My new dog – meet Runa!
Time for proper introductions. Everyone, meet Runa the lab mix!
We picked her up from the breeder when she was 9 weeks old, and now she’s already 5 months. So far she has completely taken over both my life and my social media accounts. :P
Runa is the Swedish word for rune, as in a letter from the runic alphabet.
Other names considered were Aska (ash), Brynja (hauberk/mail), and Tuva (tuft of grass), but we decided Runa sounded best. :)
Runa’s mum is a purebred black Labrador Retriever and her dad is labrador mixed with Alaskan husky and/or Eurohound.
I assume everyone – even people who are not dog nerds – know what a labrador is, but I realise I might need to explain the other parts…
Alaskan husky isn’t a breed but a type of mix bred exclusively for being good sled dogs. They’re usually mixes of Siberian huskies, Alaskan malamutes and other typical sled dog breeds.
The Eurohound (or Scandinavian Hound as they’re also called) is another crossbreed made with Alaskan husky and German short-haired pointer. The pointer makes for a lighter and faster dog used for short distances. Sometimes they even add a bit of greyhound or other sighthound breeds for even more speed.
Runa is mostly lab, but the part of her that isn’t is probably more eurohound than husky. At least if you go by her looks and the looks of her dad.
Picking the puppy
We found Runa through an online ad, which is a pretty standard way of getting a dog where I live. Like I’ve said before we don’t have shelters in my country so “rescuing” isn’t an option. People buy and sell dogs either via ads or word of mouth.
The sellers/breeders seemed decent enough and the parent dogs were both super sweet. Calm, happy, friendly, and well-behaved. They kept the puppies indoors in their house, which is a good sign. That means the pups have experienced the household life and not been isolated in a kennel somewhere.
Out of a litter of 5, only 2 were still available. Both females.
“This one,” said the breeder while pointing to one pup “is the most energetic and outgoing. She’s a handful, but her mum was a handful too as a puppy and she turned out great. The other one is calmer and more stable, but also more independent. So how much ‘power’ do you want? How much energy and will to work?”
It was a difficult decision to make, and Markus let me do it as I’m more experienced with dogs. In the end, I picked the second puppy.
I would never say this so Runa can hear me, but her sister was actually cuter… 😶 She was leaner, with fluffier fur and a prettier face. Runa had a bulkier and less graceful look about her, but I liked her description more. She’s of high energy breeds and was of course very bouncy and active too, but she seemed slightly less crazy. I also sort of liked the independent streak. A dog with a will of its own isn’t a bad thing imo – and I’ve owned a very independent whippet. I doubt even the most self-sufficient lab can compare to the cat-like aloofness of a sighthound.
Of course, puppies can change a lot as they grow up so it’s always a gamble what kind of temperament you’ll end up with. Not to mention that how you raise it plays a HUGE part as well. But you have to make a decision based on the information at hand, and I went with my gut that said to pick the second puppy. Only time will tell if it was a good choice, but so far I think it was. 😊
The cat is pissed tho
Suffice to say, Maja is NOT amused with the new family member. 😬
She was ok with my old dog, but he was there before her and also already used to cats. He never bothered her in the slightest. They both sort of acted like the other didn’t exist, so while they weren’t friends there was no conflict either.
Runa, on the other hand, had never seen a cat before moving in with us. And she’s just a baby with no concept of… anything at all really. She wants to play with the cat and can’t understand what all the hissing and running away is about. 🤔 So currently the cat spends most of her time perched on high furniture and looking annoyed.
We’re doing our best to train the pup and Maja is getting braver and more often chose to stand her ground rather than run away. Which is good as it shows she’s not playing. And it’s getting better all the time, so I hope it won’t be an issue much longer. I don’t expect them to love each other, but they have to learn to coexist under the same roof.
We’re not doing a whole lot with her yet as she’s so young. Just training the basics (sit, stay, recall etc.) and letting her explore the world. So far she appears to have a high will-to-please and shows great potential to become a fun and very trainable dog.
She’s happy, energetic and full of mischief – never a dull moment! 🐶 ❤