Meet Rawley | Our 3 Year Old Pup

A funny thing happens when you adopt a dog.
I use to find dog lovers a peculiar bunch ~ you know the ones.  The people who can't carry on a conversation without talking about their pup, eventually whipping out photos so you can see their beloved pooch?  Well after 3 years of loving this pup of our own, Brian and I have experienced this crazy joy and understanding of what it truly means to share a life with Man's Best Friend.  We now proudly call ourselves crazy dog people.

Rewind to January 2011.
Brian and I had been discussing getting a dog for quite sometime, but we kept giving ourselves the typical excuses.  They're a lot of work, they cost a lot of money, it'll tear up the house, blah blah blah.
Then we had this crazy ice storm in Atlanta, it pretty much shut down the city for a couple days, which led us browsing the Atlanta Humane Society website.  And that's when we saw Sgt. Floyd.  This adorable 3 month old pup, his cute little face, black and white with spots ~ how could you not fall in love?  With the city shut down the Humane Society was closed, so for the course of the storm we kept pulling up his puppy profile.  
We ooed and awed and kept telling ourselves now was not the time for a dog.  
When the storm passed, I went back to work on a Saturday.  Brian called to see if I had time for a quick lunch break ~ I was pretty busy so he said he'd drop off my lunch.  When I met him at the car, this is what greeted me:
An adorable Springador aka Labradinger Mix  
This was a welcome surprise, even though the initial response was what have done?!
I couldn't wait to get home that evening to see more of this cute adorable little face.
The funniest thing was in only a matter hours, Brian had trained him to sit.  
We pretty much thought we had adopted a genius dog!
The next big step was potty training.  I don't know if we did everything right, or if the stars aligned, but he was completely potty trained within a week.  
Again, we adopted a genius dog!

When it came to naming our pup, we had a few options, but none that we both loved.  It ended up being my 7 year old brother who came up with Rawley.  Truth be told, he actually said Rocky, but over the phone I misunderstood it for Raleigh ~ true story.  But for the history of it all, my brother gets all the credit.  We felt the spelling for Raleigh was a bit feminine, so we decided on the formal name Rawlings (like the baseball) and affectionately call him Rawley!

Those first couple weeks and months were fun.  When I look back I always wonder why I don't have more photos of him when he was cute and little.  Then I remember that as a young puppy he was always on the move and trying to capture a somewhat-not-blurry picture of him was nearly impossible.
As he started to grow, so did our love for him.  We were quickly aware that he listens and plays with Brian and is sweet and snugly with me.
In that first year he typically looked like this:
No matter how many baths he got, he was always dirty and covered in Georgia clay.
For the most part he was a really well behaved puppy.  He typically only chewed on his toys and rarely made a huge mess in the house.  But there was this one day...
I was cleaning the house for company and had cleared out Rawley's crate.  I had put his bed outside for all of 10 minutes when this happened:
Then 30 minutes later he decided to do an encore and dig up my hydrangeas:
But really how can you stay mad at a face like that?!
Of all his puppy years, this was the only day he was super naughty.

That first year we learned a lot about patience and loved the joy he brought into our home.  So to celebrate his first birthday we thew him a Puppy Pizza Birthday Party.  I believe this was the turning point where I turned into a crazy dog loving person.

Over the next year he grew into a boy dog (you know, vs a puppy dog)  
Still loving to play outside and always loving to be part of the action. 
 When Brian was at work he would humor me, allowing me to take his photos.  
And although he wishes I never showed this pic, 
he even let me dress him up for our Valentine's Day card:
 Bones and treats are his favorite: 
 And to this day our life wouldn't be the same without him.  He's taught us responsibility, the meaning of unconditional love, and has showed us to appreciate the little joys in life ~ like a car ride on a crisp fall day!
No matter what kind of day we're having, it's always the best to come home with Rawley greeting us at the front door.

Are you a crazy dog person?!

For those of you looking to expand your family, we strongly urge you consider adopting.  With so many amazing rescue groups and shelters it's easy to find a perfect match for your family.  Rawley changed our life and we hope you will consider changing yours!
For more information on adoption check out the Humane Society Website.