Posts in "Ender"
Happy Birthday, Ender
Happy Birthday, Ender | Freckled Italian

Dear Ender,

Two years ago this weekend you were born. I believe you lived in Raleigh at the beginning--just a little guy, fast asleep in the lap of the woman who first took care of you as she emailed back and forth with me about your adoption.

I still don't know the details of how you came to be under the care of South of the Bully, but I'm so glad they found you and fed you and held on to you until I picked you up about thirty miles outside of Charlotte on that sunny afternoon in February. You fell asleep in the passenger seat and when I pulled into the garage and parked I reached over to pick you up, and as I stood to get out of the car with you on my shoulder I bumped your head on the door. 

We didn't always know what we were doing, but we did our best--still do. And we're so lucky to have you.

Happy Birthday, Ender | Freckled Italian
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A Year and a Half of Ender
A Year and a Half of Ender | Freckled Italian

I stopped doing monthly puppy updates after a year of having Ender, but the past month of Rob traveling has been really interesting--I didn't think I could get any closer to this pup but sure enough I feel like I know him even better now than I did in June. Since we're approaching a year and a half since his adoption date, I thought it'd be fun to pop in and do a little documenting.

  • Weighs 51-52 pounds but looks like he's about to go through a growth spurt--is that a thing?
  • Loves our backyard and can't believe we ever lived in an apartment.
  • Will be two years old in November. Goodness gracious.
  • Is getting a lot better at riding in the car. As long as we're going somewhere in town, he'll usually just sit in the back seat and look out the window, but after a while he gets anxious so for the most part if we're traveling we use the crate.
  • Is obsessed with sunbathing and likes to lay out until he can't stand it anymore and then come inside and throw himself on the cool kitchen floor.
  • Eats veggies instead of dog treats. His favorites are cucumber, Brussels sprouts, lettuce, and carrots. He's a weird one.
  • Got really scared during a thunderstorm the other day so I swaddled him tightly in a blanket and held him like a baby. It did the trick.
  • Will sometimes bring one of his bones over to me and start chewing on it when I take it from him. This means he wants me to hold it for him. So spoiled.
  • Has his own Instagram even though at one point I said "never." Never say never, people!
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Twelve Months of Ender
Twelve Months of Ender | Freckled Italian

Twelve months ago (tomorrow), Rob and I did our best to "puppy-proof" our apartment and on February second I got in the car to bring our puppy home from his foster family. It was a warm afternoon and I listened to Taylor Swift's "Fearless" album the whole way, which always brings me back to springtime in college. I carried him to the car and immediately he crawled onto my lap before heading back to the passenger seat and falling asleep.

What else can I say? Probably a lot.

I think he might be my best friend. I certainly spend more time with him than anyone else. We have our routine down, and these past few weeks of being out of town has brought me quite a bit of anxiety--I joke that I miss him more than Rob because I can always call or text Rob, but I just have to sit around and wonder if Ender is thinking about me, too. I know he isn't though, because he gets to go to daycare while Rob is at work and play with other dogs until he passes out.

This dog means the world to me, but there have been struggles. I knew it would be hard work, but there were a few things that sort of blindsided me in unusual ways. When we first got him, he would do puppy stuff and I would think that maybe he was a bad dog. I was constantly frustrated by him, but if Rob got frustrated by him, I would get defensive or insecure--somehow I translated his frustration with Ender into frustration with me. I have always been thankful to have a super solid relationship with my husband, but we actually had to find even better ways to get on the same team when it came to the dog. It was the first time we added a sometimes unpredictable element to our relationship, and I know a dog is not a child but I think Ender has been great training wheels for the day we decide to become parents.

Also, he's just really damn cute.

So for the sake of consistency, and to celebrate the fact that he's been part of our little family for a year, here's a list of things about Ender:

  • Still only weighs 50 pounds.
  • Is now one year and almost three months old.
  • Has really sensitive skin, specifically his ears. He is always itchy and we're in the process of trying to figure out if he has a food allergy or not.
  • Loves to cuddle on the couch with us (or whoever might be sitting on our couch).
  • Runs with me a couple times a week and loves it.
  • Now sits in this old chair we brought into our living room and would rather be there than anywhere else in the apartment. See here, here, and here.
  • Makes me smile every single day, no matter what.
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