Attila “the Guerrero” McClellan


I asked The Witch of the Howling Creek about the history behind the name of her cyber-cottage, and she told me that it was a kind of tribute to the “eerie but beautifully natural sounds” of “coyotes and the nearby creek…” that surrounded one of her childhood homes. She didn’t have to explain further. I’m a witchy woman—my flesh and bones know that names have power and their energy tends to attach to us.

Because of that, the first time Jacob and I saw our dog (even before we knew we were going to be able to get him) I understood he needed a powerful name. One that said that he could do anything, that he was wanted, and that he had a loving family. We named him Attila “The Guerrero” McClellan.
Okay, there is a bit more to the story. This is how it went:

“I want a black dog,” I said to Jacob. “Fur of a different color will stick to my uniform.” I was still in the Marine Corps then, and wore dark blue and green skirts.

Jacob smiled at me, and we continued our internet search.

Later that night, I clicked on this:
 “I want him!” I yelled.

Jacob stared at me for a long time before saying, “Baby, that dog looks a little sick.”

“I know,” I might have sniffled the words.

“We’re looking for a black dog,” Jacob reminded me. “This one is white.”

“I know,” I caressed the computer screen. “We will need to think of a way to keep his fur out of my uniform. I guess we’ll need to vacuum a lot. Isn’t he beautiful? He needs a lot of love.”

“Baby?” Jacob pointed at some writing on the screen.

“Hm?” I said, dreamily. I was thinking about names, and about colors for my dogs collar and dish.

“The dog is in Texas.” Jacob kept his finger on the screen.

“Texas…” I said, getting a little worried. “You think he’ll be scared to flight all the way to Washington, D.C.?” On the back of my mind, I was already planning the trip to Texas.

Jacob kissed the top of my head, and said, “We can take care of him.”

“I know,” I smiled. And I’m pretty sure I was crying by then… and skipping around the room, asking Jacob for a middle name for our puppy; I already knew his first name was Attila. For like his namesake, I wanted him to grow up into a force to be reckoned with. I wanted our puppy to be strong and confident. Never scared. His mom had been forced to bite or die in illegal dog fights, before and during her pregnancy. All of Attila’s siblings died. He was picked up by a Chihuahua rescue, and they were pretty sure he would die, too. But he didn’t. And I wanted a name that reminded him that he was a survivor, a fighter, a winner…

Remember that bit about names having power? Well, Attila the Hun was one of the fiercest fighters in history, but Jacob and I have always been lovers. Why battle if you don’t have to, right? We’ll be fighters if we must, but we rather lie in bed enjoying life and each other. Nevertheless, it seems that when we gave our puppy my maiden name (Guerrero, which means warrior in Spanish) and McClellan (the last name I took when Jacob and I became husband and wife), we turned Attila “El Guerrero” McClellan into a happy loving beast. You will never meet a more adoring and adorable and devoted dog.

Our Attila has come a long way since his Texan Chihuahua rescue days… and he has been loved… He is a handsome puppy, and his mami and papi and grandma continue to love him to the point of silliness ;-)

I started this post with a quote from Tanaé, author of The Witch of the Howling Creek and editor of Pagan Living, who nominated Pagan Culture for The Witchy Blog Award. This honor requires the usual things (post the award, thank the giver, answer some questions, pass it forward, stand on one leg and make sure your witchy hat is pointing west… oh, never mind on the last bit, my sources tell me that the witchy hat can point anyplace you like ;-) So, thanks a bunch, Tanaé!

