Terriers are the greatest... but I've loved a Malamute husky also.

On a blanket spread in the grass at the base of a large elm tree

...sits a medium sized Malamute husky. In the center of the blanket there is a small infant just able to crawl. I watch as the child begins to crawl from the center of the blanket to the edge. The dog watches the child with utmost concentration.

In the late '60s I lived for a time in an apartment on Capitol Hill in Denver, Colorado. My constant companion at this time was named Gnossos Papadopoulis, a female Malamute Husky. I named her for the protagonist in a book by Richard Farina, Joan Baez's sister's husband. The book was called "Been Down So Long, Everything Looks Like Up to Me". OK... it was maybe a counter-culture book, but I really liked the name.

I've always loved dogs and one day someone

in the neighborhood offered me a Malamute pup. Well, I had always rather admired huskies, being of the generation growing up with Sergeant Preston of the Yukon. This as you may or not recall, now show your age, was a Saturday morning television show in the late '50s and early '60s. In it the tough Canadian Mountie would foil bad-guys with the not inconsiderable help of his faithful Husky, King.

King would, week after week, solve the most baffling cases involving miscreants and misfits. Of course he had a little help from his faithful master, the Mountie Sergeant Preston.

When I was a kid there were many doggy heroes in the movies and on TV. A boy can learn a lot about life and loyalty from such stories.

OK... back to the Malamute on the blanket...

oh, yeah, and the child. In the Capitol Hill apartment building where we lived their was a single mother. Sally had very recently given birth to a baby boy, Jamie. I had known her for some time and had somewhat "adopted" her child, even baby-sitting a couple of times.

Gnossos was fascinated with the new "puppy" and also seemed to adopt him. She was always very attentive and while Jamie was in the room she rarely took her eyes off him.

On the day of this tale we had all decided to take a walk with the "family" to Civic Center Park, located in downtown Denver at the Capitol Building. We brought a picnic and toys for the baby and dog.

After a leisurely lunch we sat talking and noticed, once again, the way Gnossos was keeping an eye on Jamie. There was nothing that could distract her, not even a couple of squirrels which were scampering close by.

We wondered just how good a babysitter a Malamute might actually be. I told Gnossos to watch Jamie while Sally and I took a little constitutional.

We both walked away and found an out of the way place to hide and watch.

For some time the Malamute sat there with his total attention on the child. The child eventually began to get restless and to crawl on the blanket. He finally made it to the edge of the blanket and as we watched from the shadows, the Malamute walked over, picked the infant up by his diaper and placed him in the middle of the blanket.

This went on as Jamie made several attempts to escape to the outside world, each time the Malamute would carry him back to the center of the blanket. After about 5 minutes of this and many attempts at escape, the Malamute had finally had enough of it. One more time he walked over to the edge of the blanket, gently picked up the infant by his diaper, walked back to the center of the blanket, placed the child back in his safe place... turned around and sat on him.