Sunday, April 25, 2021

A Letter To My Dog On His First Birthday

June 27, 2020

I write my children letters each year on their special day, so why not the dog??

My Sweet, Energetic, Slightly Crazy Zeusy,

What a freaking year it's been with you! It was like having both a new baby AND an energetic toddler in one. Luckily, I have lots of practice in this area, but you still wore me out. A LOT. I wasn't 100% sure we wanted or needed a dog. I was hesitant as I put my name on a waiting list for a female black lab last January. The breeder wasn't sure she would have one for summer. I remember telling the family that if it's meant to be, it will happen and if not, then it wasn't. I'll never forget May 5, 2020. 

Not only did numerous people drop off margaritas for me, but as I was deep into margarita #2, I listened to a voicemail from a call I had missed earlier in the afternoon. The voice on the phone asked if we'd take a male black lab, ready in June. The same month as the kid's birthdays. I remember saying "yes!" with excitement. The kids cried. Saying yes was the best, one of the most expensive, one of the most time consuming, and frustrating yes I've ever given. You were so worth the wait!

You came to us a chubby, fluffy, curious boy. You quickly settled into to life, fitting in perfectly with our lifestyle, training quickly, and in a matter of days, becoming "one of the kids." You still line up at the back door with the kids whenever I ask, "who's ready for outside time?" It's quite comical. Even a year later, you're still learning what toys aren't for you, that we don't run with socks in our mouth just to get attention, and that food unattended on the dining room table isn't up for grabs. 

At 85 lbs. and still growing, you quickly learned how to escape the backyard (an invisible fence is coming to you soon) and hiking has become your favorite thing. You have car anxiety, but love to go "bye bye" in the car. You get excited when UPS pulls up in front of our house because you're convinced all packages are for you, thanks to your things being delivered from Chewy. 

This year hasn't been a complete breeze. There's been many frustrating moments, like how you like to put people's hands in your mouth so they'll pet you. But truly, the first year of your life was quite memorable. I'm not sure how the kids and I would have gotten through all of life's changes 2020 brought if we didn't have YOU, my sweet, lovable, slightly overly attached to mom, puppy. Your favorite words and phrases are cookie, pizza, crackers, hike, and "kids are here," because that means daycare kids are coming (and they're always ready to give you attention!). We're looking forward to taking you on your first epic road trip, where you'll get to experience cities, mountains, the ocean, and camping. 

We spent your first birthday hiking, eating pizza, pulling a kid into a lake with you, and mom pulling ticks off of you. It was a such a fun day! I won't ever let you forget that I pulled a (dead) tick from your butt. That's how much I love you.

We couldn't imagine doing this with any other doggo! We love you Zeus Lane Sheaffer (first name brought to you by Max, the middle name brought to you by Elizabeth). Thanks for making our life more interesting than it already was! 

Love, Mom

Pictured above: your first hike, June 2020. You walked mere steps then had to be carried. You LOVED the creek. Pictured below: your first birthday hike; April 24, 2020. You logged in 6 miles, barely slept all day until the very end, and you got yelled at for pulling a kid into the lake with you because you LOVE water. Especially creek hikes.