One year ago today, I had no idea you were being born. I had no idea that you were about to enter my life and bring me so much joy.
We've had quite the year. I remember the night Dad brought you home. As adorable as you were, I was unsure about the addition of a new puppy into our lives, unsure about how much work you would require and sad that you took up the space in our home for a foster. But if anyone had to take a spot away from a foster, you were the guy to do it. It took me a few days to get used to the idea of you but I'm so glad that I did. You have grown into the dog I dreamed of.
Those first couple months were full of ups and downs. You won over the girls. Your genius puppy status started early with learning to potty outside post-haste and learning sit and down in record time. But it wasn't all roses. You never did fall asleep in your mom's lap like a normal puppy, didn't like to be touched and threw puppy tantrums every time I tried to hold you. While I miss that tiny little puppy, I'm also glad those days are over and that you've grown into the affectionate and loving guy you are today.
You quickly settled into your job as shop puppy. I know it was hard not just learning how to be a dog but also how to follow all the rules of working in the store with me. You continued to learn commands and tricks at an amazing rate and I was so proud to have a four month puppy who knew Sit, Down, Up, Shake, High Five and Other Paw and loved to show off. But you struggled with sharing your store and Mom with others and we had some issues with vocalization. We also discovered your favorite activity: counter surfing. It took me getting to the end of my rope and sharing our struggles with blogville for you to speak out in your own defense.
You went on your first camping trip, just you and Dad. I was worried about how you would do, but you were a rock star. And then we took you on your first trip to the beach, where you perfected your skills as defender of the shores and refused to go in past your knees. You also tried to eat a dead seagull. Gross, dude, just gross.
You kept growing bigger and bigger. It didn't take long before I noticed you were bigger than Sadie and Maggie. And while you may never be the giant dog that I thought I wanted, I think you're plenty big enough just the way you are. You can stop growing now, K?
We tackled a developing resource guarding issue between you and canine visitors to the store. Phew! That one was hard and I was worried for a while that we weren't going to make it over that bump. But all it took was me trying a few different things and figuring out what made you tick. We made it through, just like you and I will make it through anything together.
Lots of people say that you're a lucky dog. Lucky to be in a family where you get to spend your days in doggie heaven with me at the shop. But I say I'm the lucky one. One of our customers told me the other day that you and I were the perfect pair, that we matched, that you just looked like my dog. And you are. Forever and always.