Susanna J. Sturgis   Martha's Vineyard writer and editor
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RhodryA Writer's RésuméFellow 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.

 

click on the images for a larger view and expanded description

Travvy and Tillo
Travvy and Tillo
Mayhem, Travvy's mom
Mayhem, Travvy's mom
Canine sprawl
Canine sprawl
Trying Out a New Crate
Trying Out a New Crate
Pull That Tire!
Pull That Tire!
Birthday Boy 2011
Birthday Boy 2011
Jubilation
Jubilation
Springering
Springering
Trav & Malvina
Trav & Malvina
Nose deep in clover
Nose deep in clover
Puppy on the trail #2
Puppy on the trail #2
Trouble, Travvy's dad
Trouble, Travvy's dad
Rally Novice
Rally Novice

Sleeping Over
Sleeping Over
Going down is harder than going up
Going down is harder than going up
One Handsome Dog
One Handsome Dog
Winner's Circle
Winner's Circle
Chamois meets the new kid
Chamois meets the new kid
Horse-sitter's Assistant Redux
Horse-sitter's Assistant Redux
Waiting for Susanna
Waiting for Susanna
Biking with Travvy
Biking with Travvy
Travvy works very hard!
Travvy works very hard!
Trav and Nickleby
Trav and Nickleby
I've Just Seen a Face
I've Just Seen a Face
Studying the Course
Studying the Course
Tug-of-War
Tug-of-War
Recliner
Recliner
The horse-sitter's assistant
The horse-sitter's assistant
Resting in the Snow
Resting in the Snow
Welcome home!
Welcome home!
Teammates
Teammates
Where did my little puppy go?
Where did my little puppy go?
On the move
On the move
Conehead
Conehead
Trav and buddies
Trav and buddies
Places to go, puppies to see
Places to go, puppies to see
I'm not going anywhere!
I'm not going anywhere!
Conversation
Conversation
First Snow
First Snow
Traveller and Tillo
Traveller and Tillo
Is it time to go yet?
Is it time to go yet?
My Friend Kong
My Friend Kong
If you meet the Buddha in the woods . . .
If you meet the Buddha in the woods . . .
Wheelin' puppy
Wheelin' puppy
Free Travvy!
Free Travvy!
Puppy on the trail #1
Puppy on the trail #1
Whose Slipper?
Whose Slipper?
Traveller's First Ride
Traveller's First Ride
Under the Table
Under the Table

 

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