An Acre of Alaskan Adventures for this Husky/Lab Mix: Koko's Story


Meet Koko, a Husky-Lab mix from Anchorage, Alaska!

She was adopted two years ago, when her family was looking for a female puppy that would be outdoorsy, with personality. Not only did an Alaskan Husky fit the bill, but Koko was love at first sight!

Koko loves to run and loves the cold weather. She has tons of personality, is extremely smart, and can be very vocal- she is not afraid to tell you what she wants! Her family named her after Koko Taylor, an American Blues singer because she has soul and likes to sing the blues – especially when she was on a leash!

This pup is a little hunter, and you will find that the Lab in her comes out when other animals come around.

Though she’s not always successful, you can see that she loves the chase! The family has lots of rabbits, voles, and porcupines that wander through the yard, so she stays plenty busy. She learned her lesson when she had a run-in with a porcupine that required a visit to a pet emergency and having six quills pulled from her nose! She’s since put her retrieving instincts to better use by fetching the morning paper. She sometimes even “hunt” for it in the snow and prance in the house with it looking for that cookie reward!

Before the family discovered SpotOn, Koko was on a leash. Being a chatty Husky, she would tell you that was just wrong! Frustrated, Koko got loose one day. The speed demon that she is, she was gone in a blink of an eye. There is nothing but trees and cabins around Koko’s property, with no road access, so searching for her on foot was a scary experience. The family was very fortunate that she figured out she was lost and went back to a neighbor twice before they could catch her and call the phone number on her tags.

After this incident, the family was hard on the search for a containment system.  They needed something that would work for their remote property, and no electricity for an Invisible Fence® meant that they needed something battery-operated. They were on the search for a few months and finally discovered SpotOn!

“After reading about SpotOn’s philosophy, mission, and about the people who created the collar, it was a no-brainer to give it a try. It has been a huge success. Seeing Koko off-leash and enjoying herself and exploring without running off gives us a very happy dog and very happy parents.”
– Tane Bathke

The family uses the system at home and on the go. At their home property, she has access to just over an acre of land and have two SpotOn maps saved- one for the entire property and a smaller one that is a “visible” range of about ¾ of an acre. Both maps go out onto the lake, so Koko has access to the water off the end of the dock. Having the boundary beyond the dock allows her to get on the ice in the winter!

The family frequently will also visit their lake property on weekends and enjoy many fun activities with their pup there year round—boating, swimming, and campfires in the summer and snow machining, skiing, and dog sledding in the winter! They even punched in a snowshoe path for Koko to run around the property. There, she has over an acre and a half to romp and play.

With SpotOn, Koko never gets left behind and is always tagging along on any travel plans.

“The circle map is amazing! Super easy to set up. Just pick a size, enable, and you are done! We’ve used this traveling to friends’ homes and at a hotel on the Kenai Peninsula we stay at that is pet friendly. She is so happy to be able to explore off-leash. Happy pup, happy parents!” – Tane Bathke

Koko is a curious pup, not afraid of much except for water- which she recently overcame! Alaskan Huskies are not swimmers. She wouldn’t even put her paw in a pool on a hot day! The family has a remote property with access by boat or snow machine and wanted her to swim in the event she fell from a dock or boat. So, she got swim lessons and was able to coax her into the pool with her best buddy Odin, a Golden Retriever and a natural swimmer. She doesn’t love it, but she now knows how to swim and how to get to shore! Watching her on the edge of the dock is a hilarious sight. You can see the battle going on in her Husky Lab mix head- the Lab wants in the water so bad, but the Husky in her is saying, “You’re going to die!

Koko will tell you she’s got skills with her AKC Canine Partners Good Citizen certificate and mushing commands. The family currently has a kicksled set up with a harness and tow rope for Koko and will be upgrading to a more robust dog sled soon! Since Koko loves all dogs and people and is always looking for her next best friend, she often detours the sled. Overall, she’s pretty good on the kicksled as long as she has a definite “trail” to follow. Otherwise, she shows her frustration rolling around in the snow- the family calls this an Alaskan Flat Tire.

“We are extremely happy to have the SpotOn collar. One other thing you should know is that the collar battery performed exceptionally well in deep snow and subfreezing temperatures. We make certain to start the day at 100% charge. It was down to 70% by late afternoon.” – Tane Bathke

Do you want to share your pup's SpotOn story? Send it here!

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