Helena the Husky: A Diary

by Gabriella M., age 9
Helena the Husky: A Diary Gabriella lives in Washington DC with her beloved stuffed huskies. She is nine and likes to read books, write, draw, and sew. Gabriella plays the violin and piano and is a member of a chamber ensemble and a string orchestra. In her free time she rides her bike.

“Have you ever thought that your parents or siblings were horrible? Well, my story is even worse. I’m a Siberian husky with horrible owners and annoying sisters, and we all have to participate in the 2016 Iditarod race. My diary follows all of us from our home by the Hudson River in New York to Alaska.”

Have you ever thought that your parents or siblings were horrible? Well, my story is even worse. I’m a Siberian husky with horrible owners and annoying sisters, and we all have to participate in the 2016 Iditarod race. My diary follows all of us from our home by the Hudson River in New York to Alaska.

 

January 1, 2016:

Meet My Family

I wake up. I hear my younger sisters Hannah, Holly, and Helen howling in the other room. Purely annoying. That’s what they are. But before I tell you all about them, I guess I should introduce you to the rest of my family. Our owners are Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Jewell (their sixteen year old daughter,) Sadie (Jewell’s thirteen year old sister,) Silvia (who just turned eleven,) and baby Melanie (She’s a year old.) We live in New York by the Hudson River. We have a huge house, an even bigger yard (for running in the winter), and we get to swim in the Hudson every summer.

If my sisters are annoying, my owners are horrible, so horrible that they don’t even let me have extra bacon on Saturday mornings! When I talk to Hannah about them, she disagrees. You see how annoying she is? Holly and Helen are even worse. While I’m writing this story (and many others,) they are howling. They also think our owners are great. Humph! Too bad for me. I think my sisters just hope Jewell (who is our musher) makes them lead dogs in our Iditarod race this coming March.

 

January 9, 2016:

For Once!

It’s Saturday! This is my chance to get extra bacon. I go into the kitchen and see Mr. Smith frying bacon on the stove. I am drooling for a taste. Surprisingly, Mr. Smith reads my mind.

“Do you want bacon, Helena?”

I go to him and beg so hard, that I have to dig my claws into the fine, wood floor to stop myself from falling over. But, begging or not, he heaps my plate with crispy, scrumptious bacon. I am so happy! I wag my tail and jump up and down in excitement.

Hannah, Holly, and Helen come in and beg, too. Mr. Smith gives them each a strip of bacon. They eat it and beg once more.

“No more, you guys!” says Mr. Smith.

They come to me and ask for some of my bacon. “Please?”

“NO!” I say.

“Come on!” they plead.

“I said no!” I repeat firmly, and quickly finish my bacon. Got you, I think. For once.

 

January 17, 2016:

Peanut Butter Blues

Sunday! Not Sunday! Mrs. Smith is in the kitchen making peanut butter sandwiches for breakfast. (Mrs. Smith simply doesn’t know how to cook, not even how to fry bacon!) Every time I have a peanut butter sandwich, my mouth gets glued shut. But I have no choice. I take a big bite.

It’s noon. I wake up from my nap. I try to open my mouth. Uff! Ick! I can’t even move! I try to yell for help, but it just comes out as “HhHhHh!

My sisters just roll in their beds and continue to nap. Annoying! I take a sip of water. Phew! It helps. I take another sip, and the gluey feeling drifts away. I’m relieved.

At least my owners don’t have to yank it off like last time; a few of my teeth almost came out too! Then, I had to be tied to a chair while a dog dentist glued them back on with a special glue. I swallowed a little of that glue, and then wished I hadn’t. As the tears started streaming down my face, Jewell noticed and said something you would never believe she would say: “What’s the matter, Helena? Are you looking for some bacon?” No! I would have said, but all that came out was an “ooooooooo” sound.

At dinnertime, I want to ask Mr. Smith for extra meat, but all that comes out is a “thhhhhiiiiiicccccc” sound. It’s that peanut butter sandwich. I guess the water did not help. Nothing helps with it. Ugh! Meat will help, I’m sure, but Mr. Smith can’t understand me. That dumb peanut butter!

But this time, Jewell understands. She heaps my plate. I thump my tail and devour every single piece. Great! It helps. Then, my sisters and I go out for a run in the yard. The moon is full and the stars are shining. That helps too.

 

February 2, 2016:

Ha ha on Helen

Are you in the mood for a funny story? If you’re not, you’ll have to cope. If you are, great! Because I`m going to tell one. Here goes!

Yesterday, we were all out sledding. Sadie was mushing. Jewell was too busy doing homework, whatever that means. Now, I am usually our lead dog, but Sadie was so horrible, she let Helen be lead dog. Humph! I protested but Helen just laughed and bragged about being lead dog. Then, as soon as we started running, Helen started talking to Hannah.

“Oh no!” I told her to stop, and I howled at her three times, but she didn’t listen. We ran straight into a tree.

“Told you!” Sadie was really mad. We had to do the run all over again; this time, I was in the lead. Now, I am the lead dog permanently. Ha, ha on Helen.

Did you think that was funny? Imagine that — In a few weeks, we’re traveling to Alaska to participate in the Iditarod, and I get to be the lead dog. If my still annoying sisters follow me, we will win. If only they would…

 

February 9, 2016:

Our New Booties

I wake up and hear Jewell arguing with Silvia. Everyone else is still asleep, and it’s 9:30am!

I hear: “We have to go shopping for race supplies!” and “What for, the smelly, old huskies?”

