The Story Behind Franklin

Written April 8, 2007

Irith and Aaron both grew up around dogs. Neither have owned a dog outside of their family's dogs, however. Irith's family always owned Rottweilers, and they always raised dogs from puppyhood. Aaron's family always owned Dobermans, and they always got their dogs from a rescue organization.

Irith and Aaron had spoken about getting a dog for years, but always thought they would wait to get a dog until they could afford a house. Given the recent history/explosion of the Los Angeles real estate market (and the uncertainty as to when/if they would be able to afford a house in their neighborhood), Irith and Aaron finally decided to stop putting their lives on hold and get a dog. The decision was precipitated by Irith's looking at dogs for her friend and running buddy, Laura, during which process Irith realized she wanted a dog now -- a realization which Aaron supported wholeheartedly.

Irith and Aaron knew that there were not many breeds of dog that would have the energy to run long distances (Irith wanted a furry running companion for long runs) and yet be able to live peacefully in a two-bedroom condominium unit with no yard. Through one of her hiking/running buddies, Lori, Irith learned about a fairly rare breed of dog known as the English Shepherd, a breed related to the Australian Shepherd and the Border Collie. English Shepherds were bred to herd sheep and go hunting (and thus can run long distances) as well as guard the family (so they also know how to behave around people who are just chilling out) and even pick-up the children from school.


After deciding they wanted an English Shepherd, Irith and Aaron found Franklin (under an assumed name) on the National English Shepherd Rescue website. After filling out many forms and providing references (all of whom were contacted), Irith and Aaron were approved to adopt Franklin, a three-year-old English Shepherd.

This was the second time Franklin had been rescued, as he came from a litter of puppies that was abandoned in a dumpster. Franklin then lived with a family in Houston, who gave him up for adoption when they moved to the U.K. He had been in foster care in Wisconsin for approximately a week and a half when Irith and Aaron saw his information on the NESR website. He arrived in Los Angeles on April 6, 2007.

Franklin is a real sweetie. He rolls over onto his back to have his tummy rubbed at the drop of a hat, and loves exploring and sniffing new places. He is a very good trail running companion, and has learned to walk on lease quite nicely. Franklin's previous owners apparently did not give him much, if any, training, so we enrolled him in an obedience class as soon as we got him. He did very well, and now knows many commands. He even passed the Canine Good Citizen test at the 2007 English Shepherd Gathering in Northern California.

Franklin's favorite toy is his frisbee, though he plays well with his faux tennis ball (around our home -- at a dog park, he'd rather chase other dogs fetching his tennis ball). Special thanks are owed to Scout (Franklin's brother), who taught him how to play with a frisbee.


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