Here are my seven witchy questions and answers… all about puppies:
1. Do all Witches keep familiars? I don’t know all the Witches of the world, so I have no idea if they keep familiars or animals that aid their craft. Moi? I prefer thinking of my furry friends as family, not witchy tools. 
2. Has Attila ever assisted during a magic ritual? Once, he ate an olive oil-anointed candle, half a rosemary plant, and a tray of moon cakes. He was very spiritual about it, so the answer might be maybe…
3. Most Witches prefer cats. Is Attila a kitty in disguise? I’m pretty sure he is a dog, but he has this wild jumping routine that makes him look like a psychotic bronco overdosed on Red Bull, so he could be a horse…
4. Does Attila have his own broomstick? No. Actually, since the beginning of time, Attila has been raging war against brooms, mops, vacuums… I doubt he’ll care for riding a broomstick.
5. What’s Attila favorite color for witchy robes? Attila prefers to go fur-clad. He likes blue goggles, too.
6. Attila is a white pit bull, a blood-thirsty breed. Has he ever considered joining the fierce and elitist children of Thor? What a dumb question! Being a Thor worshiper wouldn’t make a puppy violent. Besides, Attila is way too lazy to pick up a sword or anything heavy that isn’t edible. 
7. So is Attila part of any coven? I’m not sure… but his sister enjoys dancing and twisting her tail. They often argue over who is better at worshiping the couch, so they might be a two-puppy coven. Oh, and as the look on her face suggests, Janani “Twister-Tail” McClellan feels very deeply about cats. So she might be a witch.
I’m passing this award to every Wicked Darling with a furry baby. If you choose to claim it, and share something witchy about your puppy, cat, turtle, frog, spouse or any other non-human family member, please leave me a link on this post. I want to read it. I promise to share it with Attila and Janani, too ;-)


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40 comments:

  1. Love the photo of you and Attila sleeping on the couch!

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    1. I do, too. Jacob always takes the best pictures of us (of me) sleeping. Some of them can't be shown *cough, cough* but they are quite lovely, too ;-)

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  2. A cute not at all witchy story :) You did good when took the puppy who needed your help! We also adopted a cat many years ago, who lived with us then for 17 years!
    Great answers, I was also trying to think of that stereotype of familiar, which has to be a black cat necessarily! :)Have a great day, Magaly!Wishing good health to Attila:)

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    1. 17 years of love and mischief, what a lucky kitty! Thanks for the good wishes. Attila has a bad hip, so good health wishes are always welcomed ;-)

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  3. :)

    http://salemwitchchild.blogspot.com/2012/11/kota-blue-storm.html

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    1. She is adorable, I bet you miss her all the time.

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  4. Good choice of a name!My husband is also called Attila:P

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    1. Too funny. Attila is the name of the brother of one of my high school friends. I had forgotten, and she just reminded me lol

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    2. Are they of Hungarian origin? I cannot remember other nations that have this name but I may be mistaken.

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    3. Nope, they are Dominicans, like I am. My culture is known for going wide and wild when it comes to names. I have a cousin named Vlad, yes after the impeller *sigh* and an aunt named Quintana, which means the fifth girl... like I said, "wide and wild" lol

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  5. He is adorable!!! I tend to pick my dogs like that too :D, always the runt that no one else will take...even when I had pick of the litter :D XXX

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    1. And they make the best furry friends, don't they? There is something special, a kind of dedication, that comes from a soul that understand that it is loved just because...

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  6. I love Atilla.....and you guys for taking him in...
    I wish more people were like you two instead of the haters who believe all the BSL crap.
    We have a pitbull to named Gary and he is the most loving and loved dog in our neighbourhood.
    Right now he is at my feet having a wee little dream!!
    We rescued him from a dog pound - well actually, he chose us...and we have never looked back!! That was 12 years ago and he still acts like a 2 year old...LOL...
    I hope you have many years with your little guy......many blessings to you Magaly xxx

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    1. Yay! Almost 13 years of good living and loving. That's wonderful. Attila still acts like a puppy, too. I hope he stays that way. I have a feeling he will, specially if he mimics the behavior of his mami and papi lol

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  7. OK - I just realised that I spelt his name wrong...friggin' dyslexic eyes...LOL!!!!

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    1. Attila can't read, so I will forgive you in his name ;-)

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  8. How sweet of Atilla to try & teach Daddy the correct way to play :)

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    1. Oh yes, Attila is a master a play, particularly when no one else feels like throwing a ball around. Daddy has learned ;-)

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  9. They are both so regal and beautiful!! I would love to snuggle with them.
    How blessed you all are that you found each other,
    Hugs
    SueAnn

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    1. Last night, I was saying the same thing! At the moment, Attila and Janani are with Jacob's parents, in the country. We are moving nearby in a month or so. I can't wait to fall asleep in a doggy pile ;-)

      We are blessed indeed!

