It seems impossible to me that Indy has only been with us for just over a year and a half, but the calendar does not lie. It has been a good year, simultaneously long and passing by with impossible speed. At the end of January, the city got hit with a huge snow and ice storm. Indy had seen snow before, but not like this. We had quite a bit of fun playing in the backyard and walking along the nearby boulevard, and really it was a grand adventure until our power went out and we ended up taking Indy and staying with my parents for over a week. That turned out to be an okay little adventure, too. I got a lot of reading done and Indy had playtime every day with my parents' dog Maggie.
Early in the year, Indy became a totally free-range dog. We started by letting him remain out of his crate in our bedroom at night, with a pet gate at the top of the stairs to keep him from roaming too far without supervision. That went so well that he was quickly allowed to stay uncrated during the days while we worked, too, and we've never had to go back. I think crate-training him as a puppy was one of the best decisions we could have made, and feel that it allowed him to learn good house-habits from an early age. Of course, we can't take full credit since he was nearly fully crate-trained and housebroken when we brought him home, but still.
In April we passed our first anniversary of adopting him, which happened to coincide with a really great hike we took to celebrate my birthday. That hike turned out to be our big adventure for 2009, since we never got the chance to camp at MB's friend's property this year. We planned to take Indy on our group camping trip in October, but changed our minds when the weekend turned rainy. Perhaps we'll have another Indy-friendly camping trip in 2010...I certainly hope so!
In May I took a pregnancy test and got a positive result, which shaped our whole year. We stayed home more, didn't travel at all, and generally took it easier than usual. Indy still got his almost-daily walks, though, and I think the responsibility of walking him kept me more active than I would have been otherwise, which in turn probably helped make my pregnancy so easy. So far it doesn't seem that Indy is really aware of what's going on, though he has watched our baby preparations with great interest. In fact, Indy has proven to be a diligent supervisor of all kinds of household tasks.
He supervises landscaping projects:
He oversees gardening projects:
He presides over baking, dish washing, wallpaper removal, painting, and even yard sale preparation:
Most of his puppy sass has passed, though he still definitely has strong opinions about things. He's not a perfect dog, but he is often a dog I am proud to be seen with, a dog I am happy to introduce as mine. People are still impressed by his repertoire of tricks and occasionally people we see on our morning walk will compliment his behavior. He still likes to play a lot, though he has also proven to be a champion napper. I came across a quote somewhere that said "Dogs sleep so much because they love so hard," and Indy sure fits the bill:
In 2009, Indy went from being the youngest "child" of two to being the only one, and will soon be the oldest of two. We may look back on this year as a time of peace between things, as 2008 was the year of Baby Indy, and 2010 will be the year of baby + Indy. I am hoping, of course, for an easy transition and that MB and I will both remember to do our best to make sure Indy still gets the attention and activity that he needs. We knew we wanted kids in the near future when we adopted Indy, and we discussed the importance of keeping his routine as intact as possible. It won't be easy, but he deserves our best effort and that's what we're planning to give.
We are so lucky to have a dog so full of joy and goodness, and I'm grateful every day that he's in our lives.
Indy Bones, this month you turned two. It was a fantastic year, hopefully one of many, many, many more to come. Sometimes you can be immensely frustrating, but mostly you're just wonderful. Our mornings are more cheerful with you in them, and nothing, nothing at all, beats your butt-wagging paw-prancing greeting at the end of the work day. Your daily welcome-home scratch-and-snuggle with MB makes my heart grow three sizes every time I see it. The fact that you're still surprised each time mail comes flying in through the slot in the door makes me laugh. I love how you'll pounce on toys like a large and somewhat clumsy cat, even though half the time you lose them under the furniture soon after the initial pounce. It's hilarious how quickly you materialize in the kitchen when I open a can of tuna, and how precisely and perfectly you sit at attention trying to earn a bit of it to eat. It's vastly amusing that you share MB's undying love for cheesecake, and that you're learning the proper way to earn bits of that, too.
Thanks for being you, and for putting up with us even when we give you silly nicknames and serenade you with ridiculous songs. Thanks for teaching us how to see the world simply and how to love a little bit harder. And thanks for just generally being the kind of dog we always hoped for but never thought we'd be lucky enough to get. We love you, buddy.