The Katie FAQ

3 03 2013

Whenever I’m out walking Katie, my Malamute, I’m always asked the same questions, not that I mind re-telling them, though I have often joked about writing a FAQ… Well here it is.

What sort of dog is Katie?

An Alaskan Malamute.


I have heard there’s a difference between the Alaskan Malamute and the other one, what is it? the Husky?

A Siberian Husky is a smaller breed, they’re strong and agile and mainly bred to pull people in the snow. An Alaskan Malamute is larger and stronger, think about Clydesdale Horses in comparison to a Quarter horse. Malamutes are used to pull freight through snow, and people too.

Is it hard to keep her cool in Summer?

It can be, Summers in Melbourne can be very hot, but Katie likes to be inside with me and we have a lovely air conditioner to keep her cool.

Does she eat a lot?

Not really, at least I don’t seem to notice it, a bowl of food in the evening seems to be enough, she has milk and eggs too (sometimes) and a snack in the evening. She will will also lick up whatever the cat (Vicky) leaves behind after her breakfast.

He meals mostly consist of 4legs meatballs which I get from Coles, and if I’m having pasta, Katie will share some of that with me. I might give her canned food now and then, but rarely… she sometimes gets dry food, but I don’t like it and mostly avoid it.

People say dogs should eat dry food, really? Have you ever heard of a wolf going hunting for kibble? and would you eat dry food all the time? I doubt it.

Where did you get her?

Katie had been running free around Puckapunyal military base in Victoria, Australia. She had been picked up by the local vet who loved Katie and tried desperately to find her a good home. She would load Katie into her ute and drive around looking for someone to take her, but nobody would.

I had sadly lost my beautiful dog, Benny, a Malamute too, to Cancer (and didn’t know at the time, but I had it too and would soon be in hospital) and had decided that I absolutely must get another dog.

I had contacted Bennys breeder on via an e-mail list I was on at the time, She had one puppy available, and I was considering buying her, but then the people on the list became aware of Katie.

I wasn’t quite sure of what to do, Buy the puppy or take Katie.

Katie had one day to go before being put down, the vet had kept her a week more than she should have, and the pup had been sold to someone else.

I said I’d have Katie.

Bennys breeder picked Katie up and drove her down to me, where She’s lived since 2005.

Does she get along with cats?

Yes, She lives with Vicky and things are mostly ok between them, though at first it was havoc, Katie wanted to chase Vicky, and Mum and I were forced to feed Vicky on the roof for a few weeks until Mum had enough, and so we began to introduce the pair to each other.

Does Katie bark or make a lot of noise?

No, She rarely barks at all, but will howl for me when I go out, often she’s so quiet that she will bed down somewhere and it will be as though she’s not here… it was the same for Benny.

I bet your carpet is covered with fur.

Yes, and so are all my clothes and every other surface you can name, well, it’s not that bad (though there’s fur on my keyboard as I type). People tend to dump these dogs for that reason in particular, but they make such awesome family members, who cares if there’s a bit of fur here and there? not me.

Does she dig?

Malamutes are known for digging, not just a small hole, but a den… Katie doesn’t dig much, but once I was out in the garden and fell in a hole that went up to my knee!

Is She friendly?

Yes, She loves to meet everyone, especially kids, but I have to watch them carefully. Katie had a disease called pyometra years ago, which made her very sore around her rear end, as such, her tail is off limits to everyone even though she’s all better now, but the kids all want to touch that big fluffy tail, so I try to keep them at the front end.