We'll never forget the day we drove 2 hours to pick him up on a Virginia farm and fell in love with his long ears:
If it hadn't been for Tim's realistic rationale, we would have left with both of these little weims that day — we actually still joke about what it would have been like if we'd gotten both Basil and his brother on that fall day just under 2 years ago (his brother is pictured above left, who we would have named Sage). Find lots more puppy pics from the day we got Basil and the full background story of how we decided to get a dog and found him in his 1st Birthday blog post.
Since his 1st birthday, we've gotten to do so many things and learn so much from Basil — along with seeing many more firsts of his own. You may recall just a few of the fun memories we've made with him over the past year:
- We got to take Basil on his first trip to the beach and watch him run in the sand and play in the surf. More on that and a video here.
- We laugh all the time at how hilariously stressed he can get about certain toys. Video here.
- I thought I might lose him in his wild run with the horses at my aunt's farm — though he probably had the time of his life. Details here.
- Santa remembered Basil during our first Christmas in our new home — Basil had been asking us how Santa would know we had moved. Details here.
- He played in the first snow we had in our new house. Video here.
- He's made lots of new puppy friends over the past year, including Yeager and Ladybug.
- His mug has been captured forever in ink in this family portrait we had made.
- We've learned to make several natural dog treats he's enjoyed, including recipes for apple treats, carrot & banana treats, sweet potato chews, and homemade frosty paws. Oh, and fruit leather, which we didn't intend as a dog treat, but turned into a great one!
- On a sadder note, we nursed him through a scary bout of kennel cough several months back, where he's literally been the sickest we've ever seen him. What was so scary was the fact he'd already been regularly vaccinated for bordetella and still got it. We learned a lot about his symptoms of sickness and what to watch for in the future.
- He made it bravely through the craziest of summer weather we've had here in Virginia — including torrential rains and even tornadoes. Watch him barely flinch in the thunder and lightening in this video.
- Probably our proudest moment as a family with Basil over the past year has been our ability to overcome his severe case of separation anxiety. It's the one thing that caused all of us the most stress and we finally feel like we can say our methods for leaving Basil at home alone (for short periods of time) have been working beautifully. Details for what's been working for us in this post. This isn't to say we are perfect, we're definitely a work in progress and every so often come home to something that looks a little like this, though more often than not, we find that he appears annoyed that we've woken him from a big puppy slumber on the couch he's not allowed on unless we are gone when we get back home. This makes us happier than we know how to describe.
For Basil's 2nd birthday on Saturday, he slept in and woke up to a special breakfast with cooked eggs on top, then we headed to the market where he loves to meet and sniff new-to-him dogs. While there, his "gran" bought him a bag full of his favorite homemade lamb treats:
Once back home, he was surprised to find his brand new kitchen mat waiting for him:
We decided since he was turning 2, he deserved a "big boy bed" in the kitchen — plus, the previous one we had was getting really old, worn, ripped up and tired. It was also a tad too small for him to really stretch out on anymore now that he's full grown.
Here's a shot of the old mat — he had dragged it into the family room from the kitchen and put it on top of his bed in there to chill out on for the day (I'm not joking):
I actually felt guilty getting rid of his old bed, thinking it was like his security blanket — after getting rid of it I thought how I should have cut off a few pieces and made a toy or something else from it, but oh well. That may have been going a little off the deep end too, right?
Basil settled into his new kitchen bed just fine and it suits his size much better now — all previous guilty thoughts of losing his baby bed disappeared when he did this:
We'd bought this giant piece of a shed elk antler (knowing how much he loves antlers — more on that here) and had been excitedly waiting to give it to him for his birthday:
Basil waking up from a nap to us singing "Happy Birthday"
Basil sleepily getting snuggles and stretching while he sniffs his birthday present
Here he is an hour after we gave him the antler:
This antler should last us several weeks, they are awesome chew treats we swear by.
If you couldn't tell already, we're pretty thrilled to have this big guy in our lives — he's brought so much more into our own relationship and absolutely become a member of the family in ways we never thought possible. We joke frequently about how Basil has converted me into a full-blown dog person (something I also thought would never happen) — whenever I am snuggling up to Basil or baby-talking him, Tim will look right at him and say things like "Basil, you know mommy's not a dog person..." — and then I just hug him tighter.
I could go on and on about the background on that, but to keep it simple, I grew up with cats (LOVE cats!) and never really "got" the whole dog thing. Tim grew up with dogs and is actually very allergic to cats so that ruled out even considering a cat when we decided to get a pet together. Once we looked into, researched and narrowed down the type of dogs we both agreed we'd be into to getting, Tim found Basil through photos online and we both fell in love with him on first sight. Ever since we picked him up and brought him home that day, I am the first person to admit how wrong I was about dogs, and how I feel like I've been given the keys to this secret and amazing club I never knew about.
The first moment we brought Basil home — he is looking at me to say "I will make you a dog person."
In short, Basil has more than turned me into a dog person and I am forever thankful.
Happy Birthday Basil, we are so looking forward to the coming years and time we get to spend with you.
And for those of you still hanging in there with us at this point, here's a little photo roundup with some faves of our big guy over the past year:
An orchard run
My new collar
I do anything daddy does
Testing out daddy's muck boots
Our secret: Basil is actually the Editor in Chief of 17Apart
Morning yoga with daddy
Olympic doggie training
I like walking in the fan with mommy
Hey mom, are those for me?
Basil and Hippie play tug of war
My best "devil dog" face
I love fields
Outright refusal to go in the pool
Testing out stadium chairs on the front porch — always wants to be like daddy
My best beg face
Hiding out at a wedding
Watching the 4th of July fireworks
Faithfully awaiting the arrival of Daddy home from work — my daily routine
Yep, that's our big guy!
Always curious — do you celebrate your pets' birthdays or think it's a little ridiculous? Do you calculate them by actual birth-date or the day you brought them home? We'd love to know how you celebrate with and spoil your special little ones.
P.S. For anyone who caught the photo of Basil practicing morning yoga with Tim — it was the only time Tim has agreed to a shirtless photo here on the blog, which he says you will probably never see again. Haha, he's a good sport.