Pets and Their People: Ashes and the Trainums

Ashes enjoys a relaxed Saturday afternoon at home in Gordonsville with her family, Tyler, Megan and Cole Trainum.

Tyler and Megan Trainum each had lost a dog before they began searching for a new one to “fill the hole” in their hearts, as Megan tells the tale. After searching animal rescue websites, they picked out a puppy in South Carolina badly in need of a new home. And so it was that a young black lab and springer spaniel mix arrived in Fredericksburg via van, hopped into Tyler Trainum’s arms and then headed to her new home in Gordonsville. To her delight, Megan Trainum discovered she and the sweet-tempered puppy shared a birthday: “It was really cool,” she said of the telling detail which made her feel the match “was meant to be.” The couple named their new pet Ashes—an apt name for a black dog owned by two community-minded people who have devoted a big chunk of their lives to fighting fires. (Tyler’s previous dog was named Smokey.) Both Megan and Tyler are EMTs and firefighters for the Gordonsville Volunteer Fire Company, and it’s a family tradition on both sides: Their fathers are Gordonsville firefighters who have served more than 100 years between them. Now age 4, Ashes is a large, beautiful dog with silky black hair that gleams in the sunlight. She adores her owners and has come to accept the latest member of the family: baby Cole, 4 months old. Tyler Trainum said that after a period of adjustment, Ashes now has the attitude of “‘Oh, he’s mine—I’ve got to look out for him just like the rest of us.’” 

Hilary Holladay covers education and politics for the Orange County Review. The author of five books, she is currently writing a biography of the poet Adrienne Rich.

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