Next week will mark 4 months since I have adopted you, Felix.

Is life now good for you? It is for me.

Do you remember last weekend when we went to Flagstaff, and saw all those dogs at the Rescue Roundup?

That lady I talked to for a while at the end recognized you; that is because Donna is with the Humane Society of Central Arizona in Payson. Yeah, that place, where I adopted you.

I was told that the people that owned you before left you alone in the yard all the time, and so you were a “jumper”, always going over the fence to try and find someone to hang out with. Since we’ve been together, there was a lady in Pet Smart and the other lady we met camping that recognized you too; they were neighbors of your owners, and had seen you plenty of times running around their neighborhood.

Wow, I am glad you do not want to jump over my fence! You have not even tried.

Back to the conversation with Donna. She told me that you had actually been adopted twice, and that you were first brought to the shelter as a puppy. Donna was pretty sure she had a photo of you as a puppy, and indeed, she sent the picture to me today.

Do you remember being that small?

And, awwwwwwww. Look at those eyes! Who would not want you at any age, but especially as a cute puppy?

Me either.

I don’t understand humans.

But wait, there’s more to the story. Donna told me that originally your name was “Strale”, a word she said was Italian for “arrow” named for that jagged stripe shape on your nose. Someone at the shelter picked that name for you when you were found as a puppy.

I can see that… it’s gotten a bit darker from when you were a puppy.

And I liked that story, although to me, “Strale” does not sound very Italian. But what do I know? So I went to the internet to check out this story.


Hmmm, according to Google Translate, the Italian word for arrow is freccia. And when I entered “strale” as an Italian word, well it did not translate into anything in English:

no strale

I know, Felix! That’s sad because the story was nice. But my interpretation was that maybe the story was maybe more that “Strale” is a nickname for part of your breed, Australian Shepherd.

Yes, that sounds more plausible.

But I wanted to be sure, and I know exactly who to ask. You see Felix, there is this man you have never met, a friend of mine named “Jim Groom”, who asserts that he is some sort of big on the internet. But his wife, Antonella, is and speaks Italian!

So I asked her via a twitter direct message… what’s twitter? Oh Felix, I may have to explain that another day.

But look what Antonella said!

Ciao Alan, your dog is very cute, I’ve enjoyed seeing his pics on twitter and flickr! Maybe I will meet him someday!

Wow, she knows you from my photos! She’s so nice. And they have a cool dog named “Daphne”

But check this out…

As far as his Italian name is concerned the people who named him “Strale” must have been poets, because it is indeed an Italian word, used mainly in poetry, meaning arrow as in “a flash of lightning”. It wouldn’t be something you said just looking at a summer storm from your balcony, but you may be inspired to use it to describe Zeus’s wrath or if you wanted to translate Homer into Italian.

You were named by a poet! And your name is a poetry word for a powerful flash.


No, i’m not going to change your name. You are Felix to me.

But maybe … maybe … “Strale” might find it’s way as a nickname.

Are you okay with that?

I thought so!

Okay! You’re right, I have been sitting here pecking at this machine too long, let’s got for a walk… Mr Strale.

Top / Featured Image: Combo of flickr photo of a puppy named Strale and the Felix I know in the first week he came home with me flickr photo both shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license.

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as


    1. If food is involved, he will answer to “Pickle Bug”. But let’s ask him…

      “Hi Pat, you look like a nice guy, from your icon. And I hear you have a nice dog too. I’m quite happy being a ‘Felix’- a name that does not need an explanation. Plus it sounds classy. Now where is my bone?”

  1. Is that pronounced STRA-lay or STRAYL?
    Good research and are those the cutest Felix pictures ever?
    It IS interesting that fence jumping made him into a problem dog that brought him to you and now he doesn’t jump. I conclude that you were looking for each other, “deep calls out to deep,” and no need for anyone to be leaving home now…

  2. Awww…so neat to discover Felix’s story. He was a very cute puppy. Sounds like he had a rough start but now he’s found the right owner!

  3. It’s a shame our rescue dogs won’t get to meet, they could swap stories. Like you I wonder how someone could abandon Bruno. I mean, sometimes you can see how a dog might have been too much for a family, but he’s good as gold and just wants affection. Felix looks like he’s settled in very well 🙂

    1. On our walks we pass by so many dogs left alone in a yard, barking, mostly bored I bet. Dogs, like [some] people respond positively to attention, affection, and companionship. I bet Bruno just needed a good couch and someone to spend time with him. Felix has the best disposition, personality of any dog I’ve had, and all it took was feeding, playing, and doing a lot of walks together.

      Who knows, maybe one day I will drive my truck to Wales…

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