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  10. So funny!! I love how he 'might' be helping in witchy rituals! But he is terrible handsome, I must say and looks all dog to me!

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    1. I know Attila's dedication to witchery comes straight from the gut lol

      He is a handsome pup, isn't he? And Janani, oh my she is such a queen!

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  11. Attila was your meant to be dog. I have luckily had several of those in my life. And even though I don't usually play well with awards, I am going to claim this one and answer the questions on Ye Olde Crones....gotta gather some photos first. Thanks this may just be what I need to let Odin's passing move through me. Oma Linda

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    1. I think you are right. We were meant to be part of each other's family. That might be the reason why Attila has adopted all of my mannerism, how weird is that?

      I'm glad you'll play along. It will be good to hear about Odin...

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  12. Attila is such a beautiful dog! I've always loved dogs, even through the bad experiences I've had with some growing up.. I've always thought pits were gorgeous (especially the white and brindled ones) but unfortunately, I'm allergic to them (?)..

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    1. When I was 5 or 6, my brother and I were attacked by two German Shepherds. One scratched my back and my arms and the second pinned my brother to the grown, face first, and nearly bit him but someone got there in time. My brother is still terrified of dogs. I was suspicious of dogs, too, for a while. Then we got Kenny, a one-eyed dog who jumped in front of a snake when the pissed off snake lunged at me (um... I might have been poking her with a stick because she wouldn't get away from her eggs. Yes, it was dumb). Kenny became my constant companion, and sometime during the 16 years we ran the woods together, I stopped being afraid of dogs. I miss the old boy sometimes...

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  13. Great photos! I am pleased to meet your beautiful puppy ;o)

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    1. He is the best puppy ever. But he was a bit annoyed today. He wanted to come home with us (he is a Jacob's parents) but our house is still too dusty for the puppy. He cannot understand the latter, so he just stands by the car giving us the evil eye lol

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  14. She is loverly.

    I had a black lab once I named Zeus.

    He was a terrible grump.

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    1. Um... Attila is male. He is super gay, but totally male (don't tell anyone, but he squats to pee!) and he is a grump when he wakes up.

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  15. I can't help but smile every time I start reading one of your posts now. I'm sure it's cause you are happy as happy can be and I love that. Such a cute little warrior.

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    1. I swear that there are times, when I think I'm going to burst. I would feel a bit bad about it, if it wasn't because Jacob and I start giggling at the same time and start telling random people how much we love each other lol

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  16. Your furry family makes me go "Awwwww!" and due to recent animal adventures of my own inspires me to write about my own furry daughter.

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    1. I will be there to visit and learn more about your furry girl. I've seen a few pictures of her, and my goodness, she is sooo lovely. Aren't they the best?

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  17. My daughter and I visit the shelter whenever we can to give the animals some love and reassurance....and surround them in our positive thoughts for a long, happy life with a wonderful family....

    Pit bulls, in my experience, are always the waggiest, lickiest ones of the group nearly breaking your hand off with their innocent strength as they lean into your scratches and hugs....

    Your fur babies are too cute....and Attila sounds like an amazing dog. So huggable :)

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    1. That is too sweet. I can imagine little Maggie wanting to take every wagging tail home ;-)

      Attila has the softest ears and disposition. He loves everybody. And Janani is a riot. She pushes her way into everybody's heart. Literally.

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  18. Lovely post! We recently lost our furry boy. It's funny, we thought we had a few more years. And then found out it was amazing he made it to that age as healthy as he was. Still miss him so much it hurts, though.

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    1. That pain never goes away really. It is bittersweet at times. I still get teary-eyed when I think of Kenny, my first dog, he passed when I was 16. They have a way of finding residence in our hearts ;-)

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  19. Awww, give Attila witchy kisses from me. I loves me some pitbulls! I want to squeeze him!

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    1. I've been giving him all kinds of kisses, and he has been growling at everything and everyone that approaches me to get some love lol

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