Tom T. RIP

*IWPA Regional Bronze Medalist as a Rookie


27″ & 99 lb skinny working weight @ 10yo, Alaskan Seal/white male

10-gen COI <1%, OFA prelim Excellent, Thyroid, CERF, ChD

 About Tom T.

I told his dam when she was pregnant that I wanted a big, goofy male.  I told his big, goofy sire to breed true.  Oh, boy, did they listen to me on this one.

Tom T. is the product of a long-awaited union between Wayeh Kennels and Snow Song Kennels.  He was named, much as his ancestor Rowdy of Nome was named, because he wasn’t (rowdy that is).  Tom T. Hall was a rowdy crooner, our Tom T. has only the voice in common.  He’s laid back, calm, sweet, and generous, Tom T. is the peacemaker of the kennel with a gravelly voice that sounds off in a sweet basso.

But Tom T. loves the traditional job of Malamutes — harness work.  He earned his Working Team Dog (WTD) (2/01) often running co-lead with his mother.  He’s graduated to single lead and has earned his Working Lead Dog (WLD) (12/01).  His weight pulling is in the 18-22% range, and an IWPA Regional Bronze Medallist his first year pulling .  He’s also training for his obedience & packing titles.  This boy will do anything asked of him with a sweetness that shines through.  And he’s the most natural, laid-back Alpha anyone could ask for.

Tom T. came out of retirement at nearly 8 years old, to earn his Rally-Obedience Novice title with scores of 89, 98, 95, & 95.  He’s now training for Obedience Novice and Rally-Obedience Advanced title.  Why not, he’s LOVIN’ it!

Not destined for the show ring,* Tom is that once in a lifetime dog, only he’s also the son of that once in a lifetime dog Summer.  IWPA regional bronze medallist his rookie year, he weight pulls 22%, leads my team, and is a true gentleman in every good way.  He’s raised every male puppy, including his nephew Maestro, and has a calming VIBE about him.  Tom is a GREAT dog, the best of the best, and ‘Mr. Wonderful’ doesn’t say enough.

Note: Tom may not have been destined for the show ring, but he scored 3 Best In Shows as a Super Veteran 10yo 2/10 in Marietta.  <G>

Short Pedigree

CH Snow Song’s Night Rider CGC TDI TT WPD “Rider”

X AKC/INT Wayeh’s Cherokee Summer CGC WTD “Summer”


12 years, 8 months, 30 days

You count the days with a puppy like this one, born into your hands, one who would watch you, who would look at you and see you, one who spent his life with you, bringing you joy and pride with every woo and every wag. From my first litter on my own, without my mentor, Billie Stewart. A litter she would not have bred herself, because it didn’t fit in with her plan, but she would have loved Tom T. and his siblings because I did.

His father was the kissing bandit, CH Snow Song’s Night Rider CGC TT TDI “Rider,” and Tom inherited all that was good and tender in that kind soul. Rider and his sire were buddies, went to shows together, stood ringside together, shoulder to shoulder. Rider loved everybody. I wanted that, that sweetness, and I got a full measure of it in Tom T.

When he was born, I wanted a boy. I loved his father, loved his grandfathers, I wanted a big goofy sweetheart boy from this litter. Long story short. The first three born were girls. The fourth was the irrepressible Snowman who was handed by Liz to Lynn bypassing my empty hands without a thought — and yeah, the Snowman was destined for Lynn, Billie even marked him with a big snowball on his shoulder for her. Then finally, finally, finally, the next puppy was my boy, my Tom T., my big goofy sweetheart.

Tom T. was named for Tom T. Hall, for his deep beautiful voice and his gentle ways. He was babysitter for every litter born here, the uncle for every puppy that stayed here, my therapy dog, my heart, the kind yet firm leader of the pack, the king of the hill and tender with all puppies, all sexes, all sizes and colors, and all species, he loved 2-legged puppies with a tenderness and zeal like spending time with them was a priceless gift.

He was a Canine Good Citizen at 5 months, 30 days — we got a 1-day pass, because you’re supposed to be 6 months. He sailed through the CGC wagging, wooing, grinning that huge smile.

