THE BLOG
04/08/2013 12:46 pm ET Updated Jun 07, 2013

The Birthday Boy

So, my little terror turned 1 today! The irony of my little guy being born on April Fool's Day is not lost on me. From the second we got him, I knew my life would change forever.

I have been feeling nostalgic all day...

It all began eight years ago. My son, 6 years old at the time, and I kept harassing hubby to get a dog. I had grown up with cats all my life, and son had a goldfish for four years (darned thing just kept hanging on!!!). Hubby, on the other hand, had never, ever had a pet. Both son and I kept at him, and then one day, he said "yes."

Hubby and I did lots of research on hyper-allergenic dogs. Hubby and son wanted a medium- to larger-sized dog, so our list kept getting narrower and narrower. Then one evening, as hubby was playing softball, a lady and her PWD came strolling by. Hubby took one look at that dog and he was smitten. He came home that night and announced that we'd be getting a PWD. That night, and for the next few months, hubby and I did lots of research on the breed. We found out about their mouthiness, their tendency to jump on you, their extremely high energy levels, and of course, their need for constant exercise. We knew that this would be quite the commitment.

When we found our reputable breeder, the breeder suggested that we spend a few hours with the dogs to see hubby's reaction to them. Hubby has always been allergic to animals, and suffers from asthma, so we had to be really sure. We got to the breeder, and six adult PWD's came running at us. They were all over us. They sat on us, they licked us (boy oh boy does that breed like to lick!), and they won us over. We knew right then and there, that we wanted a curly-haired male. And, most importantly, we knew that this breed was perfect for hubby!

When we found out that one of the dogs was pregnant, hubby, son, and I were beside ourselves. We were just as excited as if one of us were pregnant (OK, maybe just me since I'm the only female in the family). We waited and waited until we got that fateful call, the mother had given birth to a litter of nine: five females, and four males, and of the four males, only one of them was curly-haired. When the pups were 5 weeks old, we went over to meet them.

There they were, the nine of them, falling all over themselves, biting each other, and competing to feed off their mother. There sat our little guy, on his own. He was very quiet. He observed all the sights and sounds around him. He was not very active at all. At one point, he found a spot and sat down... only the spot was his brother's head! After 10 minutes, he looked down at the lump, and walked away. I was actually worried that something might be wrong with him. He didn't have anywhere near the energy level of his siblings. We asked the breeder if this was a sign of his personalty. "Was he always going to be so calm, docile and quiet?" The breeder just laughed, looked at us and said it was just "marketing." Pup would show us what he was really like soon enough.

When we finally brought him home at 2 months old, we realized that he was not that calm puppy we had met at the breeder's place. This pup could run laps around the Tasmanian Devil! He could jump down a flight of stairs on a single bound; he could destroy every toy he had in 10 minutes.

In the 10 months we've had him, we've definitely had our ups and downs, but today, looking into his big brown eyes, I look forward to the surprises this new year will bring!!

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