someone else named Kate got married. (Who knew?) Since Kate was adopted at the local animal shelter, her origin story has been constantly revised, at least in my telling of it.
The story began in late April of 2011. A rather large dog gave birth to a litter of "Labrador Retriever mix" puppies. I don't know if this mother was a street dog or someone's pet, but most of her litter probably found a home...somewhere...
...except a scrappy, feisty, spunky female puppy with a wishbone design on the back of her head. Maybe she was too energetic, compared to her siblings, to find a home right away. At around two months of age, this puppy ended up in an animal shelter. Her cellmates were similarly-sized puppies of likely the same litter.
The animal shelter identified these puppies as "Labrador Retriever/Cocker Spaniels." At first, we thought Kate was one of them, even though she was listed only as a "Labrador Retriever mix." However, as photographic evidence shows:
A tall ten-month old puppy that weighs a proportional 70 pounds probably has no small or medium dog gene (i.e., Cocker Spaniel or whatnot) in her DNA. Kate is definitely made up of all kinds of large dogs, smashed into one bundle of silly--and sometimes crazy. In any case, I hope all those aforementioned Spanadors found great homes, like Kate did.
Anyhow, the entire month of April was Kate's first birthday. We played fetch. And more fetch. She ate some Beggin' Strips. And Milkbone biscuits. Then played more fetch. The last of her winter coat was shed and clogged various vents. Good times were had by all, in my estimation.
Kate's first birthday got me thinking the sad thought that dog years go by so quickly. When the "future" comes, I'd totally be tempted to clone this crazy dog and start over. (The firstborn clone would be named K81, or Kaighty-one, and so on and so forth.) Then again, there's this whole dilemma of the ethics of dog cloning, and the treatment of a clone litter's surrogate mother.
So to sidestep human-canine morality for the time being, and to magically freeze Kate in a non-photographic moment of time, I just bought a stuffed animal that kind of looks like a two-month old Kate:
Happy 1st Birthday, you silly puppy, you.