If only I were the King of England

By Jay Stoeckl, Chief Assistant to the Assistant, Assistant Breeder, Feb. 20, 2024
Yeti and her new collar.png
Yeti wearing her beautiful new collar.

If only I were the King of England.

The event, which occurred yesterday, would have been marked by a huge gala dinner  with kings, queens, and presidents, princes and princesses, duchesses and dukes, all showing up in their finest.

The media, of course, would all be there, recording with high definition video, each stage in the countdown. Their programming would be shown on live channels across several continents.

Their commentary would recognize each major figure as they stepped out of their black limousines, forty-five feet long apiece.

The palace at Buckingham would be decked out with flower garlands and white lit candles adorning every nook. Armed palace guards would present a sword tunnel for arriving guests.


And the bells!

From Canterbury, the full entourage of bells would be ringing, resounding the happy event across all of the United Kingdom, from Devonshire to Wales, Edinburgh to Dover.

People young and old would turn out in the streets, all dressed in their Sunday finest. Each of them waving a miniature Union Jack and cheering as the Cinderella coach drawn by Clydesdales passes.

There, inside that coach, I would sit, waving at the crowd of enthusiasts. I am in my golden fringed, navy blue uniform. My lovely wife, Queen Jennifer, is adorned in her Louis Vuitton million-dollar dress, pearls around her neck, sitting by my side.

We are both utilizing the regal wave we had been practicing all month. The crowds cheer as we pass, cameras flashing, and children dancing.

The event?

Yeti’s christening into the family dog life. It is the Collar Day ceremony.

Alright!, Alright! Enough with the daydream!

I had to illustrate this scene, because if I had simply started out with:  “Uh… today I bought Yeti a collar,” you might not have even opened this email let alone read past the first line.

But here you are!

And now you’re stuck!

When my Cricket died at 13 years old nearly three years ago, one of the questions our Inner Circle members had for me, was:

“When is Jay getting his forever heart dog?”

(I don’t know where this term, Heart Dog came from—maybe from the same teenage girls who coined the phrase “Besties Forever” during a slumber party.)

Three years. Three years surrounded by the best dogs on earth, but none to call my own.

I didn’t think I was ever going to find my forever dog.

Then, Yeti was born.

Having been born a singleton (the only puppy in her litter) meant she had to bond with us, not with littermates. The imprinting was made very early on.

And to me, just like with your dog, she’s the greatest dog ever to live on Planet Earth.

There is such joy when she and I engage with each other, whether playing with a toy or just snuggling next to each other before bedtime (she gets bedtime stories).

Induction into the family is never just assumed. For me it did not happen when I said to Jennifer:

“Hey, Jenn, I think I want to keep this one…”

(Jennifer responds without taking her eyes off of her computer)… “uh… okay.” (She takes a slurp from her drink and continues typing.)


This is exactly how I convinced her I was going to buy my first high-end guitar!

Works every time.

Whether it’s an 8-week-old puppy or adopting an adult, the pivotal moment, when everything living in Heaven stops to focus on you, is when you place the new collar on your dog.

It is NOT when contracts are signed.

It is NOT when the Puppy Express delivery occurs.

It’s not even marked when the puppy licks your face the first time you pick him up.

No, it’s the collar moment.

I don’t know… the color that flashes against the fur somehow transforms the dog from a Dire Wolf Project puppy to YOUR new baby—sort of like baptism or even a wedding when the minister declares you husband and wife.

Today, I walked into our favorite farm store in Colville and looked through the collar selection.

Immediately the blue plaid, argyle-patterned one caught my eye. Perfect for the English christening.

I invited the Royal Family to attend the occasion,

but have yet to hear back from them.

Yeti, in full Yeti fashion, appeared thrilled when I put the collar around her neck.

Yeti leapt up and down, wagging tail at the highest setting.  

I placed the collar on her neck, adjusting the size for a perfect fit. The collar contrasts with her milky white fur beautifully! I uttered the Irish Collar Day Blessing to seal the occasion forever. Now our bond can never be broken, not even across the farthest expanses of the universe. Oh, and…

She looks stunning!

Today, Yeti is the happiest dog.

But there is one who is not.

One puppy who has yet to have the scheduled date of her Collar Day…


She is everything Yeti is.

  1. sweet
  2. loving
  3. full of that desire to be someone’s “greatest dog on the planet.”

It always saddens me when a puppy is left unsold.

To me, I see a dog waiting on the platform of a train station.

All of the siblings got on the train, but not her.

Her eyes are still gazing down the empty tracks.

Her expression filled with “Why not me?”

So, if you could fall in love with this forever dog, contact Jennifer at:


Check out our latest video of Elatha to learn more about her:


All of England’s finest awaits word of Elatha’s future.

Here is the Irish Collar-Day Blessing for the day your puppy receives its

“Official Member of the Family” title.

May your presence fill us with the joy you feel when we come home.

May your kisses wash away our tears.

May your presence take away the lonelies.

May you lie by our beds dispelling all darkness.

May your bark ward off all enemies.

May your nap time bring peace and serenity.

May your snuggles be fireplace warmth to our hearts.

May we both live a long and healthy life together.

Jennifer Stoeckl is the co-founder of the Dire Wolf Project, founder of the DireWolf Guardians American Dirus Dog Training Program, and owner/operator of DireWolf Dogs of Vallecito. She lives in the beautiful inland northwest among the Ponderosa pine forests with her pack of American Dirus dogs.