"It's been a while since we last emailed so we wanted to send you some more recent photos of and a little update about our lovely Alaska!
Alaska is now two years old and she continues to be one big, fluffy, goofy ball of love! She is the most affectionate dog I've ever met and the perfect family dog. She adores her two little humans and is ever so patient and kind with them— the perfect nanny dog! She lives for family time and so has truly been living her best life these last months with everyone at home so much during quarantine. Before we even get close enough to see her in the morning we can hear the thump of her wagging tail as she waits for us, and she's very good at ensuring we take breaks from our work to give her belly rubs and head scratches.
Alaska makes friends wherever she goes, and is a neighborhood character. I'm sure there are people who know us not by name but only as "Alaska's parents!" She is just as happy curling up for snuggles on the sofa (she still thinks she's a lap dog, at 80 lbs!) as she is running at full tilt at the park or hiking on local trails.
She has calmed down a lot in the last year and is now just the sweetest and best companion we could ask for. She's even won over our grumpy older dog, who has been known to snuggle up with her on the sofa when he thinks we're not looking! Alaska is always at the center of the action at home, and has a truly impressive ability to be standing in the way of wherever you need to be at any given moment, but she is just one giant, happy, sweet girl. She is a gentle giant with a heart of gold and we are so lucky she's ours.
Wish you all the best and hoping you're well, "
- Ellie | February 2021
"It's been a year since we brought Alaska home, so we figured it was high time we gave you an update on our marvelous girl. Alaska is such a character and we cannot imagine our family without her! At 14 months old she is 75lbs- people usually don't believe us that she's only 75 lbs since she looks so big but she's all fluff and legs! She is built a lot like a poodle but she still has her perfect tricolor Berner coloring complete with curly tail with its white tip. Her coat is more Berner than poodle, it is very soft and long and barely curls at all. She sheds more than our other doodle, but much less than your average Bernese Mountain Dog. Her coat also grows quite slowly which is no bad thing since it means that as long as we are diligent about brushing her at home she can go a little longer between grooming appointments. Alaska is the friendliest dog. Everyone she meets, human or canine, is a friend-in-waiting and she's a minor celebrity in our neighborhood because everyone knows and loves her! She does really well at the dog park (it's amazing to watch her open up her stride and get up to full speed across an open expanse) and gets fabulous reports from doggy daycare and our boarding facility when we've traveled without her. She also loves trips to the vet! She loves to hike with us and lives up to her mountain dog heritage as she clambers over all sorts of terrain (she also loves the brisk, cold weather). She's not the bravest girl (scared of everything but squirrels), but she trusts her people completely and will face the scary things in her path if we say it's OK and give her lots of encouragement. Her least favorite thing is definitely getting groomed, but we're fortunate to have a fabulous groomer who has worked slowly and gently to get Alaska used to the process and while it still isn't her favorite thing in the world she's much, much better and calmer about it now. Alaska has heaps of energy, although as she starts to grow up a bit and post-spaying she does seem to be calming down a good deal. She is playful, affectionate, sweet, goofy and a giant bundle of love. And as long as she gets her walkies in, she delights in cuddling up on the sofa with us. I won't let anyone tell her that she's not really a lap dog! We all love Alaska, and she leaves us in no doubt that she loves us all right back, but it is abundantly clear that her absolute favorite person is our young daughter. She was 6 months when Alaska came home so they have grown up together and are truly the best of friends. It amazes me daily to see how gentle and caring Alaska is with the toddler. They are thick as thieves and get up to lots of mischief together which is just as things should be (even if there are a few jointly chewed up library books I've been a bit embarrassed to take back)! We call her our nanny dog because she's never happier than when hanging out with and taking care of her little human. It is surely no accident that amongst our daughter's first words was "dog" and every morning Alaska waits at the nursery gate, wagging her tail, while I get her baby changed. We joke that Alaska has one speed (110mph) and one emotion (LOVE). She surely keeps us on our toes, but we wouldn't have it any other way. "
- Ellie | January 2020
"Alaska (formerly Shelley) is settling in so well and feeling right at home already. She has such a big personality and makes friends wherever she goes. Our vet pronounced her adorable and in perfect health with plenty of growing to come— in the three days between picking her up and taking her to the vet she'd already put on 3lbs! We're all (vet included) so curious to watch her grow and see what she looks like as she gets older because for right now she looks every inch a Berner puppy (with perfect tricolor markings) and people are always surprised when we tell them she's part poodle too. Alaska is sweet, affectionate, investigative and funny and she's getting braver every day. In less than a week she's already overcome her initial fear of doors, elevators and hopping up and down sidewalk curbs and does all those things with panache now like a real city girl! She's showing herself to have a big heart for exploration and adventure and we're so looking forward to getting out and about with her more as she gets older. She's currently all legs and paws so right now she resembles a foal or a baby giraffe more than anything else and watching her try to navigate the world is pretty funny. She's also a geometric anomaly: skinny enough to fit underneath the sofa, but already tall enough to stand on her back paws and get to the dining room table. We figure the sofa thing will take care of itself soon enough as she continues to grow, but we'll work on the counter surfing instinct! She's got a lot of hyper puppy energy and loves her toys, but she's getting along very well with our dog, Yogi, and always has a happy tail wag whenever she meets another dog or human. She is enamored of our 6 month old baby, and vice versa, but we're keeping them at a safe distance from each other while she's teething with those needle-like first teeth. I've got a feeling those two will be thick as thieves soon though! We feel so strongly that she was always meant to be a part of our family. I'm attaching some photos from this week, with the promise of many more updates to come as we continue to get to know our funny, sweet pup. As mentioned when we picked her up, we're extremely eager to stay in touch with her littermates (or really any Angel Breeze alumni, especially offspring of Sawyer and Kuva) so please feel free to pass this email address on to anyone interested in staying in contact. With all best wishes, "
- Ellie, Joe, Grace, Yogi and Alaska | February 2019