Friday, May 22, 2009

Dylan and Alice

Once upon a time, we had three dogs. We had Lucky, a Vizsla/Rhodesian Ridgeback mix; Wanky (Rhonda named him), a Daschund/Wire Terrier mix; and Gomez, a Chihuahua/Miniature Pinscher mix.

Lucky was a big girl, weighing seventy-five pounds. She died two weeks before Dylan was born. Like many animal lovers, it pummels me when I lose a pet, and I go through a period of thinking stuff like, "I'll never get another dog (cat, llama, chicken)." That's natural; pet lovers want to avoid going through the emotional grinder of losing a pet again. But sooner or later, a sort of amnesia takes over, and many of us change our minds. I was starting to change my mind when Wanky died three years ago.

Dylan had been telling us for a few months that he wanted a puppy for his ninth birthday. Rhonda felt the time was ripe, so we gave Dylan a book on dog breeds. It didn't take him long to narrow the field down to a couple of lifestock guardian breeds. (He's preferred everything big since he was a baby.) He started agonizing over whether he wanted an Anatolian Shepherd or an Akbash.

I was away at work when Rhonda called me excitedly. She'd found a breeder in Cottonwood who bred a cross of Akbashes and Anatolians. Dylan would no longer have to agonize, and that appealed to me because I've never been particularly taken with purebreds. I'm a mutt; I like mutts.

We wanted to wait for Dylan's birthday in June, but the breeder told us that the litter had been nearly devoid of human contact. He said he'd be glad to hold the dog for us, but he recommended that we start the socialization process soon if we wanted the dog to be a pet instead of only a guardian.

So, Rhonda and Dylan drove to Cottonwood. Dylan picked out a female. He named her "Alice" about five minutes after they left the breeder's property.

I got home a few hours after Alice's arrival at our place. I noticed that she seemed confused about being petted. Sure enough, she'd had almost no human contact. She freaked out the first couple of times I picked her up.

Alice is now well on the way to being a socialized puppy. She's decided she likes being petted, and she doesn't mind being carried now either. I'll let you know how that goes when she's fully grown.

She's nine weeks old in these pics.


Debby said...

Oh, my gosh, that last picture is just adorable! They are both darling.

PS Don't tell Dylan I said that. Dylans seem to really dislike the whole 'darling' thing.

Kelly said...

What a precious puppy!!! (and of course Dylan is cute, too) Considering we have a new "Alice" at our house, too, I think it was a great name choice.

Yep, we've had a lot of animal trauma around our house the past couple of weeks, but the urge for another always comes back.

Congratulation on your new family member. Btw.... how is Gomez taking it?

Mary Paddock said...

I grew up with a 130 lb Rhodesian Ridgeback/lab cross named Sam. He is the stuff of family legends and the yardstick by which I measure every dog.

Alice is just gorgeous and I think that's the first picture I've ever seen of Dylan, who is quite handsome (even whilst sleeping). It's not hard to picture them growing up together.

Are obedience classes on Alice's list of to dos?

Pam said...

Awwwwwwwwwwwww how adorable!!! Yep, we're puppy suckers around here too. Furkid trauma here equates to a death in the family.

I'm about as bad as it gets when it comes to going into major grief when I lose a furkid.

The oldest of our current 4 furkids is getting up in age. My mind and heart are just not ready to even go there yet.....

Alice really is precious!!! As for Dylan, that goes without saying. :)

Marion said...

Alice is a beauty, Hal, and the pics of Dylan are so precious!

I just read the book, "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" by David Wroblewski and it changed forever the way I think about little boys and dogs. If you haven't read it, it's a treasure and real soul food.

Annie said...

Oh, she is going to be a big girl! What a cutie!

quid said...

She's beautiful, Hal.
Any clue as to why he named her "Alice"???


Redlefty said...

Nothing like a boy and his dog!

Hal Johnson said...

Yeah Debby, Dylan is starting to get a little sensitive about being called "darling," "precious," or even "cute."

Kelly, Gomez is being kind of grumpy about the new arrival. He'll start to play with her now and then, but he'll catch himself before it gets too involved.

Mary, obedience training has never been high on my priority list, but since Alice will probably be a big dog, we felt it was vital. Especially so with her guardian blood.

Pam, I feel for you. Gomez is only nine, and a small dog, but we can't seem to get his weight down, and I'm worried about that day coming sooner than it should.

Thanks for the recommendation, Marion. The book is now on my
Amazon cart.

Quid, when Rhonda and Dyl were leaving with the puppy, Dylan noticed that the breeders lived on Alice Lane. He decided at that moment that her name was Alice.