About a Dog (Or a couple of them, rather)

Way back before COVID was in our lives (the beginning of last year, or 5 lifetimes ago…I’m not even sure anymore) our family made a plan to visit the US in the summer. We had this great idea to buy ourselves another dog, and then bring him back home with us to Ukraine when we returned in the fall. 

Our dog, Bluebell, is an English Shepherd and the best dog on the planet. We felt like she needed a companion, and was also the perfect age to teach a new pup how to behave. Our friend Paige, breeds English Shepherds and gifted us our Bluebell 5 years ago. She had a new litter of pups that would be the perfect age to travel to Ukraine at the end of the summer. Paige even had a sweet, sable pup that she thought would be a perfect addition to our family and he hadn’t been claimed yet. The stars were aligned- it was time to get ourselves a puppy! 


We purchased our puppy, Auggie, and Paige graciously agreed to keep him until we arrived in Oregon in June. 

Then COVID. (How many times have I written that sentence in my storytelling over the past few months??) 

The borders closed and flights were cancelled. It quickly became apparent that we were not going to be heading to the US for the summer. But what about our Auggie?  Well, a wonderful family that are also English Shepherd owners stepped in and agreed to care for Auggie till we could come to the US this winter. Problem solved! We were bummed to miss out on puppy time, but knew he was being well-cared for, and that the time would fly by quickly.  

Then came time to buy our tickets for our winter visit. And…surprise, surprise…COVID! 

Come to find out, many airlines have suspended pet travel during the pandemic, so our options for getting Auggie back to Ukraine dwindled and dwindled till we realized the only way to get him home would be by paying a pet shipping company like $1500. Needless to say, our “pet budget” doesn’t extend that far. Yikes. We were so sad to finally admit to ourselves that Auggie wasn’t going to be coming to Ukraine.

In the meantime, another pup had entered the picture. Our Seth, the saver of all strays, brought a puppy home off the street. This wasn’t the first time Seth has tried to adopt a stray, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. His soft heart can’t bear seeing an animal all alone. We told Seth that we didn’t need another dog because Auggie would soon be coming home (we were still fighting that battle). We tried to turn the pup out, but he wouldn’t go away. He stuck around, sleeping on our porch and even barking at strangers who would pass by! I guess he felt he had found his home. Pretty soon we started feeding him, giving him soft blankets to sleep on, and…it all kind of snowballed from there. At one point I told Jed “If we’re feeding this puppy we need to decide if he’s ours.” There are too many stray dogs around our village to start randomly feeding them all!

We were still tossing around the idea of keeping the puppy when we came to the conclusion that it was literally impossible for us to get Auggie to Ukraine this winter. I asked Auggie’s foster family if they wanted to keep him and they were more than happy to comply! They love Auggie and had become quite attached to him. Our hearts were at peace. Auggie was with a loving family, and “the puppy” was an orphan. He needed us. The whole situation seemed pretty “on brand” for our fam. Hehe. 😉

That’s the story of how Wendell joined our family. Life in the times of COVID- you just never know which strange turns it will take. Am I right? Our little Wendell will always be a reminder of our strangest year yet.

PS: When we were choosing a name for Auggie, Jed was really pushing the name “Wendell”. No one in the family agreed with him. None of us were fans. Then when the pup started hanging around our porch he started covertly calling him Wendell. I guess Jed came out as the winner on this one.

Bluebell and her new buddy

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  1. Jenn · November 6, 2020

    Please tell Jed, and anyone else who will listen, Jed was right.🤷🏼‍♀️ The puppy IS Wendell. Love y’all, all y’all, even Wendell.

    • kimnjed · November 6, 2020

      Hahaha 😂 Well, at least Jed has someone in his corner.

  2. Phyllis · November 6, 2020

    My cousin’s toddler and a friend’s toddler are named Wendell, and of course, there’s Wendell Berry. Your dog is in good company. 🙂

    I spent today helping a friend get her dog documented to move back to America. Dog travel is way more complicated than people travel!

    • Timi LaLonde · November 6, 2020

      You gotta know I’m a Wendell fan! 💛💛💛

      • kimnjed · November 9, 2020

        Of course you are…🤣

    • kimnjed · November 9, 2020

      It definitely is! Ukrainian laws are a lot more strict than they used to be too. When we brought our other dog here it was easy. There are waaaay more requirements now.

  3. Kimberly Copple · November 6, 2020

    I love Wendell! Well done, even loving the orphan animals – Gotta love Wide Awake!

  4. Teresa · November 6, 2020

    The orphan puppy to a family who saves orphan boys what a perfect match!

    • kimnjed · November 9, 2020

      Haha! I know! It fits.

  5. Karen Aquino · November 7, 2020

    I have a dog that “found” me a few years ago. He is the best. I wasn’t even planning on another dog, but he came along and stole my heart. Can’t imagine my life without him in it now. We needed each other. Glad Wendell found you guys right when you had room for him in your life and your hearts.

    • kimnjed · November 9, 2020

      Yes, I think it was “meant to be”.

  6. Shelley Waia’u · November 9, 2020

    Wendell is a great name!

    The name Wendell means Wanderer, Seeker and is of German origin.
    The seeker has been found!!!♥️

    • kimnjed · November 18, 2020

      Awww I love that!!! Yes! I have to tell Jed. 🙂

  7. Laura Powell · November 14, 2020

    Hi Kim and Jed! Your new addition looks a little like our dog, who is black lab mixed with Australian shepherd. I’m sorry you weren’t able to get the dog you planned on getting, but I’m thankful your son has a soft spot for homeless animals, and you took one in! I wanted to give a donation to your ministry, Wike Awake Family, but I can’t find a spot on your website to do so. Could you please advise me? Thanks!

    • kimnjed · November 18, 2020

      Hi there Laura!
      I would be so interested to find out what kind of dog Wendell is! I’m guessing a mix between a street dog and a lab. He is a great fit for us. 🙂 Thanks for asking about donations. You can do that here: http://wideawakeinternational.org/contact

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