Jenna is a nine-year old Australian Shepherd. She adopted Pete and Alys two years ago, after her previous owners called and said they could no longer care for her. Pete and Alys saddled up Siggi and Raudi and rode over to the Carruther’s place on Ridge Runner Circle. There sat Jenna on the porch stoop. Alys had a few years before befriended her former owner, Katerina, then 15. The two often went horseback riding, and were accompanied by the black-and-white dog.
Two years later, Katerina had a baby and was living in a small apartment in Wasilla. Her phone call alerted Pete and Alys to the fact that Jenna needed a new home. Jenna was shaking, and when Alys approached her, she ran to the far side of the house. Alys caught up with the dog, and after stroking her matted coat, assured her that she’d always have a good home. Jenna, who believed that this meant Alys and Pete were to be her new owners, followed at Raudi and Siggi’s heels. Jenna didn’t hear Alys agree with Pete’s statement that “the ark is full and listing from side-to-side,” meaning that they had no room left for any additional animals. Jenna instead acted like she’d always been with the pair. Her belief was verified by a passing motorist, who stopped and made the comment that she seemed to be a very devoted dog.
Alys called her friend Ruth, who was adept at finding dogs good homes, and left a message saying that Jenna would be an easy placement. Jenna, who had other ideas, instead took on the role of Number One Trail dog. Alys one day went for a ride with Tammy, her yoga instructor. Upon her return, Pete came up to the pair and said that he’d just gotten a call from Ruth, who’d found a home for Jenna. Alys’s response was “This dog isn’t going anywhere!” Alys later said that at the time the words had popped out of her mouth, unbidden. Nevertheless, she decided to stick by what she’d just said. Pete and Alys had a short, heated debate in which Jenna’s future hung in the balance. After Alys noted that Jenna was again shaking, Pete he gave in.
Raudi, Jenna, and Alys have since become inseparable trail buddies. If Jenna falls too far behind, Raudi will stop, turn her head, and look for her. Raudi will also follow Jenna, who at times is the self-designated trail leader. The pair have, a few times, lead Alys astray, once in fact, into the yard of a solitary horse, who let it be known that he would enjoy getting to know Raudi a little better.
Jenna is not smart the way Rainbow is, but instead she is loyal to the point of having no interest in other dogs. When, for example, other dogs try to sniff her butt, she runs off. Jenna’s also more unobtrusive, which is why she often finds herself left in what she considers to be strange places. Alys now observes what Susan Tilly (the former Alaska Icelandic Horse Club President) suggested, and counts to five before shutting pen gates and doors.
Jenna, like Rainbow, will be accompanying Pete and
Alys on the Divide Ride trek.