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

The horse-sitter's assistant
The horse-sitter's assistant
Trav and buddies
Trav and buddies
Winner's Circle
Winner's Circle
Pull That Tire!
Pull That Tire!

Nose deep in clover
Nose deep in clover
Birthday Boy 2011
Birthday Boy 2011
Conehead
Conehead
Where did my little puppy go?
Where did my little puppy go?
Is it time to go yet?
Is it time to go yet?
Free Travvy!
Free Travvy!
Traveller's First Ride
Traveller's First Ride
Waiting for Susanna
Waiting for Susanna
Horse-sitter's Assistant Redux
Horse-sitter's Assistant Redux
Recliner
Recliner
Sleeping Over
Sleeping Over
Mayhem, Travvy's mom
Mayhem, Travvy's mom
Under the Table
Under the Table
Whose Slipper?
Whose Slipper?
Teammates
Teammates
Studying the Course
Studying the Course
Trying Out a New Crate
Trying Out a New Crate
Tug-of-War
Tug-of-War
Trav and Nickleby
Trav and Nickleby
Resting in the Snow
Resting in the Snow
Biking with Travvy
Biking with Travvy
Trouble, Travvy's dad
Trouble, Travvy's dad
On the move
On the move
I'm not going anywhere!
I'm not going anywhere!
If you meet the Buddha in the woods . . .
If you meet the Buddha in the woods . . .
Going down is harder than going up
Going down is harder than going up
Puppy on the trail #2
Puppy on the trail #2
Places to go, puppies to see
Places to go, puppies to see
Travvy works very hard!
Travvy works very hard!
I've Just Seen a Face
I've Just Seen a Face
First Snow
First Snow
Welcome home!
Welcome home!
Canine sprawl
Canine sprawl
Trav & Malvina
Trav & Malvina
Travvy and Tillo
Travvy and Tillo
Wheelin' puppy
Wheelin' puppy
Traveller and Tillo
Traveller and Tillo
Puppy on the trail #1
Puppy on the trail #1
Conversation
Conversation
My Friend Kong
My Friend Kong
Rally Novice
Rally Novice
One Handsome Dog
One Handsome Dog
Springering
Springering
Chamois meets the new kid
Chamois meets the new kid
Jubilation
Jubilation

 

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