If you’re a big fan of Peter Dinklage and Game of Thrones, you have to read this!
To own a husky, one must be ready to take on the huge responsibilities that come with raising them. Huskies were bred as sled dogs; they are highly physical and wouldn’t be content just sitting around all day, so an owner should be able to keep up with their high-energy levels. They are also major shedders, as they have both an undercoat and topcoat to protect them from the harsh winter in the Arctic where they are originally from.
In recent years, the breed has been highly visible on television because of the epic fantasy series, Game of Thrones, where Peter Dinklage is one of it’s principal characters. After a break of more than a year, the show is making a comeback for its eighth and final season. Fans have long been anticipating the show’s return, with its viewers estimated to consist of more than one billion people from 170 countries across the world.
One of the most important characters in the show are the “direwolves”, wolf-like animals who appeared in the first episode of the show when the Stark boys found a litter of pups in the forest.
The popularity of this fictional animal has caused an alarming trend, wherein fans of the show purchase a “direwolf” of their own, then end up abandoning them after the novelty has passed.
Days before the first episode of the final season aired, British actor Jerome Flynn, who plays Bronn in the show, has teamed up with PETA to launch a campaign reminding fans not to give in to the temptation of buying a husky just because of their close resemblance to the direwolves.
“Animal shelters around the world are reporting a surge in the number of abandoned huskies because the casual acquirer, drawn to the dog’s appearance, failed to take into consideration the amount of time, patience, and money required to care for these animals properly,” says Jerome.
Another Game of Thrones star, Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister, pleaded with fans in 2017 regarding this matter. He said in a statement:
“We understand that due to the direwolves’ huge popularity, many folks are going out and buying huskies.
“Not only does this hurt all the deserving homeless dogs waiting for a chance at a good home in shelters, but shelters are also reporting that many of these huskies are being abandoned – as often happens when dogs are bought on impulse, without understanding their needs.
“Please, please, if you’re going to bring a dog into your family, make sure that you’re prepared for such a tremendous responsibility and remember to always, always, adopt from a shelter.”
Since Game of Thrones aired in 2011, animal shelters across the country have seen an increase in surrendered huskies and similar breeds. But how can they be so sure that this specific trend has anything to do with the show?
That’s because most of the abandoned dogs were named, Ice, Sansa, Ghost, and Stark – all of which are names of characters in the show. In reality, most of the show’s direwolves are played by Northern Inuit dogs, which is a breed related to the Siberian Husky.
Angelique Miller, president of the Northern California Sled Dog Rescue (NorSled), says that if one is really interested in keeping a husky as a pet, they must first do their research and seriously consider a training regime, so they are properly oriented about the breed’s personality and needs.
Check out Jerome Flynn’s video below in partnership with PETA.
And as for the rest of us, let’s just enjoy the show and watch these direwolves onscreen. That would be cool too, right?
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