Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy 9th birthday #kennythedog {and Happy Halloween to you!}

Happy Halloween to you all! It's a beautifully crisp, sunny day here in Maryland, and we're counting down the hours until we take Max and Louisa trick-or-treating with our friends and their kids. Max refused his nap today, so I'm a little nervous about this evening's festivities with a nap-less toddler, but we shall persevere! I'll share photos of our adventures on Instagram tonight and on the blog tomorrow!

Perhaps more important than Halloween is the fact that it's my dog, Kenny's 9th birthday today. I often refer to Kenny as my four-legged first child. After my father passed away in January 2008, I vowed that I would get myself a dog and name him after my dad in his memory. My dad got me my first dog when I was 3 years old (she was a combo birthday present for me/hunting companion for him), and we always had dogs in our family from that day on. My dad helped instill my love for man's best friend, so it only made sense to honor him by naming my own dog after him.

I decided with such haste to get a dog that I don't even remember the date I brought him home! It was sometime in late January 2008. I drove about an hour and a half away to meet the family that was selling him with my cash in hand; there was no way I was going to come home without that fluffy white cockapoo pup! The family had named him "Bear" because they thought he looked like a polar bear, and they said he was always so sweet and loving with anyone who came to visit. Well, he must not have liked me much because he wanted nothing to do with me! I took him home anyway (obviously), and I gave him such sensory overload that day...he went outside for the first time, rode in the car for the first time, and visited a pet store for the first time...quite overwhelming for a 12-week-old little fluff-nut! No wonder he's such an anxious dog now!

Thankfully, Kenny warmed up to me pretty quickly, and he was my right-hand man for the next several years. The plan was to have him sleep in his crate at night, but that first night at home he whined nonstop, and I didn't want him to disturb my roommate, so he was allowed to sleep in my bed with me. He would burrow under the covers and curl up behind my legs. I never took him to obedience school because I couldn't afford it (poor first-year-teacher problems), but I did my best to train him on my own. He even accompanied me on my first date with Victor and later traveled with me to all my weekend adventures with Victor and his family before we moved in together in 2011.

Kenny is one crazy dog, but he's also super sweet. He would have "spaz attacks" as a puppy and would run around my apartment like a mad-dog, darting back and forth, up and down, all over the place, and this would happen at the drop of a hat. He has always been anxious and nervous. He hates water unless he's drinking it (not a swimmer at all), and giving him a bath should be considered an Olympic sport--he fights it with all his might, and I've got some pretty vicious scratch scars to prove it. Just a couple of years ago, our grooming salon "fired" us after he put up a vicious fight while being groomed; they refused to finish him. He now has to be sedated to be groomed! He's always underfoot, especially in the kitchen as he waits for someone to drop some food. He barks incessantly at anything and everything outside, and I've seriously considered getting a bark collar for him on multiple occasions. He also seems to have amnesia when it comes to the "no Kenny on the couch" rule. He gets up there, we tell him to get down and he drops to the floor; no more than a minute later, he's back on the couch again...and this happens repeatedly at least 5 more times before he gives up and goes to his bed across the room.

He's gone through many changes with me in his short 9 years. We started out sharing an apartment with my friend from Ohio, then we moved into our own apartment and it was us against the world for the next 3 years. We then moved in with Victor, and Kenny was more or less "adopted" by Victor once we got married. We later moved to a new house, welcomed Max to our family, moved to another new house, and most recently we've welcomed Louisa to our family. People told me before Max was born that once you have a baby, the dog becomes "just the dog," and it pains me to say that this is the case in our family. Kenny used to get unlimited snuggle time with me and Victor before we had kids, and he dominated my social media feeds. Now he is on his own a lot (his favorite place to hang/hide out is under the dining room table), and he jumps at the chance to get in on the action any time we play on the floor with the kids...he's right there next to us, making sure we remember he's still here and wants to play too. If he's in any of my photos on Instagram anymore, it's because he's photobombing or because it's his birthday. I feel like such a bad dog-mom! He's handled his change of station in stride, though, and we're so lucky to have him as a part of our family.

Here are some photos from the past 9 years with #kennythedog. Happy birthday to our favorite mutt!

The day I brought him home: January 27, 2008

 Gallavanting around downtown Annapolis in Spring 2008

Camping in Summer 2009, being a diva and stealing a human's chair

His first major snowstorm, January 2010

Getting used to his human brother, Max

October 31, 2016: Kenny's 9th birthday!

1 comment:

  1. Happy birthday to your dog! Looks like he's happy to be a part of your family. I love that you named the dog in honor of your dad.


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