Happy Birthday Jackson!

Today marks the 3rd birthday of a very special animal in our house - Jackson! He's become such a part of our family over the past two and half years, that I can't imagine life without him now. I'll try not to be one of those people who just gushes over the dog in this post (only ridiculous human beings do that - right? right...), but we certainly love him lots and want to wish him a very happy 3rd birthday!

{instagram from this summer at the river. Jackson the life jacket-wearing dog!}

I've never shared the "story" of how we got him here on the blog, so I suppose now is as good a time as any. It goes way back to when C and I were engaged. We had talked about getting a dog (ok, I did most of the talking about that), and I convinced him that it just needed to happen soon...as in, a month after we got married soon. Some of you may think that is a crazy time to commit to such a thing, but it just worked for us. So I started searching for the perfect dog all over the internet. My criteria for said dog were: small-ish (our apartment required the dog be less than 25 pounds), non-shedding (my dad's allergic, plus I don't love having to keep up with a dog hair cleanup effort), friendly, and still had the looks of a puppy even after becoming an "adult" dog. Not too much to ask, right?

A few weeks later, I was perusing Craigslist and came across this listing entitled "Rehoming Puppies" in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Inside was a listing for two lhasa apso/poodle mix puppies. Male and female. They belonged to a family whose dog had, ahem, "gotten together" with a neighbor's dog, and had four puppies. The family decided after keeping all four for 6 months that holding onto all of them was too much to handle (you think?). They wanted to keep two and find new homes for two of them. Thus, the Craigslist posting. I immediately emailed the poster and before I knew it, I was headed out to see these guys in person. C didn't get to come with me because of his work schedule, so it was up to me to decide if one of the puppies would "fit" us. I got to meet both of them and knew I wouldn't be leaving without one of them. They were adorable. Though I initially thought I would choose the female, the male's spunky personality soon stole my heart. He was friendly, sweet and playful.

{meeting Jackson for the first time}
There was only one problem. His name was Nicky. Not exactly my favorite. Since he was only 6 months old, and didn't seem to really know his name anyway, I figured that would be an easy change. So on the way home with "Nicky" asleep in my lap, I brainstormed name ideas. C and I eventually came up with naming him after a famous Richmond landmark that was close to our house - the Stonewall Jackson monument.  Jackson, for short. Now that we've moved away from Richmond, I love that we've sort of taken a little piece of that city with us.

Jackson quickly became integrated into our lives and has grown up a lot since then. In addition to Jackson, he has acquired several nicknames. One, "buddy," is one we use so often that one of our current neighbors thinks that's his name. J-man is also used very frequently. But I must say, my favorite one came about a year or so ago when we realized that Jackson's personality is just. like. a honey badger's. In case you haven't had the privilege of seeing the video that made the honey badger animal so famous, I took the liberty of making it easy for you to watch below. (By the way, there is a bit of "language" in the video, so just be aware.) If you can't see the embedded video, click here to watch it. If you haven't had had a chance to interact with Jackson, the similarities may not be obvious to you, but trust me, they're there.

He just takes what he wants. :)

He's got such a big personality for such a small dog, and we think he's hilarious. Here are some snapshots to give you an idea of what I mean:

Love that guy. Priceless facial expressions.

And a here are couple of "family photos" we've taken over the years:

{clockwise from top left: Charlottesville in 2012; Georgetown in 2010; Irvington, Virginia in 2011}
He's been on many adventures with us in his 3 years of life, and I'm sure there will be many more to come! Happy birthday, Jackson! I'll be sure to give you some doggy ice cream to celebrate later.

And just for fun, here's a video I took recently of Jackson hunting deer behind our apartment. He thinks he's very stealthy. 

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