1 year ago today, I adopted a puppy.
It all started when I went on the pound’s website just to oogle at some adorable pups. Well, then I saw this guy… ‘Blitzen’ was his name, I’m assuming the rest of his litter were ironically named after the 8 reindeer of Santa’s sleigh since they were dropped off on December 31st… How cute was the little baby?! Even if he looks terrified, still.. those FRECKLES doe!!!
I had no business adopting a puppy at the time, and actually didn’t plan on anything more than going to meet him and give him some love at the shelter… Oh, but I was wrong….It was SuperBowl Sunday and I was bored before the game, so I decided that was a great time to go see the little guy. In my Broncos jersey I trekked over to the shelter. But when I got there, and they took me to him, my heart broke. I’m not sure if it was the fact that the attendant told me that this pup had just graduated from the puppy room to the doggie dorms, or if he was the last of his litter and he watched every-single-one of his siblings get adopted over the past 2 months, or the actual situation that he was in… He was in a concrete, and cold, ‘kennel’ that was soaked with pee, with one other puppy… you could smell the urine on the concrete, and both puppies were soaked. It was cold too! Soaked in pee, in the cold… these poor babies! The other pup in the kennel with him was mean and pushy towards him, so the attendant took her outside while I met the little guy. I got in the ‘kennel’ with him, asked him to sit (not expecting anything at all from him) and the dog sat. HE SAT! Maybe that was a coincidence… After this, I thought… woah. Then I thought, oh let’s see if he can high five… My parents’ dog gives high fives and it’s the coolest thing ever, so I just had to up the ante with this little guy… So, I put my hand up in front of the pup’s face and said ‘High Five?’….. and low and behold, a paw touched my hand. At this point, fighting tears, I decided he had to come home with me. I would come home from work at lunch every day and take him out and play with him, then after work I would take him on long walks, etc. I’d alter my life for him. I also convinced myself that after John moved from Greenville to Fayetteville that I would need a ‘protector’ since I lived alone. I had to save him from this pee-soaked place and give him a better life than what he’d get staying there.
Since that day, his name was changed, and he’s been smothered with love (both tough love and sappy love) from his big sisters (Bella and Lexie), spoiled by mommy and daddy, grandma and grandpa too, and he’s grown into an amazing, well mannered (at times) pup.
His actual name: James P. Sullivan (aka Sully) comes from Monsters Inc., the Disney/Pixar movie. I chose this name not only because I’m a 5 year old at heart, but I thought it was original, and none of my friends had a pup named Sully, the pup has freckles that resemble the purple ones on the Monster Sully, and also because of what I call Bella as a nickname- ‘Boo’. I thought it was incredibly adorable to have Sully and Boo as my fur-kids and found it rather fitting for how big of a kid I am. 🙂 Now, I don’t ever call him James, or James P. Sullivan, but he does get called ‘Sullivan’ when he refuses to listen or when he’s being a little ornery. That definitely gets his attention! Uh oh, mom used my full name… I’m gonna get it! Another interesting fact about his name, Sullivan is the name of one of the main islands in Charleston, SC, and the first beach he went to when we visited grandma and grandpa. And, my parents’ dog’s name is Cooper, and we now have the ‘Cooper’ river and ‘Sullivan’s island in the family. Corny, yes, but still cute and showing our Charleston roots.
