Thursday, April 19, 2012

Celebrating Anniversaries

Tomorrow, I celebrate my first year in business at NoPo Paws.  This month, Sadie celebrates her Gotcha Anniversary (we don't know the exact date we got her).  Last year as I prepped and rushed to get the shop ready for its Grand Opening, I never realized these two major events coincided in the same month.  But now that I have this year under my belt and am waiting with open arms to embrace the many years ahead, I realized that it was fate that these two major life events occurred in the same month.  For this reason:  without Sadie, there would be no NoPo Paws.

Before Sadie, I had had a couple easy-going labs: Suzy, the World's Most Perfect Dog, and Maggie, a happy, independent puppy.  I didn't know what it meant to rehabilitate a dog; I didn't know training could be such a lifelong project; I thought Cesar Milan was a great trainer; I was a dog owner but not an impassioned dog lover.

Sadie changed all that. 

Many people labeled her an aggressive pit bull mix in our first months together.  But when I looked at her, all that I saw was a scared dog.  She came to us unsocialized with a fear of people and the world in general.  Yes, she may have snapped, growled and lunged at the things that frightened her.  But at her core was this heart.  A heart that wanted so badly to bond with people and enjoy life.  A heart that just needed someone to believe in her.  And in the process of working together to conquer her fears and encourage Sadie's heart to shine, she gave me the greatest gift in the world:  purpose and a dream.  I came to realize how fulfilling I found working with dogs and their people and thus started down the path that brought me to where I am today.  The rest of my life will forever be changed because of her.  My parents gave me the gift of life; my husband gave me the gift of love and partnership; Sadie gave me the gift of lifelong passion and purpose. 

While Hurley may be the face of NoPo Paws, Sadie will always be its soul.

Happy Gotcha Anniversary, Sweetie.  Mama loves you forever and ever.

In Sadie's honor and in celebration of our 1st Anniversary, my shop, NoPo Paws, will be donating 10% of our non-food sales to Born Again Pit Bull Rescue Apr 20-22nd.  If you are in Portland, please visit us and support this wonderful rescue.  For more information on the many events occurring in the shop this weekend, check out our website.


  1. Beautiful entry! Happy anniversary to you and Miss Sadie. Love her big smile, and I'm happy you are there to take time to show her how good life can be as someone's pup :)

  2. Awwww, what a sweet background story to your store! Happy Gotcha Day to Miss Sadie, and happy anniversary to NoPo Paws! I wish I could be there to stop by and celebrate!

  3. That was a beautiful post. There are so many things I want to say to my dogs, but somehow they never seem to be as beautiful as when someone else vocalizes them.

    My favorite line and it refers to Sampson for me is, "I was a dog owner but not an impassioned dog lover." When you find your heart changes you.

    Happy Gotcha Day Miss Sadie, you are magical.

  4. Congratulations on your first year of NoPo Paws!!

    Happy Gotcha Month Ms. Sadie!!! This is a beautiful post :)

  5. Congratulations on your anniversary! Sadie is so lucky to have you!! :)

  6. this post made me tear up. i really get where you're coming from. desmond changed my whole world from the inside out, and he has inspired me to attempt a career change. i would NOT be in school studying obedience instruction if not for him coming into my life and being so...him. a belated congratulations on your milestone and happy gotcha day to sadie!