We are thrilled to spotlight The McCaleb family this month. Brandon, Laura and Big Browne, and baby James Milas who joined their family, and ours, on October 29th! Watching Big Browne, a 150 lb Akita, gently watch over his tiny new baby brother warms the heart like nothing else. Tis the season to be Jolly!
Laura and Brandon meet in a chance encounter at the Alluvian Hotel in Greenwood, MS. Laura was meeting friends for a night out, and Brandon was the bartender at the hotel. Their chemistry was apparent from the moment she ordered. It was “love at first drink”! Wedding bells ensued and the couple planted roots in Greenwood for the first few years of marriage.
They were welcomed to their new abode by a frequent visitor. A giant four-pawed pup! Their first meeting was a bit startling for Brandon. Returning late one evening from work, he was leaning over to get the key in the door when, “hello”, that giant pup was staring at him as if to say “whatcha doing?” He has a quiet presence, but a LARGE one none the less. Weighing in at 150 lbs he can be an intimidating site, but his sweet eyes drew Brandon in and he knew there was nothing to fear.
His visits became more and more frequent and it was clear they had a new friend. But where did he live? Who did he belong to? Brandon was working on the house one afternoon and he spotted the big fellow underneath the house. It was clear. He lived with THEM! Laura couldn’t bear the thought of him living under the house, so he joined their family, inside. They dubbed him “Big Browne” after the race horse that took the 134th Run for the Roses, at the Kentucky Derby in 2008. Brandon decided to add the “E” for some flair!
They felt a great responsibility to find his original family. Someone must be missing him. After some great detective work (and soul searching) they discovered that Big Browne was actually the pup of a family that had recently moved from their neighborhood. Brandon contacted them and they told him Big Brown kept running away from the new home, back to his old home. The two families agreed it was best for Big Browne to stay with the McCalebs. Phew! Life has certainly become sweeter with Big B in it.
Big Browne quickly became the best Furr-mate a human could ask for! He can be a bit stubborn when it suits him, but mostly he just loves to hang. His favorite place to do so is under thresholds; doors, closets, and even the refrigerator counts in his book. He looks at you with those big eyes as if to say “you’ll have to go through me first!” He is an amiable dude; he’s mellow and loves people. So Brandon and Laura decided to show off their new buddy by taking him to the 4th of July festivities in downtown Greenwood. Little did they know, Big Browne has “noise phobia”. They were having a grand ole time. Big B was sniffing hot dogs and meeting new people. It was a picture perfect day until…..the chaos. The moment the first firework erupted, so did Big Browne! HE-WAS-OUTTA-THERE! Laura said she’d never seen him run so fast! Big Browne, the 150 lb Akita, running full speed through the crowd with Brandon in tow. “It was like watching a cartoon” she said. The high speed chase ended when Big Browne reached home safely. He had some practice finding his home after all!
This past few years been filled with change for the McCaleb family. After moving to Oxford a little over a year ago to advance their careers, the McCalebs are now proud parents to their first human child James. Big Browne is now a big brother and he is getting used to some new sounds. The sounds of sweet baby James. Big Browne is a great big brother. He sleeps next to the crib and often takes a peak over it to make sure all is well with his little bro.
Congratulations to the McCaleb Family! We wish you endless joy and sweet memories for the years to come! Thanks for sharing them with us.