Family Member Names: Tim, Marisa, Stratton, Bryce and Bretton Pratt
Pet’s Name: Aspen
Type of Animal/Breed: Pure Bred Beagle
Male or Female: Male
Pet’s Age: Just turned two on Feb 11
Where/why did you get your pet?
Our son, Stratton, starting begging for a horse when he was four. We said no. Then he wanted a guinea pig so we thought that was easier than a horse so we said yes. Then when he was around 10 he started in daily with lists as to how a dog would bring joy to his life. We would routinely get lectured on the virtues of having a dog and, of course, as Stratton said, “Every boy should have a dog and nearly everyone does except me.” We firmly held our ground for nearly two years and couldn’t take the power point presentations or arguments for “pro-dog” anymore. Tim and I finally agreed but really questioned our judgment when Stratton researched the best kid and family friendly breed and settled on the Beagle. He failed to tell us they aren’t easy to train. After reading books on how stubborn, destructive and loud they are when they “howl,” we panicked. It was too late, however, because we had already given Stratton a stuffed animal beagle for Christmas and contacted the breeder in Avon….what had we gotten ourselves into? All that went away when we surprised Stratton and took him to the breeder to pick out his new puppy. He thought the Christmas gift was just the stuffed animal! There was a litter of four pups that were only six weeks old and he picked Aspen, the most lively, playful and loving of the bunch.
Is there a story behind its name?
We are a ski family and all our children are named after Ski Resorts. Stratton stuck with the theme and named him Aspen before he even had him.
Anything special or unusual about them (talents/quirks)?
Like any dog, he can be taught to do tricks for treats. Aspen is darn good at dancing on his two hind legs and spinning around in a circle twice just for a mini milk bone. He has this uncanny knack to sprawl his body out on the floor and keep his back legs behind him…he looks just like a squirrel laying down.
What do you like best about your pet?
Aspen is the perfect companion to Stratton and has become his favorite sleeping buddy and play pal. He always wants to be around you, loves you unconditionally and stays by your side always. He loves to be outdoors with us and loves to be in the car wherever we go.
Any funny stories?
Well, it took us forever to train this beagle to go to the bathroom outside. Beagles are very hard headed and stubborn, but once they figure something out they remember it. We finally got Aspen to ring the strand of bells that we hang on the back door to let us know when he needs to go out to go to the bathroom. He has decided that it’s pretty funny to see us stop what we
are doing and come running to open the door for him once he rings the bells. As soon as we do, he just looks at us, cocks his head and walks away!
How spoiled is your pet?
Not too spoiled, but as with every grandparent who spoils their grandchildren, our Oma spoils her grandpup. Every morning when she comes over to go to the bus stop, Aspen can always count on two dog biscuits from her. He is not allowed table scraps which make this super special for him. He really hit the jackpot when after a year he was finally allowed to sleep on top of Stratton’s bed with him once we knew he was potty trained.
What else should we know about your pet and/or how your pet has enriched your home/family?
Considering we don’t really consider ourselves a dog family (I grew up with cats) I have to admit he’s pretty cool. They really do mean it when they say a dog is the ultimate companion. He is there with us all the time and really is a special little guy. Plus we can’t go anywhere without someone stopping to say what an absolutely adorable beagle he is with those soft velvet floppy ears!
If you would like to have your pet featured in an upcoming “Precious Pets” segment of Neighborhood Living Magazine please email firstname.lastname@example.org