3 Years Together!

2014-06-11 18.04.06On June 11, 2011, the afternoon couldn’t come quickly enough.  Just look back on this blog to see how excited and nervous I was.  I couldn’t wait to head to the airport to pick up Sofi, the puppy I’d been waiting months to meet.

One of the greatest things about Heather and Lillybits is that she sends lots of photo and video updates of the puppies while you’re waiting for the time when you can meet your puppy.  So even though I felt like I knew Sofi’s personality before I actually met her, there was still that anxiousness about how she’d react with me.

I’ll never forget that all of Sofi’s initial apprehension at being in my house rather than at Lillybits melted away as she went outside in my backyard.  She absolutely relished being outside, romping in the grass, and taking in the sunshine (which might’ve been a bit more rare in her former home in Washington state).  From that moment on, it was instant love between us.

In some ways I can’t believe that Sofi has only been in my life for three years; she’s such an important part of my life.  In other ways, the time has flown by, and I can remember her puppy days as clearly as they were yesterday.  As mature and well-behaved as Sofi is, she still has a lot of “puppy playfulness” in her, which makes her so fun.

We celebrated our anniversary with a nice, long walk and some of her favorite treats, although I’m not sure it was much different than any other day. Sofi is definitely one spoiled pup, but since she’s so smart and sweet, why not, right?

When I describe why Sofi is so important to me, I think only another single dog owner can really understand where I’m coming from.  She is my constant companion, my ultimate pal.  She wakes me up with a snuggling nuzzle and greets me at the door when I arrive home.  She’s always so excited to see me, and so happy when we go on our daily walks.  I absolutely adore her!

Here’s to many more years together, Sofi!!

Our 2-Year Anniversary


I’ll never forget two years ago, when I picked 12-week old Sofi up from the airport.  She was so scared that she didn’t want to come out of her crate, and for a little while I was worried that she wouldn’t like me.  But as soon as we got to my house and she went outside in the backyard, her true nature emerged.  Sofi loved being outside, and seems to be at her happiest outside to this day.

These past two years have been the most joyful, the most fun, that I’ve ever had.  I’ve learned so much about myself through Sofi.  She’s taught me patience, how to live in the moment, and she’s gotten me up and out of the house even on those days when I really didn’t feel like taking her for a walk.  (Now that I’ve gone through some major changes of my own, I wonder how much different our traditional anniversary photo will look next year).

Happy anniversary, Sofi girl.  I love you so much!


Sofi’s Spring Break – A Day at the Beach

Today Sofi and I joined my sister (and Minnie) and Ani (and Riley) for a fabulous day at the beach. Ani told us about Seascape Beach, which is a resort in Aptos, CA (just south of Santa Cruz) that allows the public access to a gorgeous beach where dogs can go off leash. I’d never been before, and I can tell you that I’ll be going here ALL the time once I’m on summer vacation. Just look…20130411-172953.jpg

I am incredibly lucky to live 45 minutes away from a beach like this. The best part was that we were among very few people at the beach. It was so nice having it (practically) to ourselves.


I never let Sofi go off leash in my neighborhood because I’m ultra paranoid about her getting hit by a car, but today, there was absolutely no reason to worry. Even when she ran far off to visit with a new friend who was walking along the beach, she came right back when I called her. I’m so glad that she has such good recall. It definitely makes me feel a lot more comfortable (but I’m still not going to let her go off leash in my front yard, because I live on such a busy street). You can see the joy in Sofi’s face:



The pups had the BEST time, and their people did, too.  The day was relaxing, and so much fun.  I’m so glad that LC and Ani have dogs, and that all three pooches get along so well.  Just look at those cute faces!


One of the cutest moments as we were taking a walk along the beach was when all three dogs ran up to this guy on the beach who was sitting and playing his guitar.  They were interacting with him so much that it was like he was serenading them.  By the time my camera came on, I only got the shot of them running back to us.  Still, it captured a fun memory.


Happy 2nd Birthday, Sofi!

2nd-birthday Sofi is 2 years old today!!!

Sofi kicked the day off enjoying the new toy my mom gave her over the weekend.


The birthday girl had an impromptu party with my sister, nieces, Minnie, my friend Anika and her pup Riley.


The hardest part is waiting for your guests to arrive!


Treats for pets and people!


The lighting wasn’t great, but I think you can see the love.


After LOTS of shots, this was the best one of the birthday girl, my nieces, and me. (Although Sofi seems quite over the whole endeavor!)

20130326-181114.jpg The pooches had so much fun playing.  Sofi was so happy that Minnie and Riley could come over and hang out for her special day.

Finally, the best gift of the day – a birthday collar from my sister and the girls.  Sofi loved it!


