Last week, I started to look back at all of the 2,000+ pictures I’ve taken of my daughter Addison during her first year of life. For her birthday, I am organizing a cute collage of pictures so I can sit and cry in front of it because I like to torture myself. It’s actually for her birthday party decor but I will probably save it and cherish it until I’m old and grey. As I comb through the pictures that show all of her firsts to casual days playing at home, there’s one theme I didn’t expect to stick out: our dog Bauer.
Bauer was our ‘first’ baby. My husband and I adopted him long before we considered starting a family. He has always been a sweetie so it was no surprise when he showed affection to Addie the minute we brought her home. Still, I am shocked to see him by her side in so many photos.
On the day we brought her home, I have a picture of her in the mamaroo and he’s sitting right next to her. I have a photo of her during tummy time and once again, there’s Bauer, parked to her right just watching her. In a recent one of her eating kiwi, I see his little face down by her feet just waiting for her to share a bite with him. It melts my heart to see the two of them growing their friendship.
I love how Addison and Bauer interact with each other. He goes in her room when she wakes up and sticks his nose in the crib so she can pet him. She will help me play fetch with him and chase after him down the hallway. Bauer bring his toys to Addison so they can play tug which he so gently does. Addison’s second word was ‘bubba’, another name we often call Bauer.
He really is her best friend.
She genuinely adores him and gets excited to see him. Addison will call for Bauer and she just started saying dog. When you ask her what a dog says she pants and sticks out her tongue which is the funniest thing to watch. Addison thinks it’s so funny to feed him food from her tray during dinner. She even tried to go out the dog door the other day!
I know having a dog growing up can teach many lessons: responsibility, ownership and care. But I hope the most important lesson Bauer teaches Addie is love. There is nothing more pure and unconditional than the love of a dog. This National Dog Day you can bet we are going to spoil Bauer with extra belly scratches! He just so happens to be my best buddy, too!