A few days ago was Epic’s first birthday. I won’t tell you exactly which day (or his middle name) for fear of identity theft😉 , but I will tell you it’s been an Epic year…

I thought about doing a great birthday party for him (which my kids moaned and groaned about every time I brought it up- especially since we don’t do birthday parties for humans because I think they are narcissistic and excessive…yes, hypocrisy noted🙂 ), but that didn’t end up happening for various reasons. In the end, the actual day passed quietly and without fanfare, but my boy did indeed turn one, causing me to look back and reflect over how quickly the last year has gone by.

Epic is no longer a one and a half pound ball of fluff; he now bends the scales at a whopping eight pounds and a few ounces. This may not sound like much in comparison to, well, anything, but for a boy who used to fit in the palm of my hand, he now seems huge! (By way of reflection, I will point out that when he was weighed at the vet’s office, I had to laugh that he is currently smaller than my firstborn son was when he was born…) He has lost his puppy cuteness and developed a certain mischievous little boy quality that is alternately endearing and maddening depending on what he is doing and who is assessing his behavior at any given time. He still attempts to lift his leg and mark things in the house from time to time (maddening and truly gross- and what’s up with that anyway?), but he will also play like a kitten with certain toys, instantly morphing into the cutest pet in the world… He snuggles under my covers with me some time during the night (super sweet) and then wakes up when I do by kissing me on the mouth (so gross I could die, and meaning that every single day I wake up with my hand over my mouth and nose feeling like I am smothering. Decidedly not endearing and 100% maddening- but clearly not enough so that I would consider having him sleep somewhere else. Yes, I am whipped by an 8-1/2 pound dog. But I am also someone who would have slept with my chickens if I could have! hahahahahahahaha).

He refuses to be completely potty trained (what is it about little dogs???), and is positively addicted to smelling the girl dogs in indecent places. Yuck. But he sits on my lap when I read books and calms me down 194 notches, which is a big plus in my world. Most of my kids love him, except when they are getting Epically frustrated by him, and our dog pack wouldn’t be the same without him. When our mixed dog barks, he barks. But when our husky howls, he mini-howls. He puts back his head and lets loose with this pint-sized little husky yowl, and more than one person who has heard him from the porch has asked us if we have husky puppies in the house. When the big dogs play something, he is right there with them, and he has all of the big-dog moxy I knew he would (and then some- he is my dog, of course…)- but he will still bark at strangers as he backs up and hides behind things in fear in our very own house. On walks he will cower at random things (like if a person is holding something unfamiliar -not my dog at all…), but if he thinks one of our dogs is getting hurt, he will go to the mat to defend them against anything (YES! my dog!).

I wish he was better trained, but I will confess to acting like that just kind of happens, and not really putting in the work to make it happen. I have offered to pay one of my kids to work with him, but that doesn’t seem to be falling into place. Plus Epic is a little bit of a brat. Ha! Epic just came to sit on my lap at the computer, requiring me to stop what I was doing, kiss him all over, sing 8 rounds of an off key made-up version of a non-existent “I love you so much” song, pet him a lot, and wistfully put him down so I could finish typing. So you can imagine why he is not well-trained. Because I am a marshmallow. Yes, I will face down thugs in the street, but no, I will not put my 8-pound dog in his place. Do you sense a problem? (disclaimer: that is not entirely true, and I am exaggerating for literary effect)(disclaimer #2- the part about him being on my lap and what I did is 100% true)

In any case, it has been a great year with my sometimes great dog. I am happy I have him, and happy he is in my life. I can’t believe he is already one, and I can say honestly that the year has zoomed by- do you all remember when I got him? Phil said he looked like a Barbie accessory (the best description ever!), and Grant said I needed and epic name for him. The rest is history.

Thanks as always to all of you for sharing the journey🙂