John stops us on our walk to ask after Coyote. We pause, and I fill him in on her slow, drawn-out deterioration.
“They’re a super-breed,” he says, pointing at Coyote with his chin.
Blinking, “I’m sorry…what?”
“Huskies,” he tells me. “I did a little research, and they metabolize food differently, so they can go longer on less.”
And it hits me, full-force in the chest: Huskies are the closest that domestic dogs come to wolves. They’ve retained many of the wolf characteristics throughout their journey from fire pit to fire place. One of those characteristics is a kind of “famine mode” for absorbing nutrients from their food.
I gaze down at my sweet girl, trembling with weakness where she stands, as John continues elaborating on how the husky’s loping run conserves energy; how their fur insulates them from heat and cold… I can only make sense of scattered words because my mind is jangling with one simple, cruel fact:
My god, her genetics are prolonging her death.