2016 Fittest Dogs
photography by Brian Fitzsimmons
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Beauty, brains and athleticism—it may not seem fair, but some dogs really do have it all. Kodiak the Siberian husky is a head-turner everywhere he goes, due to his piercing crystal blue eyes and snow white fur. Eight years ago, Chris Bishop was on a search for a husky that would be able to keep up with his active lifestyle (and look good doing it). When he checked out a litter of puppies, one in particular stood out to him. Out of six puppies in the litter, Kodiak was the only husky who was solid white and, although he awkwardly stumbled around at the time, curiously found his way to Bishop. The bond was undeniable and grew even stronger from that moment forward.
Kodiak recently visited the snowy mountains of New Mexico where he embarked on the adventure of his dreams. He was a natural in this environment, but full instincts kicked in when Bishop hooked him up to a sled. One command of “Mush!” and Kodiak was off at full speed. A few runs later and a 350-foot vertical climb up the surrounding mountains, he was in puppy utopia. For leisure, Kodiak competes in local races like the Doggie Du Dash, in which he took second place after completing a 400-meter swim and one-mile run. Like many hard-core athletes, he responds well to structure and discipline, but will occasionally let loose with Bishop by engaging in a howling duet of James Taylor’s “You’ve Got a Friend.”
Powers: Master of escape. Everytime Bishop leaves town, Kodiak sets out to “rescue” him. He has been known to open gates, chew through the weakest fence slat or wedge his entire body through a tiny hole.
Weaknesses: Cheese. He will completely crumble and lose all bearing for a piece of delicious cheese.
Arch Enemies: Sewer ditches, opossums, air conditioners.
Sidekicks: Kodiak has three sidekicks that make for an interesting alliance. Luci (short for Lucifer), a mini schnauzer that was adopted when she was a pup; she loves to be completely filthy and will rip your face off if you are walking down the street when she is on a leash. Bentley, a cockapoo, sings harmony and back-up vocals and is a master fetcher of the tennis ball. Bentley is the carefree one of the group. Give him his tennis ball and some good cuddle time and he is set. Last, but not least, Lola, is believed to be a long-legged Chihuahua, and the fastest scout ninja of the group. She was adopted from the streets and looks just like a meerkat. If you plan to give her a treat, expect to lose a finger or two.