Lady and the Tramp (aka – how I ended up a dog Mom)

That’s not entirely true – Ivan is not a tramp and Miah is not purebred puppy magic. But the two are thick as thieves, and they’re all mine.

It’s been awhile on this blog that we have referred to the two of them, and because much of our life right now consists of finding something “dog friendly” in our rental search, you need to see exactly what that entails.

And now I can’t lie about how big they are. If asked by a rental manager, its easy to say “cough….ahem….they’re, ya know…cough…..small?”

Ivan, though not the oldest, is my first born. He came to me as an 8 week old puppy back in the winter of ’06. I was not searching for a dog – I was in the last semester of college and had my entire life of traveling and acting to get to. But, the decision was not mine and therefore I became Mom to this little guy, who had been found on the side of the road in Western New York.

The day I met him, 2.14.06

Now, I had dogs all of my life and considered myself to be a decent trainer and showman – but nothing could prepare me for what I was about to take on…

I can’t admit love at first sight, it wasn’t – but he was damn cute. However, within hours of taking that 10 pound pup home, he became hell on wheels. He was VICIOUS.  Biting, growling, snapping, not in play. And I sat and cried over the monster who I had just adopted.

Immediately, I enrolled Ivan (named for Ivan the Terrible) in every puppy kindergarten/daycare/social hour that I could find in Syracuse. We had to wait for a little while since he was so young, but I knew the only way to cure the mean streak would be training, or else he would grow up a dangerous animal.

It was one day early on that I was home from class, stuck watching him, that I decided his affection for others and his utter disdain for me had to end. Far too young to actually be able to ‘sit’, I plugged away all morning with simple commands, praising that little devil as much as I could when he responded. In a matter of a day, he learned “sit”, “come”, and “stay” – all at 10 weeks old.

From that point on, I was Ivan’s Mom and Alpha, and he hasn’t left my side since.

Ivan and I have been through everything. There have been incredibly hard times, and there hasn’t been a tear shed in his presence that he hasn’t tried to take away with his tongue. He will spend an entire night as an 85 lb. lap dog, and there hasn’t been a day in his life that he hasn’t shown me the depth of his love.

He just turned 8 years old, and I always celebrate Valentine’s Day a little bit more because it is the anniversary of when I brought that monster home. He is no longer a monster, but one of the sweetest, most gentle dogs this world has known.

He’s my soul mate.

Next? Why I decided Ivan needed Miah…


More about Al


    1. We got our babe just a few days after valentines day. I tried to put a balloon on him too but he didn’t like it very much – haha. Loved this – what kind of dog is Ivan? He has some very similar qualities to Roy.

      1. It took awhile to get these two to accept the balloons, they ran around and I have about 100 outtakes from that day. :) I don’t know exactly what kind of dog, as he is a mix, but as a puppy he was VERY boxer, but vets have also told me there could be some mastiff in there too. He’s just 100% good dog. Thanks for stopping over and reading!

    1. Oh gosh. I love this so much. So lucky to have you – both of them. He looks so “chill”.

    1. Awesome! This just goes to show that, with the right care, training, and attention, any dog can be lovable. Way to go :)

    1. Love this! He looks like a sweatheart. I’m glad he found you. The picture of you two on the grass looking at each other is priceless!

      (I’m a proud mom of an 80 lb German Shepherd)

    1. Aw so sweet! I love hearing about how/why people brought their pets into their homes! He looks like the sweetest 85-lb lap dog there is :)

    1. Oh Patton was the DEVIL from like, 8 weeks to 6 months. DEVIL. But man. Arent they the greatest things in the world anyways?!

    1. So sweet! My Rylie was a terror when I first got her although when I first laid eyes on her she deceived me with her sweet puppy dog eyes. What kinda dog is he?

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