Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Happy 5th Gotcha Day, Nola!

On December 9th, 2010, my life changed forever.  
On that day, a tiny terror of a Tasmanian Devil dachshund puppy fell smack into my life with the force of a category 5 hurricane. That 2.5lb bundle of teeth and energy turned my world upside-down, made my head spin, and challenged everything I thought I knew about dogs. 

I was given way more dog than I bargained for, or thought I could handle at the time. Nola is my first dog of my own, though I did grow up with them from birth on. However, a gentle, lazy Mastiff is very different than a scrappy, hyperactive Dachshund. I remember thinking on more than one occasion "how in the hell are you even the same creature as what I'm used to?!". 

She made me laugh, and she made me cry. She made me beam with pride, and she made me crazy with confusion. She accepted me, and she challenged me.  She frustrated and fascinated me.

Instead of giving in to frustration, I started reading. Blogs, online forums, books, YouTube, any and everything I could get my hands on. Through that, I discovered the wonder of positive reinforcement training. With that and more patience than I thought myself capable of, we formed an amazing bond of trust, respect, and love. 

That dog...she gets me. She knows me, and she reads me like a book. I couldn't ask for a better dog, or a dog that fits me better.  I may not have gotten the dog I thought I wanted, but I damn sure got the one I needed. She truly is my heart and soul dog, and I wouldn't change her for the world. 

She became my baby, my bright spot and much needed distraction during a horrid time in my life, all within the first few minutes of meeting her. She has become my muse, my pride and joy, my best friend and my heart dog over these five intense, amazing, eye opening and incredible years. Heres to many, many more together.
Happy Gotcha Day, Nola!

December 9th, 2010

Christmas, 2010

First trick (aside from the basics of sit, down, stay, come, ect), "Bang!". 

6 months old

1st birthday
Second road trip, 11 months. This is the same park we visited last month!

The first Nikon!

Our very first review! (, and yes, we've been with them since they've started!)
First time off leash in public! St. George Island, January 2011. So, around 13 months old. Here starts our journey of debunking small dog stereotypes!

Amping up the "leave it" intensity. 14 months old. 
Moving day! May 2012. 
2nd birthday!

Taking (and passing!) the AKC Canine Good Citizen test, 2 years 1 month old. 

Down/stay and Leave It around two goats, 2.5 years old. 

Visiting a nursing home, September 2013

3 years old!

Qualifying in Rally Novice (and 1st place, too!),  March 2014.

Pike comes home! April 2014
Playing with the 35mm, June 2014

4th birthday!
Olivia comes home! November, 2014
Visiting a state park, February 2015
Random, spastic leg jumps, June 2015

Counter conditioning to dremeling the nails, September 2015
5th birthday!
Finding Roxie, October 2015

Meeting Roxie, October 2015

Visiting Ellijay, GA, November 2015

November 2015
November, 2015

December 2015


  1. Truly an amazing journey with many more adventures to come! Happy Gotcha Day, Nola!

  2. Happy Gotcha Day Nola :) Wishing you many more years with your mum :) Milo & Jet

  3. Happy Gotcha Day, Nola! Five years can seem so long and yet so short at the same time. You've created some amazing memories and moments together! May she live a long life full of more!

    1. And on a slightly related note - I first met Blueberry and wanted to her adopt her on 12/9/11. So 12/9 is definitely a special day! I didn't actually pick her up until after Christmas, but still, it was the day I knew she was mine. :)

  4. Happy day deary!!!

    Nukie & Family

  5. Fun pictures to look back at! Happy Gotcha Day!!

  6. What a sweetheart! Happy Gotcha Day special girl
    Lily & Edward

  7. Awwww - Happy Gotcha Day, Nola!! She sounds like such an awesome dog! I really enjoyed all of the pictures above - great little overview of Nola's life so far.

  8. Happy Gotcha Day beautiful girl!
    You have brains as well as looks :)
    Dip and Elliot x

  9. Oh Nola...what a lovely trip down Memory Lane. Happy, HAPPY Gotcha Day!

  10. Happy Gotcha Day Nola!!!
    What a bunch of gorgeous pictures and a great journey you've come on so far!!
    Here's to many more and lots of fun adventures!
    **Wags and Kisses from Dante and Ziva!!**

  11. Happy Gotcha Day, Nola! She is so beautiful and I love looking at all the throwback pics! I love her baby photos, so much! :D

  12. So many beautiful pictures of your sweet girl. It is the most amazing thing when you find that dog. The one who you understand and who understands you better than anyone in the world!! Happy Gotcha Day Nola.

  13. Nola is SUCH a beautiful lady, and mom and I just love being able to follow her and all the rest of the gang here on her blog. Those throwback pictures are so much fun to look at and see how much she's changed...more and more stunning! Happy 5th gotcha day, Nola...and many more!

  14. Happy Gotcha Day Nola!!! What a wonderful set of memories to celebrate with!

  15. Happy Gotcha Day Sweet Nola! I do find myself wondering again what happened to the other doxies. Mysteries. I love your new brother and sisters!

  16. OMD what a most perfect gotcha day post!!!! Hope you have a fantastic day, and I really enjoyed looking through the photo memories of your life!!! Happy Gotcha Dayyyyyyyyy!!!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  17. I love all these photos. Happy gotcha day!


Thank you for commenting!