I think Sam likes Summer more than we do. Lots of adventures for the three of us together! (And lots of chances for me to become even better at self-timer photography)



One of Sam’s many positive qualities is that he’s not afraid of storms. I’m not sure how I’d handle that anxiety seeing how antsy he gets when it’s a half hour before his dinner time… For the record, he makes a noise that sounds like a mix between a whine and what I imagine a beluga whale to sound like. 
However, in the few heavy rains we’ve had this summer, he has been very confused. He paces between the front window and the back patio door, only staying in each spot for about 15-20 seconds. He looks back at about the halfway point of each of those as if to say, “Seriously, what is happening and am I supposed to be protecting us from it?” 
This morning was the ultimate, though, with his first experience with hail. He stayed by the back where he could see it and hear it much more loudly up against the glass and on the deck, and for the majority of the time had his nose plastered to the window. He only moved for me to sneak a picture of the hail itself since I was the only one awake at the time. 
No fauxhawk though! Just one totally inquisitive little dude. 
Also, I’m taking a quick break from Disney recapping because I’m going to Minneapolis until Saturday. My plan was to spend this morning writing posts for those few days and having them scheduled to post, but since it’s raining and Josh has a scrimmage tonight instead of football practice this morning, we’re watching a few episodes of Breaking Bad instead. We started it on Netflix last night because there was nothing on tv, and holy smokes we’re hooked. 


Over the weekend, I tried to turn Sam into an artist. Instead, I turned Sam into a disaster. I’d go into details about the process, but I will just say that this project is probably not meant for puppies. Hopefully if I ever tackle this again (in his old age), he’ll be more cooperative. Also, his large size made the whole thing a little more complicated. If nothing else, we bonded some more.

I did a random search for diy dog art and found this one I liked. I didn’t use treats with Sam, but walked him in circles with his leash instead. My original plan was to use three colors, but after the two that are included he looked at me like there was no way we were going any further.

Sam’s art project has grown on me after I’ve looked at it for a few days on the wall in the living room. I think long term, it will probably be in a room with less traffic. Not that I’m not proud of this little guy’s skills, obviously. I think I just need to start embracing more basic decor, or at least not have the focal point be something so….. unique if I plan on entertaining. 

swim lessons.

After weeks of making sure he stayed close enough to the edge of the water to ensure he could still stand, Sam finally showed us he could doggy-paddle like a pro!

We had to coax him into the deeper water by throwing a stick. He couldn’t get enough of it after the first lap though, and it was clear he finally understood the “retriever” part of his breed.

He was SO tired when we got home; he snored the entire afternoon! 
I’m psyched to have something new to do with him now that it’s starting to get pretty warm, although I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little worried to bring him anywhere near a lake from now on. He’s never going to be able to just stroll by without getting in! 

first birthday.

On Monday, my favorite little guy turned ONE!

The ten and a half months he’s been in my life have been a whirlwind of laughter, tears, messes inside and outside, and a feeling of love I can’t even describe. I will say that I now understand so completely why my parents didn’t let my brother and I have a dog growing up. Holy smokes is Sam more work than I ever anticipated! 
The people who bred Sam have a party every Sunday before Memorial Day (sidenote – I’ve now decided that the celeb status he had because of this on his first day of life is the reason he thinks he’s the center of the universe). This means that he had a built in birthday party! 
On our way to the fiesta – SO EXCITED!
Even though it was super hot, he was completely in heaven the entire afternoon. He got to run around with his mom and one of his sisters and met a few other dogs too. I was a little embarrassed at how awful he is at wrestling. I’m telling myself it’s because all the other dogs get more practice than he does. Regardless, it was a little sad to see him lose almost every battle he was in. 

He absolutely came out on top though when he ran into the field to explore for a few minutes. My little hunter found a deer hoof! He was so proud he came sprinting back immediately and it took multiple people to pry it out of his mouth. 

It took Sam two days to recover from the exhaustion of his party. I think the only reason I managed to get a party hat on him was the fact that he was so tired. He definitely wasn’t excited about it initially: 
His birthday made me realize something pretty major. I’m so in love with this little guy that I’m convinced I wasn’t even happy before last July when I met him. I can’t wait to see what memories he gives me over the course of the next year, and am even more excited to capture them all in photos. 

Happy birthday Samuel! 
You are absolutely my favorite.


Just a couple pictures to show Sam’s latest accomplishments…

So looking forward to the day where the puppy mishaps are over. Love a cute dog regardless, but I love them more when they just lay on my lap and don’t chew everything to pieces. 


On a semi-related note to the last post, Sam has also had a pretty big month. After a six month hiatus from rope toys (the last one resulted in a rough week for him and a $200 bill at the vet), he got a new one. He made it about a week before it was taken away because he tore it into a million pieces. Here’s a picture of him at the beginning of that relationship:

He’s also gotten bored with his normal chewing of tags on blankets and clothing, and has moved on to other paper products.

The top progress he’s made, though, is his escape from the backyard. (Don’t worry, he’s now tied up to the deck every time he goes outside which he protests by walking as slow as possible at all times because he’s restrained, only after he gets himself stuck because the rope is trapped between the pieces of wood on the deck floor.)

If anyone has ever wanted to capture a hilarious video of me, his first adventure to the neighbor’s yard was a missed opportunity. Not only did he stop, turn, look, and then run the opposite direction when his name was called, but when I finally managed to trick him into coming near me (shout out to the middle school neighbor girl who helped), he refused to move. Fast-forward to three minutes later when I was straddled over him, front paws in my hands while he walked on his back legs.
It’d be a cute, funny story if we walked that way the rest of the trip back to the house. Unfortunately, he’s really good at plopping down on his stomach so that I can’t even drag him without hurting myself. He did mix it up every once in a while, and flipped to his back and looked at me longingly to rub his belly.
I managed to get him back into the house. It took us a half hour to walk a hundred feet. But I realized two beautiful things:
  1. I live Marley & Me every single day, and I regret all the times I wished I had a yellow lab puppy because they’re so cute and couldn’t possibly be as wild as Marley.
  2. I did not miss my calling as a puppy sitter.