What kind of dogs are Jeb and Achilles, and how old are they?Achilles is a husky. Jeb is a German Shepherd/Coyote mix. They are both 7 months old. (We only knew Achilles' birthday for sure, and Jeb is close enough in age - within a couple of weeks - that we just gave them the same birthday.)
What are their stories? How did they come to live with you?
Well, the super-long version is here on my blog. But here's a *slightly* abbreviated version. SoldierMan grew up with a husky that was very dear to him and wanted another husky ever since we got married. I've never been a dog lover, but when we moved here to El Paso, we got a house with a fence, so for Valentine's Day we were going to get him a husky puppy. We looked online and came up with several dead ends. So we started making the rounds at the local shelters. We went to four before we got to the one that actually had a husky puppy listed. We were very excited, we might actually be getting our husky! Instead, they bring in this little scraggly, brown, mangy puppy...that was very obviously NOT a husky! But he ran right up to me - the not-dog-lover - and clung to me. After a few minutes we left, disappointed they didn't have a husky. But I couldn't get that little brown puppy out of my mind. So, we went back a couple of days later and got him. We got back to the house and SoldierMan got a call from a family saying they had a husky puppy for us if we wanted to come get him! It was in a different state, but we loaded up the car and made the drive. In one day we went from no puppies to two puppies without planning to! I was in shock but now I can't imagine life without them. :)
When we began the search process, SoldierMan had a girl puppy name already picked out (his last husky was a girl). But he needed help with boy puppy names. So (naturally!) I pulled up the complete list of Shakespeare characters online. He wouldn't go for "Puck" (which, honestly, would describe Achilles' personality to a T) but we both liked Achilles. Then I suggested historical names, and he agreed to Jeb. So, we had two names, Achilles and Jeb, and we figured we'd use either name depending on how the dog's personality struck us. It was providential - because we sure got an Achilles and a Jeb. :)
What are their favorite favorite things to do? Any silly things they do or crazy quirks that make them unique?
Well, first of all, they are 7 months old, which means they have little puppy brains in full grown dog bodies (in Jeb's case, 80 pounds of puppy) so that makes for many interesting situations.
Jeb lives up to his name. Due to the strange breed mixture, he doesn't have an undercoat, and he has bald patches on his head and his belly. He also is missing half of his adult teeth (so his tongue hangs out a lot more than it does for most dogs). He would sleep 18 hours a day if Achilles wasn't there to wake him up all the time. :) Jeb is also our guard dog. If he hears the smallest strange noise within 30 feet of the house, he get's his "big boy bark" on and goes out to scare away the bad guys. He is very protective of me, specifically. If he thinks Achilles is playing too rough with me, he will pull him off and keep him away from me. He's also the easiest to please, pretty much always happy, loves to sleep on pillows, always jumps up to curl up on the bed as soon as SoldierMan leaves for work, and doesn't like having his picture taken. :)
Achilles, though, is insane. He's a husky, so basically like a little kid with ADD. If he's not asleep, he needs constant interaction and attention. He can't really play "by himself" - again, providential that we got two puppies instead of just one. He needed a buddy! And they are best buddies. They love to run together - huskies are runners. Jeb is a trotter. But he loves jogging after him! :) Jeb's game really is tug of war. Which Achilles doesn't have the patience for. :) They compliment each other really well.
Achilles is just special. There are probably a million stories I could put here - like how he whines when he thinks it's too loud when he's trying to nap or likes to bring me socks or rolls of toilet paper (both off-limits) when he thinks he's being ignored, or how he lands in puppy time-out at least twice a day (yes, we do timeout, and generally it's a great deterrent, huskies are just stubborn) - but one of the funniest is that he is very jealous of SoldierMan. Super-protective. If he sees us kissing, he jumps in between us to push me off. We tried kissing in front of Jeb to see if he would do the same thing, but he just sat and smiled up at us, like "As long as you're happy, I'm happy."
What makes them so special to you and your family? Particular times they've really "been there" or special things they've done?
Well, these are the first dogs I've ever had. So that's special in its own way. And obviously Achilles is very special to SoldierMan, because he's "his boy." :) Whenever SoldierMan gets home from work, Achilles jumps on the arm of our couch to get eye-level with SoldierMan and kisses on him for as long as SoldierMan will let him. Jeb is my puppy. We got him from a shelter, so he had a respiratory infection for the first few weeks we had him. So, the first few weeks he was here he spent basically napping on my lap. Achilles is very definitely SoldierMan's boy, and Jeb is very much mine. Jeb is also very empathetic. Whenever I'm upset, he is there to cuddle with me. And Achilles is there to keep me on my toes and moving all day. I have to say, as chaotic as it is having two big puppies, I love having them here. I'm still not what I would consider a "dog person". But I'm very much a Jeb and Achilles person. :)
Hope you all enjoyed reading about these sweet pups! :) If you have some sweet furry friends you'd like to share, I'd love to hear from you! I'm always looking for new stories to share. Just e-mail me at TailsToTell [at] Live [dot] com, and we will set up an "interview."