Happy birthday, Sofi – I love you!

Sofi’s New (Molly Mutt) Bed

Sofi’s never been a dog to sleep in just one spot. She’s just as likely to be found laying on the bathmat in the bathroom as at the foot of my bed. I’ve purchased a few different beds over the past year, and none of them seemed to be her “spot.” Until now.

Long ago on the LillyBits FB page Heather recommended Molly Mutt duvets, but since I’d already purchased a different bed for Sofi, I didn’t pay much attention. And then the most recent bed I bought Sofi fell apart in the washing machine, and I knew it was time to get something a bit different.

Sofi loves her “cousin” Minnie’s bed that Lori got when we went to Bark in the Park last year. It’s more of a huge pillow than a bed. And it sparked the memory of the recommendation of the Molly Mutt duvet, so I headed to their site to see what they had to offer. I wanted something that would go with my bedding, which was a birthday gift from my parents and sister:

“Lush Landscape” from Anthropologie.

Since the pattern has so many vivid colors, I knew matching it would be fairly easy. I really wanted to get Conversation 16, which is a beautiful turquoise color that would look good with either side of my quilt (the other side has more blues and purples).

Unfortunately, this duvet is out of stock until September. So I went with my second choice, Title Track, which is a great green lattice print.

The cool thing about Molly Mutt duvets is that they’re meant to use old pillows, clothes, blankets, etc as the stuffing. Which is neat for two reasons – you get to re-purpose those old items and take them out of your closet AND your scent on the clothing/bedding is soothing to the pup. And instead of just shoving everything into the duvet haphazardly, you can purchase the Stuff Sack to keep it all together nicely.

I used two full-size pillows that weren’t as firm as I like to sleep on, as well as some of my old t-shirts that had gotten too faded to wear. I like that the Stuff Sack lets me change/wash the duvet without having a huge mess on my hands. It’s just a quick zip off, and it’s just as easy to put it back into the cleaned duvet. I wash/change Sofi’s duvet every two weeks, when she gets her bath.

I bought the medium size duvet and stuff sack because I wanted to make sure Sofi had plenty of room to stretch out and lay upside down, as she loves to do.

As I said before, Sofi’s never been one to love her bed, but ever since I put this Molly Mutt bed down, she’s been sleeping on it every night. And she also loves to play on it when Minnie comes over, as you can see from these photos. Excuse the blurriness, these were most definitely “action” shots.





“This bed is so comfy, I wish I had one!” – Minnie


Sofi: “I love this bed – it’s big enough for a sleepover with Minnie.”


Even though this color wasn’t my first choice, I think it looks great with my bedding. Sofi seems to agree.

Happy 1st Birthday, Sofi!

I can’t believe that it’s been 3 months since I posted. Sofi is doing fantastically well and our daily life has gone into a really lovely routine, so I guess I don’t think about capturing the moments as much as I did when she first came to me and everything was new.

Still, today is a momentous occasion – it’s Sofi’s 1st birthday. I wish I had the means to have a true doggie party for her at a doggie daycare with some of her puppy pals, but since that’s not the case, we still had a great time, given our more limited resources.

Sofi got some gifts: mint-flavored tennis balls, a long-lasting chew toy, and a braided bully stick from Lori and the girls. Three more braided bully sticks and an elk antler from me. And then, to celebrate, some cute, spring-themed doggie cookies for her and Minnie to share.

Lori and the girls came over after school with Minnie and we had a cute little low key party. Afterward, we all took a long walk in the neighborhood. Perfect.

Sofi was thrilled with all the attention from her favorite people, and we all loved spending time with her on her special day. I look forward to many more birthdays with Sofi, and I can’t wait to see how she grows and changes with each passing year.








Merry Christmas

Sofi & I wish you all a very Merry Christmas. We hope your day was filled with presents, peace, joy, & love!


A sick Sofi teaches me a lesson

Tonight I had a huge scare with Sofi.

It had been a normal enough day, she was in her puppy area while I was at work.  Then I came home, let her out, and we went straight to the backyard so we could get some exercise.  I threw the ball, she ran.  She jumped and frolicked and played.  Normal.

Until she came into the house after being outside by herself for about 15 minutes and she started to vomit.  And then she vomited again.  And then two more times.  And then I started to panic.  I called my dad who advised me to call the vet.  And of course it was now 6pm and they were closed.  So I called their emergency hospital recommendation who told me to bring her right in.

I was so nervous the whole time.  The poor little pup was so quiet and good the whole ride there.

And when we got into the exam room and I was waiting for the vet (after Sofi had just vomited the 5th time), I made a quick post on FB:

Please say a prayer/think a good thought for Sofi. She’s vomited 5 times in 90 minutes. They’re running tests.”