He was an IWPA Regional Bronze medallist his rookie year at 2, earning his IWPA WWPD in a head-to-head competition with another Malamute that became personal for the two dogs, each doing a personal best that day, watching the other intently as they pulled, round after round, pulling half again as much as either one ever had or ever would again. He knew more about weightpulling than I did, so I let him do his thing. And boy, howdy, did he. He came out on top that day, but there were no losers, and I floated all the way home. My boy did that, my big sweetheart goofy boy.

My friend Tammy’s son Landon has Cerebral Palsy and learned to stand up by holding big handfuls of Malamute hair, Tom & his sister Singer were so patient with him, and went on to do therapy work, as their mother Summer had, and her mother Justice had, and her father Cherokee had…

Tom T. lead every sled and cart team for 8 years, Siberian teams, puppy teams, the big strong Mal team that yanked my truck sideways down the driveway — that was his brilliant idea and he smiled the whole time I yelled at them. Once he couldn’t stay ahead of the fast teams, he and his sister Singer did just fine on the scooter or the rig, slower, but still as steady and dependable as a clock.

As a 7-year-old, he waltzed into the Rally ring and charmed his way through that as well — with a few hiccups along the way in the form of 2 Qs and then 4 NQs in a row.. what the heck was this about???? I was baffled, suddenly he’d just stand there and gaze off into the distance, wouldn’t make eye contact, wouldn’t sit. He had this long-suffering look on his face, his whole body posture was ENDURE THIS. What was suddenly wrong with my rock, my trooper? We’d leave the ring and he’d come alive again, bouncing and happy and wagging his huge self. Inside the ring — nothing. Took him to my sister and said, YOU show him. He’s lost his brain. She said, show me what he’s doing. I said, fine, Tom Sit. gave him the signal and he just stood there, distant, removed, uninvolved, holding himself still and waiting. Sister said, When did you start signaling with your right hand….? Huh? Signaled with my left hand and he gave me a HUGE grin and plopped into a sit with perfect eye contact and my sister laughed until she cried. He’s PROUD of you for remembering how to talk to him. Well, heck. Too tender to confront me with my stupidity, too patient to rebel, he just waited me out. Who is the supposed brains of this partnership? The next weekend, he sailed through, would have had a 99 except for a stupid human trick that cost us 10 points. I told him Down, Stay, and walked around, told him HEEL (I forgot to pause) and he laid there a second, staring at me, You’re supposed to pause. But he got up when I told him the second time — yes, I know to pause, yes, I teach Rally, for Pete’s sake, I know to pause. But no one was every happier with an 89 than I was that day. No one every cried happy tears over a 1-point interference when he bumped into me on a 360 turn — it was a Malamute hip check, Hey, you, he seemed to say, this is FUN again. He was my demo dog in rally classes for years after that.

As a 10-year-old, Tom, his sister Singer, and his exalted brother Snowman met up at an IABCA show and Tom came home with a new title — Multi Best in Show Veteran — he really wowed them, and since judges there were all AKC judges, they demanded to know why I hadn’t finished his AKC Championship…

Well, it goes like this, as an 18 month old, his mother and his sister went into season and he knocked a 6×20 roofed kennel on top of his mother and tied her through the fencing…. Oh, they said. Wow, they said. So I called the vet and said, You can neuter him. Or I will. Grrrr! Tom T. was neutered the next Tuesday — by the vet — and the girls were safe from his hormonal self.

He was my in-front-of-the-fridge dog, because he liked to sleep there where the warm air blew out — silly boy. Tom T. was the babysitter, loving all puppies, raising all puppies, boys and girls, because that was his job. Even last night, when he wasn’t feeling well, when time had caught up with him, he shared his spot in front of the fridge with a couple of puppies, his great-neice and great-nephew, 3-month-olds Polar & Sailor (Akai & Bright), and although he grumped at them, they were still snuggled up among his long legs and under his bushy tail when I checked on them at daybreak.

Tomorrow would have been 12 years and 9 months. I wanted a few more days with him, or hours. But 5 days ago, a growth started in his jaw. Brother Dr. Matt took a look at it and I could tell by the way he rubbed Tom’s head, by the way he stiffened and took a breath before looking at me, I could just tell. From 5 days ago to this morning, this virulent aggressive diabolical cancer had spread into his jawbones and he couldn’t eat. Didn’t want to. Not even roast beef, scrambled eggs, cottage cheese, or his personal favorite, melty peanut butter on toast.

RIP Tom T., my Thomas, 12 years, 8 months, and 30 days. It was time, but I can’t believe it’s over.

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