Living With Loki

The Lovely, LARGE Loki!

Meet the newest member of our family, Loki!
MY husband has wanted a Mastiff for quite a while, checking out breeders for possible adult return dogs, rescue associations, and private ads. And it finally 'paid off'.  Loki needed to be re-homed.

So, this page of my quilting, wooly, birds, life blog is dedicated to the tales of learning to Live With Loki.

Loki is 'reverse brindle' coloring. He is looking for his chewy...

1.  Leave home Monday morning at 8 a.m., drive and drive and drive, arrive at Loki's house at 1:40. No one home... So, drive and drive to a hotel and before we can check in, phone rings, Loki's mom says, "oops, sorry! Home now!" Drive and drive back, meet Loki, drive and DRIVE some seriously more (from Auburn to NORTH 160th) to Rich's Corner Car Lot. It is an...interesting place. Buy a car, drive back to hotel. To be continued...

2.  The next day we scooped Loki up, drove back up to pick up the 'new' car (1995 BMW Station wagon), and then Lindy and Loki headed home on the 6 hour drive. Stopped at Sultan, stopped at Tumwater, stopped at Wells Dam. We bonded. We are home. Yay!
AND...I may have to start another blog..."Mastiff Musings" or some such. Possible Blog titles/themes keep coming to mind as I learn to live with Loki.
Blog potential #1. "I own a Mastiff, therefore I wear jeans". (Remember movie Turner and Hooch? As in SLOBBER, shake head forcefully, flinging slobber left and right.)
#2. How to knit with a Mastiff's head * on your lap. *Mastiff heads weigh about 49 pounds
I think.
#3. How to spin yarn on your wheel with a Loki leaning on the treadle. See #2 * above
#4. Rubber Rooster squeaky toys (Rick bought it! Not me!) Poor, tired Loki was resting on the floor with his head raised staring blankly into space-very tired dog- when he collapsed onto his side, only to leap instantly to his feet in shocked fear. He had rolled over onto the squeaky Rubber Rooster chew toy. Scared him to pieces. Being a caring, loving Mastiff mother, I guffawed until he seemed embarrassed.
#5. Who brought a banana slug in the house and turned it loose on the furniture? See #1...

3.  He already knows he is not to get on furniture (as he did at his previous abode) but he is so tall that he 'leans' by the couch or ottoman and suddenly I realize he is sitting on them! But technically he isn't 'up' on them! :?}

4.  Rick, who researches EVERYTHING, says the breed will bond with the lady of the home first, then the man. AND Loki may have had a mastiff, cat, 5 kids and a man in his home, but he was the Mom's dog. All that to say that Loki and I bonded on the way home in the Subaru. Truly, the dog in your life version of travel, with its points of interest and stretching and walking is much better than the solo pedal to the metal human mileage. And the bonding came in VERY handy this morning when I insisted Rick start his part of the bonding and take Loki out to the garden to 'walk'. A very upset Rick came and said, "I need your help!". Loki had panicked and shot off, leash and all into the black of 6 a.m. morning. There is a highway half a mile from us and Loki is fast. Happy ending, but quite the picture-Rick driving the Subaru, since Loki trusts it, Lindy in Red fleece robe, slippers and carrying a huge flashlight walking the dark road saying "Loki, Loki" until Rick shines the car lights into our part of the woods by the road and I spot Loki. Loki is scared so I plop down, right on the dirt road, call once more and tail wagging mastiff galumps right over to me. This is like having a toddler again! Stress! But, oh the priceless 'love' you get in return! Almost half of the mastiff is presently crammed under my desk at my feet, the other half stretched out almost to wall...

5.  Loki is thrilled with being an outdoor dog! He has been a teensy-backyard-in-the-city dog and now has   
    3.65 acres to make me walk several times a day. I might lose weight yet!

6.  I have always had a fairly substantial relationship with gravity... I am 'well grounded' so to speak. This morning Rick wanted to join Loki and I on our 'long walk' around the property. Without thinking about Loki's feelings I tried handing the leash over to Rick. Um...not a smooth move. A Mastiff owner should learn all things pertaining to their dog; their likes, dislikes, fears, abilities. I am ever so glad to find out that Loki can pull his own weight (and then some!) across frosted ground even though said weight is wearing a non-skid ski coat. Mother and dog are both doing fine...

