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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Happy Birthday "Hopper, Paper, Pippee"

Today is our first born child's birthday!

(Did I tell you we have a 7 year old?) She's furry and lovable, and happens to walk on all fours! We got her shortly after we got married in June of '04. Brian was a motorcycle officer in Phoenix at the time. He happened to be out cleaning his motorcycle in the garage when some nice ladies walking through the neighborhood stopped to chat. About some puppies. Cute ones.

As I finished making my shepherd's pie, I heard the garage door open and Brian's voice call to me,

"Honey? Do we want a puppy?"

"Come again? What?"

The next thing I know we are standing in the kitchen of this nice girl's home staring at some 8 labrador puppies, just a few weeks old. And there, fighting for some space and some time at the food bowl, wearing a teeny, tiny green collar was our little girl. A little black lab- the runt. Once we saw her, we were smitten. We named her Piper, but for some reason, we called her "Ooodie" and often "ooodie, oodie, oodie." (We like to do things in threes, apparently).

As soon as she was weaned, she was ours. And we adored her. (Except for much of her puppyhood when I thought she was trying to make me crazy with her puppy behavior and constant nibbling of arms, fingers, etc.) The whole 'sock chasing' thing...yeah, I pretty much wanted to strangle myself. Little did I know then I was totally egging her on and even encouraging her to chase! (Hey, this was my first dog for whom I was the responsible parent. How was I to know??)

She was kennel trained almost immediately and was, by all accounts, a very good puppy. However, she did leave about 200 muddy pawprints all over our carpet one rainy day, chewed the kitchen cabinets and ate glass. Yes, glass. (She was fine. I was freaking out.) But boy was she loyal. And she still is.

When we lost our Harley cat to coyotes years ago, but found her and brought her home to bury, Piper just sniffed her and licked her. She was so clearly distraught by the loss of 'her' sister. I've seen few things as heartbreaking as the moment Brian first carried Harley in and Piper realized something was wrong. She knew. Those two were such a good duo.

None of us could've predicted that 7 years later, we'd have 3 troglodites running around here, all the same age and size. She has been the most patient dog you could imagine, and is just now starting to stand her ground with the eye poking and the "dog"back riding. Can't say that I blame her.

So Piper, or
Hopper (says' Colton), or
Pippee (says Ethan), or
Paper (says Hunter),

We love you and are so grateful that we picked you 7 years ago. We were meant to be a family and we have lots of great memories to make in the years to come. Happy Birthday!

Piper and her babies
Brian and Piper, camping.
Pretty shiny girl...so little
Piper, as a very new puppy and Aunt Kristen
Happy Birthday Piper Girl!


Mary said...

She is such a good dog for those Bunchkins...but I do remember those days when she wasn't such a good puppy : )

I hope Rocco will be a patient and protective as Piper!

Anabelle said...

Happy birthday Piper! I remember that day you got Piper. Seems like eons ago.
I love me some Piper, she is such a good, lovable dog and a great big sister.

Mary - Rocco will be the same with Brinley, he will love her to no end.

Charlotte Hoffner said...

Happy bday Piper! She really is a great dog and the babies love her! She is the perfect mix of intimidation and sweetness!

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