Boulder is 5

Today, our first "baby" is five years old.
{Boulder's 5th Birthday - 03.01.10}

Normally I wouldn't blog about my dog's birthday, but last week she ran away & I thought she was gone forever. It scared me big time! And, it reminded me two things:
1. I really do love this dog
2. Our family wouldn't be the same without her.

I never had a dog growing up. I never wanted one.
Our family isn't what you would call "animal lovers".
Kevin, on the other hand always had a dog growing up. He LOVES dogs. He loves all animals.
His childhood dog passed away a few months before we got married. It devastated Kevin, he even had to come home from work early. I didn't "get it" because I had never had a pet like that. It was so sad to see a grown man so upset about losing his dog. It was then that I realized that a pet truly is a family member.
Our first few years of marriage, Kevin and I would discuss when we wanted to start having kids. He would always tell me, "We are getting a dog first". I always laughed it off.
Then, in 2004, I realized he was serious. If I wanted to have kids, I had to get him a dog.
I came up with a "plan".

Kevin's 30th birthday was in May of 2005 and I was going to surprise him with a puppy.

So, to make my plan work, I had to make sure Kevin wasn't going to go out & buy a puppy like he was threatening to. So, starting at the end of 2004, every time Kevin brought up getting a dog, I would roll my eyes, say no & change the subject. We watched our friend's the Sharman's dog one weekend & I complained (on purpose) the whole time. Sidenote: The Sharman's were in on my "plan" and they know I love their sweet yellow lab!
{Christmas card picture 2005}

At the beginning of 2005, I started researching yellow labs. (I knew he wanted a lab because they are good family dogs & good with kids. I said if I ever got a dog, I wanted to name the dog "Boulder" because I went to college at University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado. I thought Boulder would be a cool name for a dog, either a boy or a girl)
I asked my students if they had a yellow lab to give me the name of their breeder & I kept researching breeders online. I was coaching soccer at the time, so I saved all my soccer paycheck so that I would have the cash to pay for the dog. In January of 2005, I found an awesome family that breed labs once a year, I called the lady & I fell in love with her. Their lab was due in March and I put down a deposit for a female. The puppies were born on March 1st & we had pick of the litter.
We got to pick the dog we wanted at the end of March. (Kevin still had NO idea any of this was going on .) After talking to friends & family about what to do, I decided to surprise Kevin the day we got to pick out the dog.
The family lived over an hour away, so that Saturday morning, I told Kevin we were going on a surprise "field trip". It was the Saturday before Easter, so as I drove, every 15 minutes, I gave him a plastic Easter Egg with a clue in it. I gave him the last egg as we pulled up to the house & inside that egg was a pink dog collar with the name "Boulder" on it.
Then Kevin's eyes started to tear up & I told him we were there to pick out his early birthday present.
Boulder was one of 8 puppies in her litter. All of the puppies were adorable, and it was a hard decision. Ultimately, we chose Boulder because she is the one who slept in Kevin's arms for almost an hour! All the other puppies were really hyper & playful, but Boulder just slept. We realized that was the dog for us!
Boulder was only 3 weeks old the day we picked her out, so we had to wait another month to bring her home. Here we are on the day we "chose" Boulder:
It was such a fun surprise and I am so glad Boulder is part of our family!
She is so amazing with the girls. They were instant best friends as soon as we brought them home from the hospital.
{Boulder & 1 week old Kate}

Boulder & Kate have a very special bond.
One of Kate's first words was Bo Bo (what she calls Boulder).
And, It was Claire's 2nd word. (Mama was first, of course!)
They love their Bo Bo!
When Boulder was missing last week, it was the longest 15 minutes of my life. Hearing Kate crying saying, "Where is my Bo Bo?" it literally broke my heart.
Luckily, Boulder came back home (she has a tendency to escape our house, but just goes to the end of our court to play with our neighbor's dog) But, last week, she really freaked me out because when we got home from Target, our dog was not home or in our yard.
I tried staying calm for Kate & Claire's sake, but I was a mess. Thankfully, Boulder returned home. That was a close call. Too close for comfort!
This is Claire's favorite thing to do when Boulder is laying on the ground. Boulder is so sweet & just lays there while Claire climbs all over her.
I got Boulder this ridiculous dog birthday hat for her first birthday & I make her wear every year on her birthday.
This year, Kate wanted her & Claire to wear their birthday hats also while we sung "Happy Birthday Boulder"
Seriously, this dog is such a good sport. She even let Kate put all the birthday hats on her.
Boulder puts up with so much "abuse" from our girls.
Happy 5th Birthday Boulder, the best dog I've ever had!


  1. Awww -- Boulder looks so comfortable with your girls! Precious! I'm not a "dog person," but your photos truly speak to how much a pup can be a part of a family. Happy 5th birthday!

  2. love the pictures! Happy Birthday to Boulder....that is the same we way feel about our dog Bella the Boxer!

  3. I loved this post. First off, adorable pics. And the story has me all choked up. And goodness, you can enter a contest with that photo with all the hats on the dog. You'd win, for sure! Have a great day!!

