A Writer's Résumé •
Fellow Traveller •
Fellow Traveller Photographs
Before he died Rhodry was very clear that I had to get another dog. So was I. After he died I was even clearer, all the more so when doglessness began to seem normal. How to find a dog? I was clueless. Rhodry was the serendipitous culmination of one coincidence after another; I never had to go looking. I put in an application at the local shelter and said I was interested in the northern breeds. I filled out the online application for the New England malamute rescue group. I joined a malamutes e-list. I sat by Rhodry's grave and asked him to send me a dog.
Not since I was horse-hunting in 1999 had I paid much attention to the cyber equivalent of classified ads. Somehow I found the Masasyu Alaskan Malamute Kennels site. The dogs were gorgeous. And the homepage announced, "We spin dog hair!" This grabbed me immediately: A weaver-writer friend who lived on the Vineyard for years spun dog hair, as well as sheep wool and other stuff. Another big plus: Masasyu was in upstate New York. I wanted to pick my dog up myself, and if possible to meet its parents; nearly all the malamute kennels and rescue dogs were much farther away.
I e-mailed Masasyu, telling my story and what I was looking for. The e-mail I got back from Lori started "YOU'RE IN LUCK!" Turned out they had two brand-new litters, one born late the night of February 27, the other born early the next morning. Rhodry had died on the 26th.
I kept looking, but I kept coming back to the Masasyu website. I asked questions, of Lori and of my dog-savvy friends, especially those who knew something about purebred dogs. Finally I told Lori the check really was in the mail and sent it off. Then I waited for the pups to get big enough to leave home. The story of how I drove to Canandaigua, was picked by a puppy, and brought my puppy home, along with how Masasyu's Fellow Traveller got his name, is told in the bloggery: April 25, 2008, April 26, April 27, and April 29.
Our subsequent adventures appear in various blog entries. We've been doing "Rally-O," which is sort of like dressage for dogs. In March 2010 we finished our Rally Novice title. On October 1, wonder of wonders, Travvy earned his RA, Rally Advanced. What makes this a miracle is that Advanced is all performed off-leash. Two days later, at Camp N Pack 2010, he added the Canine Good Citizen award to his accomplishments. In early 2011 we switched to APDT Rally, which is both more challenging and more friendly. Now he is ARCH Masasyu's Fellow Traveller, RL2, RL1X, RA, CGC, but he still answers (most of the time) to Travvy.
Rhodry was a once-in-a-lifetime dog. I think I've got another one. Thank you, Rhodry.
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