7.  Well, Max Cat has not only come out from hiding 2 days in the closet but worked and worked tonight until he finally got to rub up against Loki 's leg. This was no mean feat and totally a show of adoration and acceptance on Max 's part. Loki had a cat in his last home, one that must have nailed him as a pup and /or all his life, because this hurkin ' mastiff is terrified if the cat approaches him.
I helped Max execute his plan to buddy up to Loki by distracting the dog with petting and sweet, happy talk. Max used the ol' 1-2 method. Rub up against Lindy 's leg and subtly ooze on over to Loki's leg. Loki responded as if to a stun gun - moving himself QUICKLY out of range. Max loves big dogs. Our rottie, Sabrina, was his favorite napping partner. So, can run, but Max WILL persevere!

8.  Oh, dear...Deer! This morning's little (ad) venture out to the pine tree included spotting a doe and her latest fawn. Loki and I stood on the porch just watching them for a few minutes, as he has never seen deer before. He wasn't afraid, just highly interested in them, especially when they moved around. If you've read my past posts you know the deer here are NOT afraid of humans so the movements were very slow, calm, ambling-until Loki and I took the first step off the deck! In one heart beat deer jogged off, Loki lunged to follow them, I sternly shouted (couldn't help it!) NO! and pulled back on his leash. My angels are exhausted, but still with me. I know because there were so many 'coulda beens'. Coulda pulled me off the step, breaking my body parts. Coulda pulled the lead from my wrist (with hand still holding on). Coulda turned me into a sledge again. But, no. In that heartbeat Loki stopped instantly, we watched the deer a bit more, he did his duty and we came inside. Rick and I discussed Loki's body language and the event and decided he wasn't doing the wolf hunting scenario. Our Loki is a lover and misses his 5 kids/1cat/other Mastiff playmates. He wanted to run and join the deer in a romp. Oh, my....

9.  I know I SHOULD be ready to release the lead...but right now the thought of anything happening to Loki or losing him to highway or strangers has jumped started my maternal instincts. Just a few minutes ago I went out to chop wood and gave Loki 'a moment to himself' which he promptly used to head to the neighbor's fenceline across the dirt road from us and would not listen to his Mama to 'come' until she said "come" in a firm, calm tone, then turned to walk away from him up the hill to the house. Within 2 seconds he galloped past me all giddy with freedom, headed to the back door! Sigh...

10.  There is a poignancy in relationships...even with a big ol' slobbering Loki dog. Just one week into learning to trust me, getting to know the routine of his days and finding security in that knowledge, I throw him a curve. Loki knows that 'Mom' gets up around 7-ish, throws on her red robe and giant snow boots, grabs his leash and takes him for the walk to the pine tree. Then back inside to make a huge latte' and sit down at the computer for a spell where Loki has learned to take a snooze until activity is resumed. But today I wanted to get some things done before taking Loki to the vet for some ear care (which included sedation!) so I made the bed, got dressed, did the dishes, brushed my hair and teeth. It was while brushing that I looked down at a Loki that was leaning against my leg with his head turned slightly away from me and hanging low. He does this when he senses I am going to leave the house without him, which I have only done twice. It was soooo sad! And then to put him in the car, where he seems to love to ride, only to drive to the vet which entailed a very slow and careful entry into the building with a quivering Mastiff. This guy breaks my heart! He doesn't know if and/or when I will return. He doesn't understand whats going on...
He is home again now, so drugged he is flat out on his bed which we placed by Rick's recliner. Loki is being petted, petted, petted by an empathetic Rick.
If you have never met a Mastiff you wouldn't know that, dog that they are, they have a 'presence' about them. Part of it is their size, but a portion of it is their soul. I have looked that soul in the liquid brown eyes and I am so touched that he trusts me.

