We fostered dogs with Hope Animal Rescue for about a year before we failed. We cared for dogs of all ages and sizes and with each of them, when the time inevitably came send them off to their forever homes, we always told ourselves it was for the best. But one day, at an adoption event with our latest foster, Bernie the stubborn beagle, we saw a small and fluffy litter of lab-shepherd puppies and it was game over.
We immediately requested to foster one of them and left that day with a little black and brown, 7 week-old puppy. Radhika’s heart was already a puddle and she immediately declared, “Ian, we’re keeping her,” on our way home. It was Valentine’s Day and Iris was the newest member of our family. We named her after her one blue iris (Radhika taught parts of the eye in her 6th grade science class) and we think the name fits. (Did you not know that Radhika is a science nerd? Well, now you do.)
She was the cutest little puppy, with a scrunched-up face, breath that smelled perpetually like toasted peanut butter, and paws that smelled inexplicably like Fritos. She loved cuddling on the couch, chasing us around outside, and nipping at Bernie’s ears nonstop (until he found his own forever home).
Even at 8 weeks old, that pup had energy!
She’s a Tar Heel, though, just like us!
When she was finally old enough, we started taking her to puppy classes. She loved socializing with the other pups and we were so proud of her. Every time we said “sit” and her little butt hit the ground, we felt like we had the smartest, most amazing dog in the world (we do).
She’s grown a lot over the last year from the 4 pound baby we brought home that day to the 70 pound majestic dog princess she is today (I’m secretly hoping she has 5 or 10 more pounds to go). She loves snatching treats out of mid-air, going on walks, and playing with other puppies. We love dressing her up in costumes and taking her on adventures with us. With Valentine’s Day here again, we’re thankful for each other, but we’re also thankful that Iris is a part of our lives together. We hope you enjoy these photos we have collected over the course of her first year with us, starting with the first snow she experienced with us to the most recent one.
That’s Iris with an iris!
We feel ya, Iris.
That tongue gives the best, slobbery kisses!
This is her favorite sitting spot in our home: on the couch!
Iris looks great on film…
…but she looks even better as a bumblebee!
She told Santa that she wanted a white Christmas…
…he delivered, but a little bit late!
How are we celebrating our girl? Tonight, in addition to our home dinner date, we’ll be making Iris her very own puppy cake, with icing made from peanut butter and mashed sweet potatoes. Stay tuned for the cake smash photos!
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup honey (optional)
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup whole wheat or white flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 6 cup ring mold.
- Combine the egg, peanut butter, oil, vanilla, and honey, if desired, in a large bowl; blend well. Stir in the carrots and mix thoroughly. Sift together the flour and baking soda and fold into the carrot mixture. Spoon cake batter into prepared pan.
- Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes; then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
How did it go? See for yourself!
Iris donned a flower tutu and party hat and chowed down on her birthday cake. She even shared with our current foster, Penelope! I think it’s safe to say that she enjoyed her pupcake!