I can't believe it's been a year since Blue came to live with me in his forever home.
I remember the day as if it were yesterday - his running around full speed in the yard with his toys, people all over the place, my cats locked in the bedroom and me sitting on the porch and wondering how I was going to do it.
When I first met Blue, he was too afraid to walk on a leash. His foster dad got him through that. Now he prances and sniffs and smiles during his walks.
It took about 9 months of living here before I saw his first true smile. You know the one. It goes from ear-to-ear and is accompanied with a happiness that radiates from within. It's not just the grin. It's the joy also.
The first night I had him, I crated him. He was wild and out of control. I had to keep him away from the cats. He cried all night. I got up a few times, but that seemed to make it worse for him. He eventually stopped early in the morning.
I never crated him again, though I've come close. He will occasionally go into his crate and sleep, but for the most part, he's my shadow when I'm home. He is currently stretched across my legs as I write this.
In the last year, he's gone from being frantic and needy to calmer and happier. He's a fearful and anxious dog, but much of it has abated. Loud noises scare him and yet the fireworks on the 4th of July didn't.
I have blogged about a few things here and there. I follow a lot of Facebook pages about rescued pit bulls and see the amount of work that goes into posting and taking pictures. I have never wanted this to overtake my life or feel the need to keep up with it.
I have learned so much over the last year, about myself and my dog.
Blue's betterment has been a slow and gradual journey. At first I thought it would only take a few weeks to get him to be "normal" and by that I mean a well-behaved and happy guy.
But that was not to be the case. I learned that he's just like anyone else. He is who he is and has a basic and core personality. He is a sweet and gentle soul who doesn't always know how to act.
Over the last year, he has calmed down and settled in. He knows this is his home and he trusts me but he worries. I call him my "Nervous Nellie" because he is only relaxed when he is sleeping.
He's been a great comfort to me over the last year. He's made me smile when I was sick with worry on paying my bills. He wouldn't leave the bedroom when I was so sick earlier this year and was in bed for 4 days. He's licked away my tears when I felt so alone and scared. He's jumped up and down when I was happy and he is always checking in with me when we are together.
He's brought joy and companionship to a life that was afraid and alone. Through our training classes I've learned more confidence and happiness in being with him and taking care of him. Even when he misbehaves I know his heart is good and pure.
He's a simple creature that has helped this complicated creature learn an easy and relaxed life.
He's given me more than I had ever hoped for and he has no idea.