11.   I have let the Loki tails/tales lag for a day, but we need positive. We need gentle humor. So...this morning Rick and I are still abed, but I at least was close to coming to, when we hear what sounds like deer running the length of the deck-but then I hear the 'Mrrrrrrrowhhhh-hiss' of a cat fight. Loki and I go to the front door, turn on the light and see a HUGE orange and white cat (I am guessing 20 lbs. as Max is 15 lbs. and this amazon was towering over him!) pinning our Max to the deck and against the Adirondack chair. This bully cat is so concentrating on annihilating Max he doesn't even glance when the door opens, or the light comes on, or notice a human of medium size and a dog of Mastiff proportions. I clap my hands, saying, "Shoo!" Cat glances at me, doesn't see Loki right next to me. I step out, stamping my foot, and throw a quickly scooped snowball at him. He looks again. This time he sees Loki and freezes. Knowing Loki is afraid of cats I still give it a try and step forward again saying, "Get 'im, Loki!" Loki thinks this is play time and 'bounces' at the cat to engage him in play. Zoom, under the deck the bully goes, with Loki on his heels all but whining, "Come back!". Max looks stunned but quickly heads for the open door and safety. Loki now checks under the deck just about every time we go outside... 

12.  Tonight on our walk out to the pine tree, flashlight in hand, I am delighted to see this new dog of ours repeatedly trying to catch snowflakes in his mouth! I LOVE this Mastiff! 

Well, today Rick and I had to try something 'new' for Loki. We all drove to Omak, dropped me off at the car fix it place to pick up the Subaru, while Rick and the trapped Loki drove back home. Rick reports Loki stared out the back of the BMW most the way home. When he got home he grabbed the leash and patiently coached Loki out of the back end. But, the minute his paws hit the driveway he lunged loose from the ever 'evil and terrifying for some reason' Rick and would not come to him, of course. So, Rick went in, leaving the door open to the 22* day. Loki went to the other side of the house to get in. So, Rick would close one door and go to open the Loki chosen door, only to have him run to the other side of the house. Why not just open both doors, you ask. Rick did, and Loki ran in one, straight through the house and out the other. Rick finally just left the back door open and went out to the garage for a while. When he came back Loki was in, the house was down to 55* and it had taken half an hour for this procedure. Life with Loki...sigh...

14. With all the snow falling and avoiding the holiday shopping crowd, I had time to actually get a little 'cabin fever'. My method of alleviating that condition was studying and measuring Loki. 
a. Loki is 29" 'high' at the withers/shoulder.
b. From the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail he is 77" long, 6 foot 5! My husband is 6' 4". That is a lot of length walking around our home.
c. Loki's neck measures 25". We measured so we can get a new collar for him. Rick loves shopping online!
d. Loki came with a folder of his papers and stats. Genealogy of this mastiff reads like a 'who's who'! Loki's 'dad' was Olympic Big Head Ed, whose sire was CH King Mustafah who was out of King Zeb of Maple Grove & Megan's Maggie Mae. Old Zeb was out of Geolin Farm's Uncle Ole and katy Estella Hovis. Maggie Mae was out of Harley Ray Davidson and Pfeffer's Queen Sarabi. It goes back a couple more generations with Cleopatra and Mangus, Bubba Bear (out of Sir Grizzly, of course) Sheba, Sampson...   Loki's mom was Sweet Sense of Amelia. That's where he gets his brindle. Both Amelia and Big Head Ed are brindles.
Rick and I joke we should register Loki as Olympic Sir Slobbers-a-lot...

15. Dec. 27, 2012
What a difference a week with Loki can make. I no longer have to walk Loki out to the pine tree! I just open the slider in the bedroom and send him forth! Yay! He does his thing, sniffs about a bit (he LOVES flushing the quail!) and then shows up at the back slider on the other side of the house, tail wagging, ready to come in. I am leaving for a couple days, so keep Rick in your thoughts and prayers. His bonding  with Loki is progressing, but this is sort of like 'cold turkey'. Should have lots of material for my blog when I get back... 

