A Puppy Grows Up!

Posted on Jan 24, 2013

from the Photo Lab

My, how time seems to fly. Wasn’t it only yesterday I brought home a foster puppy named Willow? I will never forget seeing this beautiful creature, cautiously measuring me from the back of a kennel. I was sitting down on the cold floor, speaking softly and not looking at her, she eventually came close to me and allowed me to put a leash on her. This simple, then insignificant moment of trust and physical bonding I would later realize would be the start of something new and powerful. Something that would come to change our lives. That leash symbolized an indescribably strong bond; one I believe has made us better people. A fearful dog has taught us to be brave; to have the courage to love fiercely and unconditionally. To be patient. To be mindful. To be compassionate. 

We brought Willow home when she was 5 months old, and after fostering her for almost four months, we adopted her as our own. In making her a part of our family, we made her a promise, one that many dog lovers can relate to. Every day has been a learning experience since then and it has been so wonderful to see her blossom into what she is today. We see her progress and rejoice in the little things everyday; but it is even more rewarding to hear someone see and appreciate that progress even more, since they don’t see her everyday like we do, the change is even more evident.

I have no doubt we’ve had a small part to play in her overcoming her fears, but I believe that it was Willow’s love of other dogs that has been key to her progress; and one dog in particular, our amazing, giant heart of a dog, Corbin.
Corbin has probably done more for Willow than we’ll ever understand. She bonded to him before anyone else. He has been instrumental in helping us reach her, in teaching her the simple joys of dogdom.

Our Willow Bee turns one year old today. I cannot help but swell with pride and joy at that… knowing her story could have been a very different one, and seeing her run happy and free to splash along the beach on the cold winter morning we took these photographs. It still takes my breath away, to see this brilliant and beautiful dog come bounding towards us with nothing but joy in her face and body. The level of her trust in us, hard-earned but rock-solid is something I am thankful for everyday, and will never take for granted; for any dog, ever.
She is one year old, and I never thought I’d be saying this, but I am so grateful for her “normal” adolescent dog antics!

As a little symbol of Willow, aka Bee’s first year, and everything we’ve accomplished together, we bought a little yellow balloon. Yellow is her color, it’s a happy one and it looks great against her gorgeous black coat (this is where her nickname Honey Bee comes from). We released that little balloon into the sky, and releasing with it many of the fears that clouded her puppyhood. Sure, it might seem silly; to her, it was just fun to have a balloon to play with and chase after. But to us, it was cathartic, and very special.

Willow would not be where she is today if it weren’t for all the amazing people and dogs that have been instrumental in her life. To our dog behavior professionals who advised us, to our dear friends who lend your support and understanding, especially to those who love her just as much as we do, to all the awesome dog friends Bee has made over time, to the kitties for their patience and to our families, for accepting her as a new member of the pack. Thank you. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

Happy Birthday to our little darling. We love you beyond words.



  1. jesse
    January 24, 2013

    Love this series- love the color, love the square. So glad you guys decided to keep her. She’s a very special dog.

  2. Abby (Doggerel)
    January 24, 2013

    Happy birthday, Willow! What a happy and lucky puppy! So encouraging to read about all of her adventures and progress.

  3. Terran
    January 24, 2013


  4. Rose
    January 24, 2013

    Your heartfelt words always bring tears to my eyes! Love that Willow has grown up with such a loving big brother. Happy birthday!

  5. Ali Peterson
    February 1, 2013

    Happy Birthday Willow!

  6. Fetching! | The Daily Dog Tag
    July 5, 2013

    […] was taken for Willow’s birthday.   Willow came to Nat, Bill and Corbin as a scared foster puppy from Sonoma Humane Society.  […]


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