New Years Filled with Hope... and Puppies.

By Jay Stoeckl, Dec. 29, 2023
Giants litter
Giants litter

Jennifer was exhausted after a long day, so I offered to take on the correspondence to you, our most cherished friends.

Time is… well interesting. In 2024 there will be marked some interesting anniversaries. In 2024, 40 years ago (June) I graduated from high school and moved to Germany spending three years there. 30 years ago (summer) Jennifer and I met. 20 years ago (July) we got married. 10 years ago… well, nothing much happened 10 years ago.

Still, dates are interesting.

As the new year quickly approaches, I look around me and think about all that I am thankful for. I have a loving wife. I live in a beautiful place. And I have dogs… LOTS of dogs, to inundate me with unconditional love.

New Year’s day often fills us with a new hope, that perhaps the coming year will bring in a.bit more prosperity, new roads to uncover, and perhaps new friendships.

After the Giant’s Litter temperament test, Jennifer and I have the ALL CLEAR to pick up and handle the puppies. At first they don’t know what to make of us. Some of them give off their first “woofs”. Others just look at us inquisitively. But the moment they feel a soft hand across their fluffy fur, they begin to discover the joy of those heavenly immortals called humans.

This evening, I talked to them about a deep and philosophical subject. Dinner. They all looked up at me with a new level of interest. There’s an old saying that goes like this:

I place food down in front of a dog. The dog says, “I was hungry and you gave me food… YOU must be a god!”

You do the same thing for a cat. The cat says, “I was hungry and you gave me food… I must be a god!”

Even at this age, these innocent little ones look to us for their every need. It is at this 3-4 week age that they begin looking more to their human masters and less at their mother. They absolutely love it when I crawl into the pen with them and they surround my legs with curiosity, each of them begging their turn to climb into my arms. There is an intense curiosity about us. And we’re to be careful we don’t let them down.

Tonight, for example, they had reached their dinner hour. I opened a can of food and put it out for them. They apparently love Pedigree canned food more than the Kirkland I had fed them before. They dove into the food dishes with gusto. I opened a second can. I figured one can was now too little for them. They filled their tummies and were a bit too full this time, letting me know of their discomfort.

Now they are curled up with Jesse, quiet and sleeping.

So, during this new year, I wish you all the hope in the coming season that I feel in this one. May you look to the heavens and find something far greater than ourselves. May you find joy and happiness in your family, your friends, and even your co-workers. And may the coming year find you in prosperity during these difficult times.

For an end of the year bit of humor, here are 10 ways you know you’re a dog person:

  1. You brush your hair with a dog brush.
  2. After a friend comes to visit and helps you out, you tell him, “Good boy!”
  3. You shake hands with the palm side down.
  4. Your clothes are not gray, that’s dog hair.
  5. You want to talk to your kids so you tell them to “SIT!”
  6. When taking a walk, you find yourself in a zigzag trajectory.
  7. Bags of dog treats sit in the cupboard alongside the snack food—a dangerous logistic.
  8. You check the bottom of your shoes before entering your house.
  9. When at a park, you have an elevated interest in the squirrels.
  10. When your boss backs you into a corner, you find yourself on the verge of emitting a growl.

Oh, and check out the latest photos of Jesse’s Giants Litter at:

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.