She had done the best she could. She had thought about everything carefully before she had made the decision. She had done all the research on the breed, and had even met the dog’s parents. She had done everything right.
But when the dog began to outgrow his bed, collar, and lead, she started to worry. She never expected this.
South African resident Yumna Salojee was finally in a stable position. She’d worked hard over the years to get this far. Now, she had a good job, a nice house, and didn’t have to worry about her finances.
But there was still something that was painfully missing from her life. While others might want the latest tech, designer boots, or a fancy new car, Yumna had just one thing on her mind.
Yumna didn’t care much for material possessions. Ever since she was a little girl, she dreamed of having a loyal companion by her side. Her parents never let her have pets growing up. But now that she was living on her own, getting a dog became her number one priority.
She knew that it was a big commitment – one that she would have to live with for the next 15-odd years. But nothing was going to change her mind.
She Loved Them All
Yumna wasn’t particularly fussy when it came to dog breeds – she loved them all. She was the kind of person who would stop to pet every dog she met on the street.
But now that she had decided to get one, she would have to decide which breed would be best for her. She knew that a small dog like a Toy Pom would need less space and be cheaper to feed than, say, a Labrador… but how could she choose just one?
Doing The Research
Yumna trawled the internet for weeks in search of the perfect breed. With a decision as big as this, she didn’t want to make a mistake.
She scrolled through kennel club pages and breed guidelines until her head swam with golden retrievers, pugs, beagles, shih tzus, terriers, collies… but the more she scrolled, the harder it was to choose.
Yumna was looking for a dog that would be good with children and other animals, so she researched family dogs like golden retrievers, Labradors, and Newfoundlands.
But all of these larger dogs needed a lot of space, so she moved onto medium-sized dogs like border collies, spaniels, and beagles. But then, she came across one dog that made her heart skip a beat.
Yumna jumped with delight at the picture of a Siberian husky. The tiny puppy on her screen was the cutest creature she had ever seen.
She immediately googled the breed, bookmarking pages and sharing information pages with friends and family. Their wolf-like facial markings and fluffy coats intrigued her. Where were these beasts from?
The Original Wolf-Dogs
Siberian huskies are one of the oldest Arctic sled dogs. Thousands of years ago, the dogs were selectively bred by the Chukchi Tribe in frozen Russia.
It is widely believed that huskies were bred from naturally occurring Spitz dogs and then mixed with wild wolves. Yumna’s heart was sold, but her head was screaming ‘no’.
Adopt Or Shop?
Although huskies aren’t particularly hard to find in South Africa, Yumna first wanted to try and rescue a husky puppy from a shelter.
She called every rescue in the area, but nobody had one. And she couldn’t wait. Although she knew that most backyard breeders were unscrupulous, she ignored her gut feeling and forged ahead.
Ignoring Her Gut
All it took were a few calls. Yumna found a breeder whose female just had pups. She ran out the door so quickly, she only realized that her shoes were untied when she arrived.
The pups were only weeks old, their eyes were just barely open. They were all clambering on their mom… all except one.
Tiny Balls Of Fur
They were little balls of fur, snuggled against their mother but the runt was struggling to climb over his brothers and sisters.
Yumna reached down and lifted him into her arms. When he looked up at her, her heart melted. This was her dog. But he was so weak and tiny. Would he make it?
“I fell in love the second I held him,” Yumna shared. Unfortunately, Yumna had to say goodbye to the love of her life, who needed more time with his mother.
Her heart ached more and more with every passing week. She showed a picture of him to every dog owner she met in the park. “He’s called Tydus. It means great, giant warrior,” she couldn’t contain her excitement. When the big day finally came to pick him up, she was in for a surprise.
Yumna knew Siberian huskies were medium-sized dogs. When she brought Tydus home for the first time, he had already grown six times in size since the first time they met. He quickly got acquainted with his new home.
Yumna pulled out all the stops with a personalized bowel, a soft bed, and a basket of toys to keep him occupied. Yumna thought she was ready for parenthood but she was in for a massive surprise.
Siberian huskies are famous for their friendly personality and intelligence. Tydus had a big personality—forever playful and cheeky. He was hard work, but he was worth it. As the months went by, Tydus continued to grow, surpassing every dog in their area.
Male huskies usually weigh 45 lbs and stand at 20 inches.“Giant” huskies can sometimes reach 65lbs. Still a puppy, Tydus weighed an impressive 120lbs. Yumna was starting to grow suspicious.
Yumna had to train Tydus; fast. More of a bear than a dog, the friendly giant was too friendly with strangers, often jumping up to greet them before knocking them to the ground. Tydus was never shy.
He loved attention but Yumna worried he would accidentally hurt a child while out for a walk. “His fluffiness is the first thing that catches attention, then his size,” she explained. But his frame and energy levels continued to grow.
Different To The Others
Yumna met other huskies in the dog park since and they looked similar to her Tydus, but they weren’t the same.
The other huskies she’d encountered were half his size, and they had much shorter fur. That was when she knew something was wrong. She decided to order a dog DNA test and finally get to the bottom of it.
Yumna opened the package with shaking hands. She’d sent Tydus’ swab sample off for DNA testing. Now that the results were in, she feared the worst. If Tydus was not a husky, then what was he?
She unfolded the letter, read the first few lines, and her jaw came unhinged. Her suspicions were 100% correct.
It turned out that Tydus was actually an Alaskan malamute. The DNA test explained everything. Although Siberian huskies and malamutes look similar and were both bred to pull sleds on frozen terrain, malamutes get much, much bigger.
Male malamutes often weigh more than 100 lbs. But Tydus wasn’t an average-sized malamute, he was huge!
Although Yumna managed to train Tydus how to behave in public, he’s still her big baby. His hugs knock her to the ground and he jumps on her lap just as he did as a puppy.
Unaware of his size or weight, Tydus can’t help but show his affection. He still plays, runs, and jumps, just as he did the first time he arrived home for Yumna. Now 4-years-old, he still hasn’t grown out of his playful ways.
“I don’t think he will get any bigger now, and that’s okay. I might get crushed if he does!” Yumna has managed to train this giant warrior.
But in the comfort of their own home, he still remains the playful puppy she fell in love with all those years ago. Yumna always knew her boy was special. She decided to share him with the world. And when it was time to welcome a new member to the family, he couldn’t have been more excited.
Another Family Member
Yumna and Tydus adopted Trez, the Congo African grey parrot. Yumna decided to share their small family portrait online and became an overnight sensation. The “Trez and Tydus” Instagram account now has over 150,000 followers, all infatuated by their unique little family.
Yumna always knew Tydus was special, so she was happy to share him with the world. “Wherever we go, even just for a walk around the block, we get stopped and asked about his size, age and most often, ‘What breed is he?’ I guess it’s not often that you see a lion-dog walking the street.”
An Internet Sensation
“If his looks didn’t get your attention, his personality definitely will,” Yumna explained. “He has an amazing soul that earns everyone’s affection. He’s a little charmer … or giant charmer.”
Their small family has become an internet sensation, sending hearts all over the world into overdrive. And Tydus has no problem sharing the spotlight with his best friend, Trez. These two are definitely destined for fame!