Friday, April 12, 2013

2 Years Old

Dakota - Fall 2012
photo credit: Vicki Foss (she's a rockstar)

Dear Dakota,
   When you came into the world two years ago I had no idea, I didn't know you were born until I saw your sweet picture of you and your siblings. I had no idea what you would mean to me. As I looked at the pile of puppies I thought how could I even begin to choose, you were one of nine. I sorted through the pictures and instantly knew I wanted a female, which left five of you to choose from. There were lots of pictures, finally I settled on one for no particular reason other than something tugged at my heart strings, although I am not certain how looking at golden retriever puppies one couldn't have their heart strings tugged. So I waited, for what feels like forever (eight weeks) for you to wean yourself from your mother. 
    I met you in a parking lot, you were the sweetest little ball of fur I had ever set my eyes on. Seriously, you were such a snugly puppy. We had a lot of transition and changes in your first year and you were a tough puppy at times. Your first year, was great, but this second year was even better. You have quit bitting on anything and everything in eye range, you are fully house broken, you walk and run like a champ on a leash and you are even learning quite a few commands. You have sit, stay, come (most of the time), wait, and down amazingly well. You are even a rockstar off leash, you love the ability to run and run and run some more.
   You have recently gotten accepted in the Morris Animal Foundation Lifetime Golden Retriever study and passed your initial grueling physical with flying colors. Everyone at the vet clinic loves you and you ham it up so that they just keep giving you treats upon treats. We get close to the vet and your tail starts wagging like crazy because going to the vet means treats, several people's undivided attention, and lots of love.
   Your best friends are Luther and Gus, as well as your cousin Nala. You love to play with the orange chuck it ball, swim in any lake and sometimes even sit in the bathtub and beg for me to fill it just so you can play in the water, you love going for a good long run and get antsy when I start to put my shoes on. You love love love food and any food, you lay so nicely at the table if it is just you, Marc, and I at home, when others are over it gets a little bit more challenging. You have Marc trained to give you the last few licks out of his blizzard cup and some of nearly every meal he eats. You also love going for a ride in the car and snuggling on the couch. You still sleep in your crate with your blanket and your zebra buddy and we haven't dared leave you out yet while we aren't home for you are persistent at getting into things if given the chance. 
   You love to be outside when the weather is warm and watching the kids at the school across the way at the school. You also love when we go visit kids or they come to the house, you wag and wag your tail and let them pet you until they don't care any more. You have finally caught on the the sleep gig in the morning and never make a peep until I come to let you out of your crate, you are amazing.
    I think you have finally stopped growing, you are a wonderful size, not too big and not to small. Up here in northern Minnesota you are the odd dog out because you have such light colored fur, most golden retrievers up here, like your bff's Gus & Luther, have dark red fur. You were weighed not too long ago and weighted a solid 66 pounds. Both your mom and dad were huge, so I wasn't sure what you would turn out like size wise, and even color was sort of a guess, a couple of your siblings were really dark as puppies. There is a piece of me that wishes we could gather you and your siblings together just to see if you remember each other and compare what you all look like. 
   When I got you I had no idea what you would me to me or how much I would love you. Thanks for letting me come home and vent to you, snuggle when all seems wrong or right in the world, thanks for demanding I am not lazy all of the time and accompanying me on countless walks, runs, and hikes. Thanks for being the ball of energy you are and for loving me unconditionally. Thanks for being you! Thanks be to God for you and pets everywhere who are more than merely pets.
I love you tons and tons,


  1. Sarah this is so sweet!! Happy Birthday to Dakota! Seems as if you feel the same way about your baby that I do of mine...they really are my children! :0)

    1. Yes, I love my sweet puppy. She really is my first child. She and I have put on a lot of running miles together. So very thankful for her.