  4. Ok.. that is so sweet. You give me hope that I will actually be more of a "dog person" someday. Sure, I have 2 of them. But they drive me batty. Happy Bday Boulder. Love the name by the way. :)

  5. Oh I just love that story! We have a yellow/white lab too that looks just like Boulder...her name is Bailey and she is 3 1/2. She is so wonderful with Addison and I am so thankful! I do love her to death, but do NOT love her hair! It is a constant battle because she's mainly an inside dog. Any tips? Happy Birthday Boulder!

  6. What a sweet post! I got teary eyed, haha! Boulder sounds like a fantastic doggie. I have labs also, they are great! Happy Birthday to Boulder!!

  7. Awww. So Sweet. I am so with you, not a dog person... but they really do become part of your family.

    GREAT pictures! Happy Bday Boulder!

  8. Happy Birthday Boulder! I love the picture with the hats and agree it should be in a contest.

  9. That is such a sweet story!!! It made me cry. Partly because my husband wants a dog so badly and I do not. Partly because he's in Afghanistan and I couldn't surprise him with a dog right now if I wanted to. And, partly because...well, that's just a sweet, sweet story!!!!!
    That last picture made me laugh though! Boulder looks like he's just "puttin' up with it"


  10. All right, this post just made me cry. I love Boulder, she seems to be such a caring dog!!!

    We are a dog lovers!

    Our dog Jr. is another member of our family and as you said we wouldn't be the same without him!

    My husband & I were such a mess when we lost our other dog 2 years ago, he was 14 years old & we miss him every single day!

    Happy Birthday Boulder!!!

  11. Quite possibly my favorite post ever. Such great pictures and I love every word of that story. I was totally tearing up by the time you and Kevin got to the house to pick out Boulder and you gave him the last egg (super creative, by the way!) And SO funny in that picture with all the birthday hats. :)

  12. Aww...such a sweet, sweet story! She is too cute :) We have a yellow lab too she is almost 10mths and she is a PILL!! She is worse than having a 4th kid!! I know that she will be the best dog once she is out of her puppy stage..

  13. what a sweet post! Happy Birthday Boulder!

  14. Hooray for Boulder coming home! I feel like I hardly ever see you, I didn't even know that happened! Glad she is home safe and sound, she is so sweet! I miss having a dog (I grew up having one), and we want one eventually. I keep saying that I want one when I'm done potty training Anna. Not sure I want to be training a puppy and her at the same time! :) At least they have 4 dogs at Weezie's!

  15. Happy Birthday to Boulder!!! I grew up with dogs but we do not have one now. Aidan is allergic, but someday after he has had all of his allergy shots we may be able to get one. I love all the pics. Such a gorgeous dog. So sorry for the scare too...have been there before. Kevin is such a lucky man!! What an awesome wife you are to surprise him like that. :)

  16. Oh goodness..that is ca-ute! I love his name! Being in CO - I haven't heard that name for a dog...it's perfect! We love our "firstborn" too! His name is Tre!!! xoxo

  17. CUTE CUTE CUTE!!!!!!

    It is so true...our little kitten drove me nuts...but when she went missing I suddenly realized how much I love her.

    I think a dog will be in our future...

  18. Lovely post! We have a dog too - a weimaraner. She is our first baby. She is turning 8 on April Fools day.

    Love her birthday hat!

  19. Mel - here's a link to the earplugs that I use: http://www.aqua-gear.com/Macks-Kids-Ear-Plugs-p135.html. They are great for kids b/c they are neon so you can see them under the water/bubbles! I just use them for a week or so and then throw them away. I think I got them at Target or CVS. Good Luck!

  20. Okay, I read this the other day. Blame it on pregnancy hormones or WHATEVER but I cried and cried. I grew up with a cat and dog and loved them. Then, Gary and I got a dog a year after we got married, but had to get rid of him just before Addie was born. I really want my kids to row up with a dog, but Gary is not so excited about that idea.

    Get this - (this is funny... probably distasteful to blog about though) - we were talking about it the other day, and the girls were begging for a dog. In the same conversation they asked if it's possible to poke your eyes out (I KNOW! YIKES!). So Gary said that yes, it is, and that it's probably their best chance at getting a dog - a seeing eye dog. Nice, Gar.

  21. She is so pretty! We have a yellow lab named Katie she will be 6 April 22nd. I Can't believe it. My Mom has her sister (Jessi) and what a funny pair they are, the breeder was happy to see that 2 of the puppies would always have each other, when we went to pick up the puppies. We picked Katie b/c she fell asleep in my arms too.

  22. i totally teared up reading the story of how you surprised kevin, so sweet.

    i am so glad you found her i woulda freaked out if piper ran away.

    great pictures of the girls and bo bo so stinkin cute!

  23. I really enjoyed reading about how you surprised your Hubby with Boulder. So sweet! I have heard that Labs make great family dogs. It certainly looks like it from your pictures :)



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