16. Dec. 31, 2012

Loki can't be 'bought'. He is not a food hound. He will gobble hotdog chunks from Rick, but only if Rick is at least seated-better yet, if he is reclined in his recliner. But if Rick is standing, holding out a hot dog bite, and Loki decides Rick is too scary standing there he WILL NOT come to get the nibble. He may be drooling like Niagra Falls. He may want it, want it badly, but he will not be bribed to do something he doesn't want to do. He will go lie under the kitchen table, slobbering, but resolute. A stranger could never lure my Loki away from home with food...with one exception. Dairy Queen gives drive through window doggy treats of a little ice cream. Our server, Joanna, is Loki's new love of his life!

17. Jan. 14, 2013

Wow! This month is zooming along!  Loki is acclimating more and more to Rick, this home, me. And he is cracking me up with his 'habits'! 

Loki 'sits' on the furniture. Sometimes his hind toes don't even touch the ground. Bent like a pretzel really doesn't look all that comfortable!
His other position of 'comfort' he is doing all the time is what I have dubbed 'the wishbone'. It looks too much like turkey hindquarters!
He is funny, he is company, he is my pride and joy. Love that dog!

Jan. 17, 2014  Everyone needs a pillow for a good night's rest!  I will be buying 'doggy theme' fabric my next trip to the 'big city' fabric store, or maybe the local Wally World...
Big dog can curl up pretty tightly!

  1. Patience
  2. More patience
  3. Yet more patience             
Jan. 20, 2013   
You don't bully a mastiff. If you are harsh with a mastiff, they become distrustful of you, perhaps even fearful of you, or defensive, but they will not be bullied. So, I am reduced to building my patience, reducing the frustration in my tone of voice, and waiting for Loki to decide whether or not I deserve to be obeyed. If it seems logical to Loki he slaps a grin on his face and gallops toward me with his jowls a'flappin' like a huge smiling crocodile that sprints, ginormous white teeth flashing. 
If he has not completed his tour of the property, or found 'just the right spot' at which to do his daily doggy doo, or decides a quick jog across the road to visit his bud Onyx is in order he is totally deaf to my command of "Loki! Come home!" "Loki, Come!" This is said in my honey dripping sweet voice. If grumpiness enters my plea, Loki 'shuts down' and feels no remorse in disobeying a cranky lady...
But, I will say this in his defense. When he makes a move to leave the property and I shout from the deck a firm, "NO!" He stops! Let me repeat that. He Stops! It is almost like magic. Of course he then stands and considers for another five minutes whether or not to come to me and go inside. There isn't much to do inside, you know...

Feb. 20, 2013 
Loki had me laughing today. Spring cleaning in the bedroom included dusting down the door and frame, behind which hides a full length mirror. It became immediately clear Mr. Loki had never had a mirror down at his level to see himself and others in...he kept intent eye contact with me, flicking his eyes down sporadically to see the 'other' dog. There was brain working at light speed trying to figure this all out, a spatter of low growling, and he jumped a mile when the lady in the mirror petted the mirror dog and Loki at the same time! He is so smart and so curious and he tried so hard to figure it out. Funny pet!

 March 5, 2013
I have had a nice soft bed for Loki since the day we got him. An abandoned pillow of Rick's became Loki's. All it needed was a couple pillow cases to change out on a regular basis, because Mr. Loki SHEDS... It is fleece with puppy paws. How 'cute' is that for a manly Mastiff?
Nighty night Loki dog!

March 20, 2013 Welcome Spring! (it rained most of the day!)
Loki was raised in Auburn, WA where it RAINS, and rains and rains. His 10'x20' backyard, shared with the other mastiff and a cat was pretty much a mud bath. Loki LOVES the sunshine and the warmth! He and Max cat sun bathe at the south end of the house, right in the flower bed, soaking up the rays. He has spent wads of time on the side yard, the end of the garage, the front yard, anywhere he can lie on the grass and sleep in the sun. This is still a stunner to me, to be able to 'release' Loki out a door and not have him go off in search of adventure. He gives me the plea look. I let him out. He lies down on the grass...for long stretches of time...without running off! This has made me rethink the fencing a chunk of yard thing. He seems to finally be following the upteem generations of breeding that tell him to defend the home, women and children, not cruise the neighborhood for playmates. (He still loves the deer, as they are just his size.) And now, when he goes AWOL, he is coming when I call! There is a lot of praise and  a pile of hotdogs involved-but, hey! It works!

