Otis Day

Today our little meatball turns one.

A puppy is not for the faint of heart. Or the busy. Or the ones who have nice stuff and don’t want it ruined. Since Otis came into our life, we’ve ridden a roller coaster. From those first few nights where we took turns sleeping on the couch with him on our chest to the teething period that seemed to go on forever and our arms and legs looked like they had track marks to the destructive phase of acting out by eating books and holes in the carpet, we have loved this now-not-so-little puppy.

baby otis

He’s such a sweet pea. At the dog park he often runs up to other humans to say hello. He loves kids and just wants to lick them when they pet him. He’s gentle with the cats and Dash has come around to the point that we have caught him licking Otis’s head which is ridiculously adorable. Dot, on the other hand, has her moments but mostly steers clear of him though recently she’s deigned to lay on the couch while he is in the same room.

otis at shore

Our lives are definitely ruled by King Otis. We schedule our time differently so that he’s not alone too much. We pour money into doggie day care, a dog walker, toys, treats, training classes, and the vet. Our vacations are planned with him in mind- can he come with us or can we find a trusted dog-sitter? (And no, he’s not coming to Hawaii with us.)

g and o in car

Otis brought us out of a dark time in our lives. He let us love him when we didn’t feel capable of taking care of ourselves, much less a helpless 7 week old puppy. Bringing him into our lives made us a family as we learned to slow down, enjoy life’s little moments, and cherish small victories (he didn’t pee in the house- hooray!). Every day, I’m so grateful he’s in our lives. He’s the most happy when we’re all together and, you know what? So am I.

happy family

Happy birthday sweet boy! Thank you for being.

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8 Will Be Great

Dear Finn,

Today you turn eight. Oh how the time has flown. Weren’t you just this little bundle?

babyfinn

You’re eight going on fourteen. You’ve got smarts and attitude in spades. You swim like a fish, spending so much time in the pool you get prune hands. You’re great with animals. Otis, in particular, really loves you.

g and baby o

g and o in carWhether we’re doing yard work or watching movies, whatever we do together we have fun. Making you laugh is one of my greatest accomplishments.

yardworkI hope your next year is full of adventure and laughter and wonder and friends and love. Everything good in life for you, sweet boy.

I love you.

Your Tee Tee

Life with Otis

It’s hard to believe it’s only been a month since Otis joined our family. It feels like so much longer. Partly because we’re so exhausted and partly because he’s just such a joy. The cats don’t wholeheartedly agree yet but they are coming around. They actually will enter the room now if Otis is there which is a far cry better than when he first arrived and they recoiled in horror at the sight of him.

otis's first day home

Baby Otis on his first day in our home.

We manage our time differently now and take into consideration that there’s a wee pup at home waiting for company when we make plans. We get up early to play with him and spend hours after work avoiding his puppy nips and relishing in his sweetness. I take him to the office some days where he has won over the hearts of all my co-workers. I have never had so many people come by my cubicle. When I leave him at home, they inquire where he is and make pouty faces. Pretty soon I will need to come up with a better barricade because he’s growing so fast. I swear every morning I see a change.

Otis is very popular at the office but he's not very good at filing or data entry.

Otis is very popular at the office but he’s not very good at filing or data entry.

Last night Mr. Darcy took him to his first puppy training class (I had a work function, sadly) and he was a star. He learned to sit in one class! This gives me great hope that potty training him outside will not be arduous though we anticipate some accidents and sleepless nights in our future.

Otis loves toys. And ankles. And jeans. And stray socks. And hands.

Otis loves toys. And ankles.
And jeans. And stray socks. And hands.

We’re so grateful to have such a lively, sweet pup in our family. We’re anxiously awaiting his second round of shots so we can have puppy play dates with our friends and go on walks.

I will miss this piglet belly when he gets bigger and outgrows it.

I will miss this piglet belly when he gets bigger and outgrows it.

Milestones

A year ago today Mr. Darcy and I donned fancy clothes and in front of our nearest & dearest, vowed to choose each other every day for the rest of our lives.

toasting

That was the best day of my life.

It has not been a carefree year for us. I look at this picture and remember how incredibly happy we were despite a year where we fought The Cancer, started a new job, bought a house, and moved all while planning the wedding. We thought that we were on an upswing after all that stress. And we were but it didn’t last long enough. Upswings rarely do.

The thing is- even though we have had a rocky first year, we as a couple are not rocky. Despite all the sorrow, we have done our best to navigate it with tenderness, grace, and humor. It’s often been downright brutal and we’ve fallen apart and put each other back together again and again. If there’s one thing I can say that’s good from all the bad it’s that we are stronger for our troubles. I would not wish anyone else by my side than Mr. Darcy. Even when we’re fighting, even when we’re lost in our own grief, and especially when we’re laughing. Marrying a guy who can make me laugh when I’m crying is among one of my smartest choices in this life.

This past weekend we got ourselves an anniversary gift.

otis sits

His name is Otis and he is a seven week old Australian Shepherd and Catahoula Leopard mix.

As we drove home with him, I cried. I was just overcome with how much I needed him. We both need something happy to turn our attention to and to love together. A salve for our wounded hearts. Enter Otis, the best present ever.

otis comes home otis sleeps

We’re hoping year two has less troubles and more joy. I think Otis might help with that.

I love you, Darcy. Thank you for being my person.