Chuli, Our Otters Pond B&B Assistant Innkeeper Pal—An Orcas Island Dog.
When we were recently in Walla Walla wine country we ran across a coffee table book: “Winery Dogs” and were reminded that our little pals have stories that sometimes we wish they could express to us themselves. Orcas Island also seems to attract dog lovers and almost all of our guests ask us to tell our pup Chuli’s story.
Chuli loves our guests! He knows when it is check-in time and gets very excited around check-in time when guests are expected. He can’t help but bark a little when the doorbell rings, but then he becomes quite shy. You see, Chuli is a rescue dog and wasn’t socialized with people, except for his very special caretakers, until he was almost 2 years old; he still doesn’t care much for other dogs. He was here for 6 months before he would actually allow a guest to pet him. Then, one day he gave in, and since that time he has learned that our guests are a very nice source of adoration and gentle pets. Sometimes he is a little reticent, but if a guest kneels down or sits in a chair he warms up to them quickly. He is trained never to enter guest rooms and confines himself mainly to our offices.
Chuli is a 20-lb. black and white miniature American Eskimo “Eskie”/Pomeranian mix. We call him a “peskie” and he doesn’t seem to mind. He was a “kennel release” in Lexington KY and rescued by the Chicago Eskie Rescue group. Each dog is carefully evaluated and treated for any and all medical conditions, micro-chipped, neutered/spayed, immunized and welcomed into foster care. Tracy, his foster Mom, did a loving job of caring for him for over 6 months until he was ready for adoption. We will always be grateful to her and to Paula Cortiana for taking him in. We also thank Ellen, who took him to adoption events; he wasn’t interested in the “meet and greets” though, he wouldn’t come out of his crate. We know he was waiting for us to find him!
It was love at first sight for Carl when he saw Chuli’s glamour shots on the CER website the day he was featured for adoption. (Tracy is also a gifted dog photographer). Chuli was transported to Seattle by a friend of Tracy’s who was moving to Seattle. Chuli fell for us too; Carl chatted with him from Seattle to Anacortes, across the Salish Sea by ferry all the way to his furr-ever home to Orcas Island, WA. I believe Carl gave him more than a few treats, Chuli was smitten!
Chuli has his own acre of grass and forest which he steadfastly protects. He keeps the deer from getting to close and keeps the raccoons in the trees. There are small Douglas Squirrels and lots of interesting birds, which he doesn’t mind. He loves his walks in Moran State Park, just 5 minutes from the B&B, and also at the school’s grassy fields. Our walks can be slow…..we counted 15+ rolls in the grass on one walk alone. He also likes to roll\back-slide\summersault down grassy slopes, who could resist that?
Island dogs travel “off island” with their owners when they take the ferry to “the mainland”. We make our shopping runs for the B&B about every 3 weeks. You can recognize the locals at the ferry landing, they are all accompanied by their furry companions. His favorite stop is at a beautiful park where he gets a nice long walk, a drink of water and a treat, of course! So when you come to our inn realize that our caring approach to inn keeping is related somehow to our loving relationship with Chuli. Who rescued whom?