"We know that when dogs and humans make eye contact, that actually releases what's known as the love hormone, oxytocin, in both the dog and the human. It turns out oxytocin, the same hormone that helps new mothers bond with their babies, is released in both dogs and humans when they play, touch or look into one another's eyes. What we know now is that when dogs are actually looking at you, they're essentially hugging you with their eyes." - Brain Hare, 60 Minutes: The Smartest Dog in the World
Blue Moonbeam turned one just two days after I turned 27 and we will celebrate our year anniversary of being together in December. I don't really remember what my life was like before Blue was in it. This past year, and past month especially, haven't been the easiest or the best and having him as a constant companion has meant everything. I obviously don't have human children or know what it feels like to have that bond - but it's sort of impossible not to think of Blue as my baby. I seriously feel an insane rush of love when I look at him and it's this the crazy "love you so much it hurts" type of thing. Rather than thinking of myself as a dependent and obsessed dog lady, I prefer to say that our bond is super special.
In the past year Blue has grown from a chubby, tiny puppy into 70 pounds of pure sweetness. Like watching a child grow, it’s hard to fully see the changes taking place and I worry I’ll forget all the little things he does or milestones or whatever. Since this blog is sort of like a journal, scrapbook, catch-all of life at the current moment I thought I’d record a few Blue Moonbeam tid-bits so I can always have them stored to look back on. Selfishly, this post is definitely more for me than for all of you – but Baby Blue is my heart and I can’t help it.
– you used to be so teeny tiny that you could fit on my lap when I drove in the car. When you got too big I put you in the backseat so you would have room and not distract me. But about a month ago, you told me the back seat was too far away from me and insisted on always being in the passenger seat. I know it’s not the safest way to drive with you but it makes me ridiculously happy how close you like to be to me and I’m so glad you’re amazing on road trips.
– you have always been a cuddle bug and lap dog at heart. When you were a baby you would cry until I sat on the floor with you so you could play with a toy in my lap and you’d fall asleep on top of my feet while I worked at my desk. I only lasted about two months with kennel training you at night before you made your way into my bed where you now sleep every night. Sometimes you curl around the top of my head, but mostly (now that you’re a big boy) you lay on my legs or right up next to me. I’m so glad I taught you the importance of spooning at an early age! It’s like having a breathing teddy bear.
– you don’t really love it when I’m on my laptop because you want to be in my lap.
– you love to eat and you learned what “food” was very quickly. Up until very recently, when it was time for “food” you would follow me to where it’s kept and do a dance where you would spin around really quickly and do little hops until I set your bowl down. I won’t lie, I am very sad you’ve outgrown the dancing and I’m devising a plan for bringing it back.
– you adore other dogs and people so much that you make a crying sound (maybe it’s talking?) when you see them. Your best fur friends are all named Annie and you love getting to spend time with your cousins Camp and Dolly. Sometimes your friends get tired and don’t want to play and you go up and lick their faces so they know you love them. It’s adorable.
– you like to get my attention by pulling the tea towels that hang on the oven handle off and carrying them to where I am.
– you always bark when there is a knock at the door and even bark when you hear something that sounds like a knock (mom tapping her make-up brushes or clinking a spoon while cooking). You bark and get confused if you hear a doorbell on TV (how do you even know that sound?!) and sometimes you even bark at the dogs you see on screen. You really like the UPS man, Eddie, and when visitors like Molly Frances come and hang out on the couch.
– you love your Auntie (Sally) almost as much as you love me. She talks to you in the most amazing dog voice and it’s like you two have conversations. Now that she lives in San Francisco, we talk to her on FaceTime and you tilt your head back and fourth when she talks to you. I know you miss her so much.
– you really like your toys and get so excited whenever you get a new one. I keep them all in a big bin and love watching you pull them out and play with them one at a time. By the end of the day the floor is covered with all your favorite things and I love it. You used to have a sweet little cow toy we called your “baby” but I lost it on a trip from Dallas to Houston and still feel badly about it…sometimes (actually, a lot of the time) you eat parts of your toys and you really go crazy about pulling the stuffing out of the soft ones.
– you like to lay under my hanging clothes in the closet and watch me get ready.
– you eat scrambled eggs and pepperoni off my pizza but what you really live for is peanut butter. I always give it to you with your monthly medicine and you lay on the floor, licking your bowl for about 30 minutes after it’s all gone. For your first birthday you got a special puppy truffle treat that was peanut butter and you went nuts for it.
– you get so happy to see me when I get home…I take you out of your kennel and get lots of licks to the face and then you circle around me, getting as close as possible, trying to give hugs. Your tail wags like crazy. It makes me so happy because anytime I leave you I miss you so much and am thinking about you the whole time that I’m gone.
– you don’t wear a collar because I prefer you to have a naked neck – it’s easier for me to burry my face into your soft fur. When we go outside we put you in a “no-pull” harness because you are so strong you can practically pull me over without it. Recently, I got your a new ombre leash and I think it’s pretty fitting since you have ombre ears.
– you can do no wrong in my eyes. Even when you are naughty, I chalk it up to you being a puppy. But really – you are such a good, sweet boy. You might not always “sit” or “stay” or “no bark” but you give me so much love and even give extra when I’m down and really need it.
– you are perfect and I feel so lucky every single day that you are mine.