Prioritizing Our Pets

Long before Jackson was even a blip on our radar, there was Millie. A sweet boxer-lab mix pup who we welcomed to the family in April of 2007.

This little girl was the first thing that really made Brandon and I an us. She was the first thing we decided to do together as a couple. She was a real commitment, not just to one another but to another actual living, breathing being.

I still remember the pitter-patter of my heart when we decided to get our first dog. After months of searching and debating breeds, I found Millie's litter on Craigslist, abandoned and in need of a home. Armed with her first round of shots and ready to be picked up immediately, my jaw dropped when I saw her asking price was just $25! The many breeds I researched were hundreds of dollars. Hundreds! This certainly suited our college-student budget much better, and to top it off she was more beautiful than any full-bred I'd seen yet.

One little email to Brandon and he was in love with her; I knew he would be. In the next couple days, Brandon had Millie at his house waiting for me to arrive in Tennessee to celebrate our one year anniversary; she was just eight weeks old.

Hard to believe she turned six last week.

Hell, it's hard to imagine life before her, or any life without her.

One of my biggest concerns over the last couple of years has been her adjustment to having a baby in our house, ahem, her house. You see, despite her 70 pound stature, this dog thinks she's as small as her toy schnauzer cohort, as loyal as they come and protective to the nth degree over those welcomed into our home.

Its taken time and dedication from Brandon and I, but her relationship with Jackson is growing each day. There's no lack of love coming her way from Jackson; however, she has been hesitant about the screaming, running, mess of a child we brought into her home.

Lately, though, she's let him hug her, pat her, and even grab her tail. Bless this dog! I hope, even in the bustle of our parenting days, she still sees the love we have for her.

Here's to six marvelous years, Millie. May you ever be a part of our family as I can't imagine a single day without you.