Last week, my fiance and I brought home a 12-week-old Golden Retriever, and he stole our hearts.

We had selected him from a group of three remaining puppies a week previous, and as his pick-up day approached, the excitement flourished. I admit I kept looking at his picture on my phone up until the day he would officially be ours.

Yet I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. It had been so long since I raised a puppy, and I knew there were some lessons to be learned.

And there were also–and will continue to be–adventures.

This, readers, is why I have dedicated a new category on my blog toward our puppy: Ash. Part of me knows that we will experience a wild ride, and another part dreams I will be able to portray it is well as Owen Wilson’s character in “Marley and Me.”

So to describe the first mini-adventure of our mini-dog, I will use some colorful language and commentary.

Adventure number one entailed a first visit to the park. Because Ash is still tiny (and afraid of big dogs who he doesn’t know) we avoided the dog park and instead drove to another park with open grasslands.

He sat shaking on my lap the whole way to our destination, and I imagined his fear of the unknown. Where were we going? What if we never went back home again?

I cuddled that puppy and held him so tight.

And once we arrived at the park, he wasn’t as thrilled as we thought he would be. Instead, he stood and looked around–taking in his environment and feeling confused as to why Adam and I had the biggest smiles on our faces.

We threw the tennis ball and ran with him to find it. We picked him up and provided some warmth. And we laughed when he was more interested in picking up and chewing on Adam’s water bottle instead of the toys we had packed.

Then he pooped. A big one. Right on his leash that Adam has so kindly made for him.

As Adam was saying, “noooooo,” I was praising the puppy for going potty outside while also watching my poor fiance try to scrape the residue off the leash into the snow.

Laughs. And shivers.

It was cold, so we carried Ash into the car (feeling that the dirty leash had been a good indicator it was time to go home), and as I sat in the passenger seat holding our new companion, Adam was smart enough to realize we had left his bowl, water, and toys on the ground outside.


We made it back, Ash was ecstatic to see that he arrived back to his new home, and he then licked my toes to help warm them up–what a thoughtful pup!

To say the first trip to the park was successful may be up to interpretation; however, it was definitely a fun adventure.

I look forward to the days that we can go to the park and play fetch, hike mountains, and snowshoe. However, I am also embracing this stage. I can hold Ash in my arms, I can kiss his cheeks. I can get his tennis ball out from under the couch up to fifteen times in a minute, and I can give him a treat after he goes to the bathroom outside.

Perhaps that is another reason I am writing these posts. Maybe I just want to hold onto the moments. After all, Ash is family now, and we will cherish each day we get to spend together.

PS: He sleeps in odd positions, just like me 😊