11/01/2006 - 02/02/2021

pet memorial photo
  • Species:Dog
  • Owner:Nathan & Alicia Schlatter

This guy was the best.

My previous husky, Dakota, had passed away in July 2010 and I had been searching for some time for another husky to no avail. Then "Balto" popped up in my Petfinder search in Kirksville, MO and I immediately knew I had to go visit him.

He had been found as a stray running around in the aftermath of a blizzard. He definitely had a wild look about him and certainly acted the part when I took him on a walk upon meeting him. I knew it would require time and love and lots and lots of patience if I were to adopt him and honestly, part of me wondered if I was up for it. But I had a feeling, so I filled out the paperwork and he came home with me on March 9, 2011.

In his short life, he had already been through a lot: he had obviously been abused and was heartworm positive at the shelter. I'll be forever grateful to the shelter for raising money to have his heartworms treated, as I didn't have the financial means back then. And it showed; the first several weeks were difficult and characterized by multiple escape attempts, lots of howling at night and other shenanigans.

Gradually, though, he began to settle down and those wild eyes turned much more calm. We developed a routine. And quickly developed a bond that would last a lifetime - I don't think I'll ever have a dog who will love me as much as he did. He would take off like a rocket and make these big circles when he heard my car coming home, and I'll never forget his cries of happiness when I would get out of the car.

We both would eventually move to Columbia, where my fiancee (now wife) would complete her medical residency. He would gradually get past the timidness that arose from his past abuse (whenever the doorbell rang, he would run and hide under the coffee table for years) and become one of the friendliest, gentlest dogs you would ever see, to the point of where all the neighborhood kids knew him by name. He would become a good brother to our later adopted huskies Molly and Spirit (both of whom we lost far too early to cancer) and eventually Cheyenne and Luna. And most of all, he proved himself to be a great buddy for our daughter, Avery, as she grew into a toddler.

His life wasn't easy; besides the abuse and heartworms, he was almost struck by lightning, swarmed by yellow jackets, attacked by a pit bull and fought off multiple bouts of aspiration pneumonia, the second of which required him to be in an oxygen tank in a hospital for days. When we took him home, we expected to take him home to die, as the veterinarian had commented she had never had a dog with such a severe case live more than a few days after going home. But that was over four years ago - Biz decided he had a lot of life left in him. Even up until his last day, when he couldn't stand up without assistance, he had such a fierce determination to live.

Things will never feel fully right without him, but I'm lucky to have been able to call him my dog for almost 10 years. I hope there's a place and time where we'll be reunited again. 

He was the best. 


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Rolling Hills Veterinary Hospital donated $10 on: February 05, 2021