In the mean time, the vet came in, did a quick examination and said that the vomiting could be a sign of many different things.  Um, could you be more vague?!  He said he was going to write up an estimate for the different tests he recommended, and he’d get right back to me.

So I quickly checked FB to see that my wonderful breeder, Heather, had responded to my post.  She asked a few questions and said that vomiting was a good sign, because it meant that Sofi’s body was clearing her system of whatever she’d eaten that had disagreed with her. Which made me feel like I should have called Heather before I called the emergency vet’s office.

Then the vet tech came in to go over the estimate with me, and I KNEW I should’ve called Heather first. They wanted $618 for xrays, blood work, 3  different medicines, etc.  I didn’t want to deny Sofi any medical treatment, but $600 was a TON of money.  Especially in December.

So then I told the girl that I would need a few minutes to think this over, and I quickly called Heather, who explained that if I would’ve called her first, she would have advised me to check Sofi’s gums and ear flaps to make sure they were pink, to take her temperature, to see if her tail was down, and a few other diagnostics.  She’d dealt with puppy and doggie illness enough to know how to deal with a bit of an upset tummy.  She advised that I take Sofi home, give her some PediLyte and watch Sofi closely through the night until the next morning when my normal vet’s office opened. As Heather put it, I could always pay the $600 later, if I felt that Sofi was getting worse in the middle of the night.  Great point!

I can’t tell you how much better I felt.  Finally, someone with some real answers who could tell me what to do. Heather was compassionate, but realistic.  There was simply no need to do an xray when I know good and well that Sofi doesn’t eat foreign objects.  At the most she ate some leaves in the backyard, which were especially prevalent because of some strong winds we’ve been having this week.

I told the vet tech that I’d be taking Sofi home, and she asked if I would like to at least get some of the anti-nausea medication. Which I agreed to.  So Sofi got a shot to help soothe her stomach, and I got a $149 lesson.

  1. I need to have more training in puppy wellness.  I need to know things like a dog’s normal temperature, that pink gums and pink ear flaps are a good sign.  And who knows what else.
  2. I need to get some basic health supplies.  If I’d have called Heather and she’ have asked me to take Sofi’s temperature, I’d have been ridiculously embarrassed because I don’t own a thermometer.  Or anything else for a sick puppy.

I wrote to Heather and told her that I think she should put a little puppy wellness kit on her LillyBits Store, because I’d certainly buy it, and I’m sure lots of other new pet owners would, too.  Especially those like me who aren’t parents and who don’t have the basics at home.

Anyway, Sofi and I have been back at home for a couple of hours and she’s acting completely normal.  I’m still going to watch her for the next day or so, but I am overjoyed that she’s fine and that it was all a false alarm.

Today was a huge wake-up call.  I realized again, just how amazing Heather is, and how lucky I was to have found her and her wonderful LillyBits site.   I was also reminded of just how special Sofi is to me.  I just don’t know what I’d do if anything really serious happened to her, and I’m beyond grateful that I didn’t have to find out.

“Don’t worry, Mommy, I’ll be ok. Just look how cute I am even when I’m sick.” 

Sofi’s 1st Thanksgiving

Sofi is one of the things that I’m especially grateful for this year. She adds joy to my life and reminds me to enjoy the here and now. I live in the moment when I’m with her and I realize what is truly important. She has given me perspective and patience. She is amazing and I love her more than I ever knew I could. Everything does happen for a reason, and I know that I was meant to have Sofi in my life.

I am also thankful for Heather, whom I can call, email, or FB message about any question, big or small. She has been an amazing support system for Sofi and me, and I don’t know how I could have done it this time around without her. She has made me a much better doggy mommy and has become a friend. She is one of the most nurturing people I know, and a true example of someone who gives of themselves for others. She’s the best!

Yesterday my family and I enjoyed quite a Thanksgiving feast, and not wanting to feel left out, my sister even bought Sofi and Minnie a special treat for their dinner:

And judging from this picture, I think it was a hit!

My mom also slipped the pooches quite a few pieces of turkey, which might have explained why they both got so sleepy later that evening. They were so full, and then the tryptophan kicked in. 🙂


I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with those you hold dear.

When You Look This Cute, You Don’t Mind the Rain

Yesterday we took the dogs out for a long walk before the rain came, but since the sky was looking gray and ominous, we decided that it was better safe than sorry, so on went the raincoats.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cuter rainy day look. I just wish I would’ve gotten a good shot of Sofi’s face, but she was so excited to be out in the fresh air that I couldn’t get one quickly enough.