Happy 1st Birthday, My Baby Girl Nala
I can hardly believe it’s been 10 months since we brought you home in that cardboard box….
You cried for your mommy and your sibling pups. You were leaving the Island for the first time.
I kept a journal of all your early days, documenting when you first took the food we offered, when you first learned sit, stay, come (within 2 days!), and your first snow day. You had lots of love, everyone from my dear friends Sarah and Alix, and my hubby’s parents. Your smudgy black eyes and velvety ears made us coo and aw; your mischievous sense of humour made us keel over with laughter. We captured some of your beauty and light-heartedness in this photoshoot Joey Armstrong did for you at four months.
You caused us countless sleepless nights. There were moments we wanted to tear our hair out, or yours (like when you refused to go for walks or step on wet grass). We didn’t know when we would ever sleep through the night again. You had a knack for hurting yourself (broken teeth, sprained paw, loose stitches, and your poor sensitive tummy).
Slowly, you were making baby steps towards being a proper dog. You learned how to be a part of this household and general etiquette when it came to interacting with members of the human species, big and small. You learned to love children, my niece Athena and nephews Aedan, Kenyon, and Ethan. You’re still figuring the manners part out when it comes to your own canine kind although you’ve made some wonderful doggie friends: Harley and Oscar the Golden Retrievers; your cousin Kate the Olde English Bulldog; Bauer the Duck Toller; Ridgeback brothers Bomber and Roper; and Willow the Boxer. You can’t wait to meet your other cousin Benson the Boston in about a month’s time.
This week, you turn a milestone birthday of ONE. You’ve learned to swim, climb, fetch, and passed basic obedience with flying colours (In front of me anyways. In front of a trainer you tend to make a fool out of me). We went surfing in Tofino together, and drove up to Auntie Melissa’s farm up north where you romped with the big boys Logan and Riley.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY BEAUTIFUL PUPPY NALA!!! We are so blessed to have you in our lives. As any Rhodesian Ridgeback owner knows, we humans don’t “own” these dogs. If anything, they own us, and at best, it’s a friendship and partnership, on equal ground.
May we have many more years together.
Photo Credits: Joey Armstrong, Melissa.