 March 24, 2013
After Loki wolfed down his breakfast this morning, he was food-drugged and sleepy. He came to sit by my side insisting I needed to stroke his head. He loves that when he is sleepy. So, I am stroking this huge, beautiful mastiff head, with its impressive brindle coloring, and looking into his deep, liquid, brown eyes when I hear a rumble start in his tummy, zoom up his throat and erupt in a Weber worthy belch 6 inches from my face. Sigh...aren't Sunday's lovely?
 June 4, 2013!!!
June? Really? Wow! It isn't that Loki hasn't been entertaining and is just that we have been trying to find a location to start our business in Omak. Having no luck so far has been quite the stress. But Loki does his best to get our spirits in order. I have been gone quite a bit lately, doing shows, or working up at the shop and this has left Loki in charge of Rick. He, Loki, is doing quite an outstanding job of training Rick. Like clockwork, Loki now tells Rick it is nearly 7 p.m. and therefore it is time for the nightly stroll around the property. Water a bush here and there, scare up a deer or two, sniff around to see if there have been any trespassers... and he has me trained to know when it is 8 p.m. It is Loki's time for his 'goody ball', otherwise known as a Kong. It must contain 3 little chunks of hot dog, a couple worthless pressed rawhide chews, and a real, solid hunk of rawhide chewy stick. Then a little petting on the head until he slowly sinks onto the floor before hauling himself off to his little kingdom in the corner of the front room. 
His latest trick/intelligence? I let Loki out the back door one evening last week. I started cleaning the kitchen up after dinner and kind of forgot about the outdoor dog-until said dog was standing by my side in the kitchen. Rick was in his office, so I knew he hadn't let Loki in. I thought, "Oh, no! He must have muscled through the screen door in the bedroom!" This thought because 'THAT MAX CAT" has made his own little kitty door by punching out the bottom corner of the screen to allow easy ins and out by his majesty. I went to said screen door, only to find it had been slid about 8 inches open. Yep! Big old head Loki opens screen doors when the owners are negligent about his re-entry into his home. He has repeated this skill several times now.
Never a dull moment living with Loki!
June 14, 2013
Loki loves strawberries...every other dog we have owned has taken strawberries offered as I pick the patch and then wandered off. Loki received his first hand picked berry, watched where I was picking them, stepped into the patch and put his 49 pound head and muzzle to work. Thinking of Jeff's Kali I smiled, instead of scolding. One smart dog!
Update re: screen door. There is now a LOKI sized entry THROUGH the screen door. Why bother with all that using the nose to open it when you can bulk right through (if the glass slider is open, anyway) sigh... 
June 27, 2013
We have added a new member to the Weber clan! Her name is Slippers, an Angora/Rex cross bred rabbit. She will only produce about half the fluff of a purebred Angora, but her price was right. I  have the 'extra bonus' of knowing that this was Slippers second time to be advertised for sale, and if no one wanted to bunny heaven and the stew pot!
Now begins the integration into the family routine.
Loki and Slippers are very curious, but totally calm, about sniffing nose to nose through Slipper's cage bars. Now, Max on the other hand is barred by a closed door at all times. Slippers weighs 7 lbs., Max 15. Max does not want to 'get to know one another'. He wants rabbit for dinner! As soon as we get the shop up and running, Slippers will get to live there in peace and quiet and no stalking...

Okay...all my too-ing and fro-ing has emotionally damaged our mastif. Rick said Loki 'mourned' my loss the entire time I was in Bellingham. He shadowed me for two days and was not happy when I went to town a couple times. This morning, though I would only be gone a couple of hours, I saw Loki lying in his corner bed looking so sad. I called him to me to tell him it's going to be he rose and came to me a single silver tear ran down his jowls from his right eye. He has not shed tears like this since the first few days after we brought him home to live with us. Talk about a heart-breaker!

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