On my journal

Otto’s first birthday!

Time has flown by. We have had Otto (formerly Brogan) for 6 months! He has become an amazing addition to our family. Today, we celebrate a year of life for our scruffy child. A year of wild ups and downs. A year of extreme sorrows that led to extreme joy. People have a habit of looking through my Instagram and assuming that life is all sunshine and daisies, when in reality, our first few weeks with little man were extremely tough. He had some serious anxiety and trust issues. He wouldn’t allow anybody to touch him, except for Alex and myself. He would tuck in his tail, curl up into a ball and shake when strangers got too close. He still flinches for most. His kennel door remains open at all times, giving him an escape when it all becomes too much to handle. For the first week or two, he barely would come out from there. Going in public and interacting with humans was terrifying for him, and heart breaking for us. We’ve worked thousands of hours to undo what was done to him. He still can’t completely open up with strangers, but he has improved immensely. From the outside looking in, he still looks like an anti-social dog, I’m sure. But from where we stand, he is a changed man. One that grows and enhances every single day. Instead of hauling straight for the upstairs bathroom to hide between the toilet and the tub when people come over, he now stands guard on the stairs waiting to make sure that the coast is clear before joining the rest of us. He even lets out the most adorable howl to show strangers that this is HIS home that he’s protecting. And that may catch you off guard at first, but that shows me just how comfortable he has become here. He’s completely harmless. This dog wouldn’t hurt a fly. Literally, though. He’s afraid of them!

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Today, Otto knows what it’s like to have a family. To have a stable home. He knows we will never leave or harm him. He knows that he is safe forever. He will never know hunger, fear or pain again. We are forever grateful for XOXO Rescue for allowing us to shower Oz with the love and attention that every single dog deserves. We adopted Otto because we wanted to show him everlasting love. We wanted to improve his life and, in return, he has improved ours.

Now let me float off for a second and talk about the magical “happy ever after” that is my dog duo: Padfoot and Osbourne!

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These guys are the epitome of love. They’ve taught Alex and I so much about real, pure, infinite tenderness. Deep affection that has absolutely no boundaries. They bring us so much joy. And equal pride! There are times where I’m overwhelmed with laughter and warmth. I sit back and wonder how and why we were so lucky to be blessed with these two. I can hardly remember our family before there were four.

AND now I’m crying. Well, I kind of already was because I do that during every single one of my babies’ birthdays, but EXTRA hard right now because I can’t imagine what this family would be if we didn’t see our Otto that day. The connection we felt, instantly. That same connection we felt with Pongo. Love at first sight. We all love you so much, Otto. Thank you for making us complete. Here’s to many more years of waking up to your sloppy kisses. Happy Birthday!

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Xoxo,

Nando!

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