At first, Bella did NOT like Sully… much like in the movie. She was very reluctant to open up to the idea of this noisy dog being in her world, even if mom had set up a baby gate to keep Boo at a safe distance from the loud pup. She hated the idea of another thing getting more of mom’s attention than she was getting. I tried countless times to safely introduce them, but Bella would get so worked up and start growling at Sully… which was completely counterproductive because when Bella growls, she sounds oddly similar to a motorcycle, and Sully LOVES motorcycles… Yes, my pets are a hot mess. lol. It took until a few months after we moved to Fayetteville for her to finally open up to the pup, and I’m pretty sure she opened up to Lexie first. Lexie didn’t really care much about Bella and pretty much completely and fully accepted her, and moved on. I’m not sure what finally persuaded Bella to venture out of her ‘room’ away from the ‘safety’ of the baby gate in the doorway, but if I had to guess, I’d guess that she wanted to tease the crap out of Sully while he was in his crate. I call her ‘the warden’ since while the pups are in their crates, she loves to walk around the crate perimeters and drag her tail along the slats. She knows they can’t get her while they’re in their rooms, so she does whatever she wants, safely and conveniently out of reach. She also enjoys lounging on the kitchen table right next to Sully’s crate- which drives him crazy, for good reason. Bella has come a long way since the adoption of her [not so] little puppy brother, and I’m so proud of them both. 🙂
Sully is very much so a mama’s boy, which is exactly what I wanted. In being a mama’s boy, he’s very much so my protector… If any dogs or strangers come near me that he doesn’t know, he gets confrontational- hair up, metallic bark, firm stance- until I tell him we’re ok. Even if John picks me up, Sully will voice his opinion about that or intervene as well. Kids are a different story. I was nervous at first when the first little one wanted to meet Sully, since we had never seen or let a tiny human pet us before. I was so surprised! He was so great! When a kiddo walks up, Sully will plop his butt on the ground, and sit there letting those kiddos whack the crap out of his head. Yeah, that’s not ideal, and I always help the little ones understand how to best pet him, but the point is that Sully lets it happen and doesn’t get aggressive. He loves kids. Which is why I’d really love to try to get Sully certified as a Therapy Dog so we could share his sweetness with kiddos at the Children’s Hospital and bring smiles and sweet puppy snuggles to their day.
But from that moment, a year ago on SuperBowl Sunday, I became a puppy mom. Best decision of my life. So many people say that they didn’t save their dog, but their dog saved them… well, this is so totally true. He did save me (with help from John too obviously). My guys did so much for my self esteem, and my overall outlook on life. I’m a different person than I was before them, and I’d never go back to the way it was before. After adopting this little freckly fur ball, weighing no more than 25# at four months old, and seeing him grow and mature into the wonderful pup he is today (at 60# and 1 year 4 months), I know I did the right thing by giving him a fur-ever home with us. Through learning to walk on a leash, experiencing snow for the first time, to swimming in the lake, puppy obedience and agility classes, countless car rides, being a crate houdini, chewing up multiple collars (but never having a taste for shoes, thankfully), and so many snuggles with mommy, I’m so proud of the dog he’s turning out to be. The unconditional, selfless love he has for us fills my heart with so much happiness. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for our little family. 🙂 If I get this sappy and emotional about my puppy, imagine how I’ll be with our eventual children. lol.
So, in light of Sully’s one year anniversary of being added to our family, I wanted to make him some special treats for this special day… So, here’s the recipe! feel free to make some for your favorite fur-ball!
Paleo Pup Treats! (makes about 20-30 cookies)
*please be sure your pup can handle certain ingredients prior to making any treats with ingredients in them that they are not used to. Sully loves all the ingredients which I have listed, and can handle all as well.*
what you need:
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup dry dog food (optional)
1/4 cup peanut, almond, or coconut butter
1/2 banana, mashed (could also do 1 small sweet potato, or 1/4 apple, or both! mashed)
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup almond or coconut milk
1/4 cup almonds, sliced (optional)
1/4 cup frozen blueberries (optional-Sully’s favorite!)*
*You could also do any other dog approved fruits, veggies, or shredded meat! Add in 1/4 cup increments and add flour and milk as needed. If you add 1 cup of additional ingredients, add an additional egg to the mix!
what to do:
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Combine egg, peanut/almond/coconut butter, banana, milk, and coconut oil in a bowl.
- If you’re using dry dog food, put this in your food processor and create a ‘flour’ or ‘meal’ consistency with it.
- Stir in the coconut flour little by little until a cookie dough like texture is reached. I’ve found adding all ingredients to a blender works rather nicely!
- Fold in frozen blueberries (fruits, veggies, nuts, and shredded meat) if you chose to add them.
- Scoop your tablespoon (or smaller) portions and place the balls on parchment paper covered cookie sheets. Take a fork and flatten cookies slightly.
- Bake cookies for 20-30 minutes. After 10-15 minutes, flip treats so the other side cooks nicely. (depending on the size of your treats, they may need to bake longer)
- Once your treats have reached a golden brown color, remove from oven and cool on wire rack.
Once cooled, let your pup try them! They sure were a hit with my little furball!