I would have bitten Silvia’s foot, except for the fact that she hadn’t bathed for two weeks. A lot smellier, definitely!

Then, Sadie wakes up. She joins the argument. It is really loud!

Finally, Jewell’s voice cuts the noise. “Okay,you little maniacs! You don’t have to come. But behave with Mommy and Daddy, okay?”

“OK!” Sadie and Silvia answer together.

“Don’t worry. You’re going to love shopping. I know you will!” Jewell’s voice is soothing as we walk to the store. Helen, Hannah, and Holly are all for it, but I have a feeling that something is going to go wrong. You wait and see.

And something does.

The racing supplies store is huge! So many things to look at and sniff: booties, sleds, leashes, harnesses, collars, and yummy food. It takes Jewell a long time to get us out of the store, but as we walk out, we are all very excited. Jewell bought each of us a pair of new booties. They are leather, lined with fur. We didn’t have time to try them on in the store. So we rush home . . . and that’s when all the trouble begins…

We are trying on our booties and (you guessed it, right?)… Helen’s booties don’t fit!!!

 

February 9, 2016:

An exciting night

We have to go all the way back to the store.

And Helen keeps saying, “They won’t have my size! Why do I have to have smaller paws than everyone else?”

Why, why, why. Helen is full of whys. Why does she have to ask “why?” I think that is the correct question.

When we arrive at the store, I help Jewell pick out a new parka while Hannah and Holly help Helen get her new booties. Jewell wants me to help them too, but I insist that I help with the parka to make our midnight shopping trip a little shorter. I also hope I do not have to hear Helen whine about her paws.

So much for my wishes. Helen’s voice penetrates the store’s walls.

“I don’t like these!”

“But they’re the only ones in your size!” Hannah howls back.

“What!” barks Helen.

“I don’t like my paws!”

“Okay!” Jewell says, carrying a bag with her new parka. “Let’s go to another store.”

We leave the store after Jewell pays for her new parka. Then, we go to CheapThings4Pets.Com. Helen picks out a pair of booties identical to ours. They only cost $2.00!

 

You can only imagine how I look when the horrible shopping trip is over! But it’s late now. Everyone is finally asleep. All except me. ‘Cause if I were asleep, I wouldn’t be writing this story, would I? But I suddenly have a sensation to go to sleep. It’s all I want to d…o…o…

 

February 18, 2016:

Alaska

I wake up and feel the bite sinking into my ear. I recognize that bite. Hannah has stopped by to wake me up.

“Ow, Hannah, get off my ear!” I scream.

It’s 8:00am. We’re finally in Alaska. Snow is everywhere, and it seems like everyone has gotten up on the wrong side of the doggie-pad.

“Helen, you’re such an oaf!” Holly yells. “Didn’t you see my food dish before you knocked it over?!”

“No” Helen barks back. “It was an accident!”

“Liar!” Holly shouts.

“Helena, help me!” Holly continues.

“My ear still hurts!” I answer back.

“Wait!” tries Hannah, the peacemaker (who should be sorry for biting my ear!) “No arguing!” But it doesn’t work. We go back and forth for 15 minutes!

“Enough bickering!” announces Jewell. We stop immediately. Jewell gives Holly more breakfast and grabs our leashes. Running in the crisp, cold air makes everyone feel better.

               

March 5, 2016:

The Iditarod

“READY, SET, GO!” the Iditarod judge’s voice booms over our heads.

On cue, I leap into my harness and pull the gang line taut. Put put put! Our paws thunder over the snow. It’s cold, but we like it. We’ve had a wonderful breakfast complete with dumplings and rice. Almost as good as bacon. Everything seems perfect.

Only one piece of bad news: Jewell got sick with a cold the day before the big day, so Sadie is mushing us. But at least Helen’s not the lead dog. You know what happened.

I think we’re going to win. I really do. We’re almost at Finger Lake. But wait, something isn’t right. I feel a little queasy. Uh-oh I’m going to… barf!

Oh no! I shouldn’t have eaten that dumpling! Why did I eat that dumpling!? Why?! Why?! Why?!!! But I don’t have to worry because…

Helen takes over!!!             

Helen does a great job, but the next day, I’m back in the lead position. I’m feeling much better now. I lead my sisters across snowdrifts, over mountains. They follow me as fast as they can. We are so fast, that I can’t even hear the other teams following us. But I can hear the pounding of our feet, the wind in our ears, and the “hHhHhHhH” of our panting.

 

March 14, 20116:

Winning the Iditarod   

I hear the crowd cheering. We run on. Put. Put. Put. Have we won? I look at the finish line. No one else is there. Just snow. And judges waiting for us to cross the finish line.

We won!!!

The judges lift me from the lead position and put me on a platform shaped like a cone. I smile to the crowd. My big, bushy tail thumps on the ground. My sisters are no longer annoying. Our owners cheer for us the loudest.

Mr. Smith is shouting, “More bacon tonight, Helena!”

Behind me, Hannah whispers, “Our owners aren’t that bad,”

“Yeah,” I say as the judge interviews Sadie, “they are great.

 

EPILOGUE

 

After the race, everything is back to normal. We have a brand new trophy that says: Winner of the 2016 Iditarod.

Lead dog: Helena

Sub lead dog: Helen

Musher: Sadie Smith

Happy racing!

As for me, I think I learned my lesson. My sisters are my sisters, even if they are sometimes annoying, and we work best as a team. And our owners — well, there’s more to their love than extra bacon on Saturdays. But I guess I’ll have to say more on that another time because Mr. Smith is calling me to the kitchen…

 

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