – it’s clear Rita is happiest simply being included in whatever we’re doing.
After all, the desire to belong isn’t just exclusive to humans. Companionship and camaraderie is something dogs need as well – and Rita makes sure we know that.