News - 1st May 2019

Barkrunner Interview: Otsana and Baldr


“The starting line seems just like the Iditarod to us!”


Hey fab friends!  Your barkrunner correspondent Foxy here, and this week I’m taking you all the way to the Pacific Northwest to meet power couple Baldr and Otsana of Renton parkrun!


Hi Baldr and Ostana, what’s your story?

I’m Baldr, a 3 and a half year old Huskamute and this beautiful Malamute is 3 year old Otsana. When you see us at parkrun, you can tell us apart as I’ve got one blue eye, I love to yodel during run briefings, and I’m a bit smaller, all owing to my husky heritage. I share my name with the Norse god of joy and light, and Otsana is Basque for she wolf.




We are a bonded pair who lived up to breed expectations by breaking out of our yard in Eastern Washington over and over again! We’re social Northern Dogs — if you leave us alone, outside all day, we’ll bust out and look for a new pack! Luckily for us, our new Mama and Papa are volunteers with WAMAL (Washington Malamute Adoption League) and knew our teenage exuberance was just what the doctor ordered after the passing of their previous WAMAL rescue and awesome barkrunner, Bo.




Wet puppy kisses and hugs make everything better, don’t they? Now, let’s chat barkrun. You’ve been at it for a while, yes?

Yes! Mama and Papa drove to Eastern Washington and got us on Good Friday of 2018 (which was a very good day for us all!) and, after checking out how we interacted with people and other dogs at the rest stops, decided we could go the very next day to our first parkrun! We both get really excited at parkrun, it’s in our DNA to run around in packs after all. The starting line seems just like the Iditarod to us, so we sing and quiver with excitement, leaning into our harnesses to GO!


Smells, exercise, parkrunners, barkrunners, singing, it’s hard to pick just one thing to like about it!!!!  When we volunteer, we stick to tail wagging – I mean walking. We aren’t ones to stay still long enough for the other roles, so we play to our strengths!




Oh, tailwagger is my favorite role too!  Any tips for barkrunners thinking of visiting Renton?  

One barkrunner per person, with a 6’ leash. Also it can be cold and rainy much of the year so if you need to layer, a doggy sweater is always in fashion. And our trail is asphalt with a gravel shoulder, so if you don’t like gravel under paw, you may want to wear booties to protect from cold in the winter and blazing hot asphalt in the summertime.


Looking at my barkrun map, it seems that Des Moines Creek is pretty close to Renton. Have you been there?  

Yes, Des Moines Creek is Renton’s sister parkrun. The last time we were there, we noticed there’s a place you could wade into the beautiful waters of the Puget Sound.  We’re looking forward to going back so we can go for a post parkrun swim (on leash of course).




That sounds absolutely delightful! Any other fave running spots?

Where is not our favorite place to go running?! We love to run and walk everywhere we go, but we especially like to go right after it rains and at dusk when all the amazing scents we can smell are extra strong!


YES — MUST SNIFF EVERYTHING!!!!! What else is on your activities agenda?

I really like my tummy rubbed, sleeping on the bed and playing ball. Otsana is in charge of overseeing kitchen operations and is also a big fan of belly rubs. She’s great at the “Come pet my belly” signal!


Oh, and we both really like to landscape! Our yard was a boring, smooth, grassy surface before we began digging visually pleasing polka dot holes and mud features. Luckily for us, our parents understand our innate need to work the earth with our paws and allow us free reign in the landscape design department.




Puppies do know best sometimes!  Okay, lady and gent, time for our lightning round!


Fave toy? Identical indestructible balls so there is no in pack jealousy.  

Best party trick? Just being our adorable selves.  

Preferred spot at home? The couch.




Treat treat you find most divine? Puppy-chinos from Starbucks (AKA whip cream) – hey we’re Seattleites…  


What song do you jam out to? Otsana and I like to chill to Motown and Raggae. Our song is Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. We’re a bonded pair – the only time I’ve been separated from Otsana was when they took her to be spayed at the shelter. I cried and howled and tried to chew my way through the bars to find her until she had recovered enough to be put where I could see her. I like it best when she’s next to me … she’s forever my girl.  

Ah, puppy love is so sweet – don’t mind these tears in my eyes …




So, who is your hero? WAMAL for saving so many precious lives.  

Yes, thank you to all the animal rescues for your great work!  

Superpower you’d love? Not sure if it’s a super power, but we’d like a self serve whip cream dispenser.  

Um, yes!!!! Character you most relate to? We’re sometimes mistaken for Direwolfs from Game of Thrones, but really, we’re a bit more Scooby Doo.  

Go-to recovery snack? We actually love a lot of really good-for-you snacks — frozen green beans, blueberries, and cooked chickpeas are our favorites.




Yum! If you could drive a car, what would it be? Jeep Unlimiteds, Mama and Papa each have one, they’ve got four paw drive just like us!  

Cats – Friends or Foes? Umm, we want to be friends but our cat sibling thinks we’re not cool enough to hang with.  Cats ….  

Human job you would rock? I would like to work security, I like to keep an eye on all the action and Otsana would like to be a professional food taster.  

Okay, final question and this is a serious one. Are you sleepless in Seattle? Nah, that’s a myth. We need lots of sleep for tearing around playing the rest of the time, Mama likes to say we have one speed: breakneck!!!!!


Fabulous you two!  You are such a dynamic duo, and it has been a real pleasure to meet you. Thank you for chatting with me!




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