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Celebrating Our Dog’s Third Gotcha Day

Last week marked three years since Baxter came to live with us. Inspired by Tracey at Oh Melvin and Yo Jake, I have a tradition of writing a letter to Baxter on the anniversary of his gotcha day. You can see the letters from year 1 and year 2 and Baxter’s adoption story on my blog. Now that I’m writing for, I thought I’d share the letter with all of you this year.

Dear Baxter,

Three years. Wow. We wanted a dog for so long, and finally three years ago we felt like the time was right. You hear about how people end up with the right dog for them, and I feel like that’s exactly what we found with you.

I don’t know quite how it happened though. This is one of the times where I’m just thankful that the universe works the way it does. From the posting on to our brief introduction at your foster home, we couldn’t have known everything that you would add to our lives.

Baxter's third Gotcha Day

My writing has expanded because of you. I’m enjoying contributing to, and I’m working on more projects with a goal of being able to spend more time with you.

We love having a sidekick for whatever we’re doing, whether it’s relaxing in front of the TV or working around the farm. It’s special how you want to be part of things and will patiently wait until the work is done.

You make us laugh every day, whether it’s your helicopter tail, your very careful “speak” to get treats or the exhausted sprawl when you sleep (what exactly is it that makes you so tired every day?).

Baxter's birthday hike

I feel like over the past year our bond has strengthened. When we’re hiking and you pause at a split in the trail to see which way I’m going to go, I’m so proud of you. It took us a long time to get here, bud, but we made it. Our hikes together are some of my favourite times.

When you’re prowling around the farm or lounging in the sun, that’s exactly what I had in mind when I pictured adding a dog to our family.

Life with you is incredibly special. I can’t imagine my life without you. But at the same time, I don’t take a single day with you for granted.

Happy third gotcha day, bud.


How about the rest of you? How did your dog turn out to be the right dog for you?

Sarah In Illinois

Thursday 14th of July 2016

Happy Gotcha Day Baxter! I completely understand what a dog brings to your life! I have felt like something has been missing since my Treu passed in February. He was with me over 12 years and he was by my side for every project. That's funny when you ask what makes him so tired all the time! You know the old saying that you're "being worked like a dog"? My dad always answers that, "well, if you saw how my dog worked, that saying isn't true."! Ha!

Julia at Home on 129 Acres

Thursday 14th of July 2016

I can't imagine what you've gone through after having Treu with you for so long. I'm sure it's been an incredible change in your life.


Tuesday 12th of July 2016

My big shepherd mix turned out to be great for us. He's watchful without being aggressive, gets along with all other dogs, loves to go places, and is well-behaved when we're out and about. We adopted him at age six, so most of these things were part of his personality already. My little scruffy terrier mix came to us at age one, and knew nothing. Luckily she was very easy to train. She loves to play, walk, hike, cuddle, and learn. They both turned out to be the right dogs because they get along really well, look out for one another, and their play styles and personalities balance each other out. I never have to worry about drama between the two of them.

Julia at Home on 129 Acres

Wednesday 13th of July 2016

That sounds like such a great balance between the two of them.


Tuesday 12th of July 2016

This is beautiful! What a great way to keep a log of life with your dog.

Julia at Home on 129 Acres

Tuesday 12th of July 2016

I recommend it. I loved looking back at my past letters as I was writing this post.

Jen Gabbard

Tuesday 12th of July 2016

Awww happy gotcha day Baxter. It is amazing if you add up all the things our dogs add to our lives.

Julia at Home on 129 Acres

Tuesday 12th of July 2016

Thanks, Jen. I had no idea what a difference Baxter would make to my life.

Lindsay Stordahl

Tuesday 12th of July 2016

Baxter reminds me of my dog Ace because Ace is also one of those dogs that would be up for anything, especially in his younger years. Hiking? Great! Lounging around in the house while you get work done? Great! Watching a movie? Awesome! I also wonder exactly what it is that makes Ace so tired. He's an old guy now, so I understand. But what was his excuse when he was 2? Haha.

Julia at Home on 129 Acres

Tuesday 12th of July 2016

We often muse what Baxter will be like when he's an old guy. I'm not sure how he can get any lazier!