We invited friends over today to celebrate your 4th birthday. I think they were a little surprised that I actually stuck a candle into your pile of liver-paste-goo and sung Happy Birthday to you – little did they know we normally force you to sport a birthday hat as well. We’re getting ready to leave on a trip, so the hat was only omitted for time constraints. But we still managed to pull together a celebration, and because I let you sit under the table during dinner (something I normally don’t allow when company is over) you got lots of extra scratching and I’m sure a tasty dropped morsel here and there. Judging by your current passed-out-state, I’m guessing the party was a hit.
I think this year has been tough for you. Sophie was born in March and all of a sudden you were the last in line for attention. We tried to make sure you had face time with both me and Dad, but a newborn is incredibly demanding, and Ella was needing extra time as well. I think you’ve been bored a lot, ever since we added to our family, and I’m hoping to make it up to you this year. We took you on a hike this Fall, all strapped in to a doggie backpack and everything (carrying our water bottles). You did fantastic, although we had both kids with us, so we weren’t exactly climbing Everest. Hopefully we can keep it up and have lots of new adventures.
And speaking of Sophie – you’ve really taken to her. I don’t know if it’s because you’re older, or if it’s just because you were on tour when we first brought Ella home, but things are different this time. You are incredibly protective of her, and we’ve had to stop you several times, when you’ve jumped up in front of her, barking like a mad-dog because a visitor takes a step in what you think is the wrong direction (namely towards the baby). Sweet, yes – but also not something we encourage – threatening to eat family members who want a baby snuggle. You, of course, seem to have no end to the snuggles and kisses you’re allowed to give – and she loves it! Both Sophie and Ella duck their heads and giggle loudly any time you decide to clean their faces, hands, or feet. And you’ve continued to be extremely patient with hair-pulling and ear-tugging from little hands.
One bad side effect of less attention, combined with your “intact” status, is that you’ve been having territorial issues. Dad and I have threatened to sell you to the gypsies more and more this year, and almost made good on the threat each time (oh yes, it’s been more than once) we found marking in the basement. It got so bad that 2 weeks ago I called your vet and made an appointment to have you fixed. It was my last resort – I felt like we had no other choice but to get rid of the hormones running rampant in your body. I only felt a little guilty as I watched Dad take you to the vet – after all, you’ve sired a litter of puppies and obtained your AKC championship – it was time to stop working and just be our loved pet.
And a loved pet you are. With everything we’ve been through these last 4 years, we’d have to be head over heels, otherwise you’d be living in a wagon, learning to play the tambourine.