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Where Are They Now: Ashley Morken

We take pride in being able to feature the many great faces of our community, be it entrepreneurs, chefs, non-profit workers, artists… and yes, pets. In 2019, as part of our pet issue of Fargo Monthly, we met Roo, an infectious fun-loving puppy. We learned that due to an accident before her adoption, Roo faces the world with only three legs and other health issues, but that doesn’t stop her from greeting each day (and each person) with a slobbery smile. Three years later, Roo is still as friendly and giddy as ever. Let’s see what this pup and her pet parents, Ashley and Justin Morken, have been up to!

Since the summer of 2019, what have your family and Roo been up to?

A: 2019 seems like a lifetime ago when things were normal! I can say with 100% certainty that it was only possible to stay sane while getting through the past two years of pandemics mixed with making a small business still work by having Roo (and our Liv). We’ve spent way more time at home (like most everyone) than ever before and with our pups.

We mixed in some regional outdoor travel early on and Roo got to crash one of those trips to Crosby, MN with my family. It ended up being one of our favorite trips over the past few years. We grabbed her body harness and a wagon we had in our backseat so she could come hiking to overlook mine pits and meet tons of people—which is her favorite.

We did say goodbye to our cat, World Peace, who got sick last year. Roo was such a sweet buddy to her during the end of it, nuzzling her face and sleeping with her on the couch.

Our main challenges since summer 2019 have probably been navigating small business life and change through pandemics. But having Roo to come home to really melts both of our stress away. I don’t know if I’d call it a bonus, but working through her health issues has forced us to establish routine and plan just a bit more ahead in life!

An added bonus was Justin restored his grandma’s pontoon last year, so we’ve brought Roo out just a couple of times. So far, she’s loved the water, so much that she launched herself off of the pontoon (thankfully, with a life vest) to follow me into the water.

Q: In 2019, Roo was one-year-old and had experienced a lot in her short time, how is her hip and overall health doing?

A: I can safely say we finally have a routine that is working as best as we can hope for! Our word of the past two years is “maintaining.” She’s ultimately maintaining her ability to walk—which is especially great, as she hasn’t learned to successfully use a cart (doggie wheelchair). We continue to go to Casselton’s acupuncture/ chiropractor about every other month or each quarter and she does take two different meds still for pain and joints. We had been going to rehab where she did water therapy, but she got stubborn and stopped participating, despite delicious treats. Now I just do about 10 minutes of core exercises with her every day and it’s our “Roo-tine!”

Q: You told Fargo Monthly that Roo loves seeing other dogs. How does she do with meeting new friends?

A: I’m so proud of Roo because she’s really done great meeting other dogs, although to anyone walking by our fenced backyard it sounds like she’s both dying and going to murder you. We haven’t successfully trained that part of her (yet), but when she can meet another dog face-to-face they’ll be besties. Because of her limitations with walking, she can do about ¾ of a block before she’s wiped out for a week.

Because it’s outdoors and she gets tons of pets, her favorite spot in Fargo are the patios! Roos’ bucket list would simply be to meet new people and get all the pets. Her favorite is Drekker and Harold’s patios on weeknights when it’s more chill. Sometimes we’ll bring her own doggie beer from Hotdog! Pet Salon 😉

Q: What does a summer day look like for Roo?

A: A summer day for Roo includes enjoying some sunshine on our patio to wake up with before it gets too hot. Then, on a perfect day, we’d do some core exercises with some string cheese, she’d play indoors with our other 4 Luv dog, Liv, and tear apart a stuffed animal, and then she’d wait for Justin to come home. We’d have dinner and then, if it doesn’t feel like a wet Florida summer outside, we’d head to Harolds with a giant load of treats to keep training her to chill in place at a picnic table while she’d beg for attention by staring down every patron until she melts their heart and they come over to pet her. Or, it’s jumping in the car to make a sunset pontoon lake ride happen and having her jump off near the sand bar.

Q: What have you learned in the almost four years of being Roo’s parents?

A: We’ve learned so much about having a dog that isn’t a “normal” dog! We’ve learned the value in routine amidst the chaotic lifestyle we live. It’s kept us grounded to have to remember that one of us needs to be home at some point in the middle of the day to give Roo her Gabapentin medication or to plan further ahead for any weekend or longer trips, as it’s mainly just the amazing Yuppy Puppy and Casselton Boarding we recently tried that she’s boarded at and done super well with. We’ve had to learn patience and creativity to work through one really bad winter (I think it would have been 2019) where she refused to come indoors for hours and we’re up until 2:00 a.m. coaxing her in (she doesn’t let us pick her up much). When people know her harder behaviors, they say we’re kind of crazy for doing all of this, but it is SO EASY now that we’ve had help from trainers pre-pandemic. They helped us understand what was happening with Roo (probably due to pain, really). And, we have that magical routine that makes it all work! She’s also made us appreciate winter, which she definitely thrives in.

Q: Do you have any fun or exciting plans for Roo and your family in the near future?

A: Roo’s immediate future includes a whole bunch of lake time on a pontoon Justin restored late last summer! It’s like we’ve got the ability to do our own water therapy with her, and she does incredibly well with our past bulldog’s life vest on. It also includes trying to spend more time on local patios and having people over for campfires (and thus spending more time with Roo!). We have a giant change coming for Unglued in late, late fall when we move our retail shop to Brewhalla and add a workshop/party room, so we’ll be gearing up for that while keeping up our Roo-tine!

Roo’s birthday is Feb 16, meaning, “she’s currently four-years old—more years than she has legs!” – Ashley

Catching up with Roo and her family was a special treat for our team. We hope you can have the pleasure of spotting this pup around town and make sure to stop by Unglued to see all of the local goodies they have! Read all about Roo, Ashley and Justin’s first adventures of being together at!

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Every month, Ashley Morken from Unglued introduces us to a local business owner in her Meet the Maker feature in Fargo Monthly. Head to page 90 to meet this month’s maker, and stop over to Unglued to find more local products!

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Fargo, ND

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