by David Salman

[caption id="attachment_693" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Hunter"]hunter at the gate[/caption] I’ve always been a dog person and have had dogs in my life since I was a little kid. Last March 2009, Hunter, our little Cairn Terrier-Shih Tzu mix passed away after being with my family and I for nearly 17 years. The last of our pack of three dogs, he was the most resilient, courageous little dog I’ve ever known. In his last years he survived a near fatal coyote attack and the loss of a front leg to cancer. But he never lost his lust for life and continued to be an active member of the family and go for walks until the very last. I was devastated by his passing. My wife Ava and I missed him so much. We started thinking about getting another puppy that [caption id="attachment_694" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Jarrah"]Our new puppy Jarrah[/caption] summer but didn’t find one. Then as these things happen, the universe provided. In early August, my son Aaron, Ava and I were out on the family Ranch in northeastern New Mexico for the weekend. As we were preparing to go Ava walked over to the gardens where she found a little abandoned puppy hiding under a bush, starving and dehydrated.  We brought her to the house and gave her some water and dog chips, bundled her into the back seat of the pick-up (where all our dogs have loved to ride) and took her back to Santa Fe. The vet thought she looked like a Blue Heeler, so Aaron looked up a list of the most popular Australian dog names (Google is a wonderful thing!) and we came up Jarrah. It’s an Aussie name for a Eucalyptus tree. [caption id="attachment_695" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Jarrah in the snow"]Jarrah in the snow[/caption] Jarrah has been a welcome addition to our family. At only about 8 months of age, she has grown to be a big, sturdy 45 pounder. She loves to frolic in the snow. Whether with toys inside the house or chasing sticks, balls and frisbees in the yard, Jarrah is ready to play at a moments notice. She also loves to play with other dogs and is very social. She also looks forward to our daily, early morning off-leash walks through the neighborhood arroyo where she can run to her heart’s content. She’s very fast. We call her our “Lotto Dog” who won the lottery and got to move up to the good life in Santa Fe. And what a great life it’s been so far!