One Year Later…

I give myself Saturdays to do nothing, or more precisely, I don’t do anything that I don’t want to do. Mostly, this means I wake up without the screaming of an alarm at 5am, walk the dog, and do the weekly menu planning until Whole Foods opens at 8am, and then do the grocery shopping before it gets crowded. On this very Saturday one year ago, Miracle joined our family. Our hearts were still aching after losing Turbo, but sadist that I am, I had to dive right back in so that I would not come home to an empty house. Unlocking the door to a dog who is always happy to see you is a magical thing that says more than anything – “welcome home.”


Those first few months with Miracle were not pretty. She loved us immediately, but was desperately sad while we were away and restless at night. Mark and I struggled in a fog of exhaustion for months. We had a taste of what life is like for parents of newborns, who catch sleep when they can, or not at all, because Miracle needed a lot of soothing. But a year is a good stretch of time – enough for a hound to gain confidence that we’ll always come home to her, and for us to get to know this clownish beast we share our home with.

Also, on the second hound, we’ve turned into complete softies. Miracle helped herself to snoozing on the furniture not long after she came home. The moment you make a few moves in preparation to leave the house and – BOOM – Miracle is on the sofa, in your seat and glaring at you…daring you to kick her off, as if to say, “If you think you’re leaving me – fine, but I’ll be right here in your spot on the couch, all day long.” I can’t argue with that. We’re gone 12+ hours per day during the week, and if she wants to chill on the furniture, I am not going to stop her. Softies.


The hound can also be persuaded to join us for a run. In the early days, running was one way we could manage her separation anxiety. Now, we use her more as an excuse to stop for a few seconds and dither around before continuing on our way. It works for all of us.

One year later, we’re so glad that Miracle joined our family. She’s a lovey little hound, always scheming for a belly rub or snuggle on the couch. Her bursts of play, endless squeaking of toys and high speed laps around the house keep us laughing. Welcome to the family, dear hound.

I’ll have a new recipe or two for you in the next couple of weeks…I hope!  In the meantime, here are a few old favorites that have been gracing our table in the last couple of months:

  • Fennel, Apple and Orange Salad – Fennel, granny smith apples and oranges are a few fresh ingredients that can be relied upon to brighten up any meal in the dead of winter. I could eat this salad daily and not get tired of it.
  • Tomato Sauce with Butter – A simple, classic sauce that makes enough for several meals, freezes well, and is a savior for getting a quick mid-week meal on the table.
  • DIY Kind Bars (grain-free granola bars) – These little tasty treats have been a near constant companion, since discovering that I am sensitive even to gluten-free oats. A little bit sweet and a good source of protein, these bars are getting me through weeks when I need to travel for work.
  • Indian Spiced Red Lentil Soup – This pot of soup is dead simple, and takes few ingredients, but it makes for a hearty bowl of soup that warms the belly on the coldest of winter days.

Thank you to everyone who has commented, written, posted and tweeted me, asking when I’d get the next blog post up. I’ve missed our conversation here – and I hope to be back more often in 2012!

12 thoughts on “One Year Later…

  1. Happy 2012! I cannot believe it’s been a year since Miracle entered your lives. Looking into those eyes of hers, I’d be a softie too. So glad for all of you that she has settled in!

  2. Happy New Year Jen! I loved reading this post. Peter and I lost our 11-year old English Springer Spaniel, Dutch last year on Valentine’s day. I can’t believe he’ll be gone 1 year next month. We miss him terribly. We brought Sienna our Irish Setter, home about a month and a half after we lost Dutch. We can totally relate to living in a fog for months on end after we brought her home, but in the almost one year we’ve had her with us, life has gotten easier as we have learned about one another. She still needs to finish learning her manners, but we couldn’t be happier with her. Hope to see you again soon!🙂

    • Thanks so much, Flavia! Losing a pet unexpectedly is such a hard thing, as is taking that leap to bring a new pet into the home. That feeling of uncertainty where you wonder if you’ll love the new dog as much, if they’ll be a fit for your home, and then comparing them to your first dog for awhile. A year later, and caught up on sleep, we can see that there is no need for comparison – they are two entirely different dogs, and getting to know Miracle, and helping her settle in has been a good journey for us all! Sienna is a lucky dog to have you!

    • I miss you, Betsy! Time flies, and it’s been at least a year since I’ve seen you, and that is TOO LONG! We must get together soon. For real. Maybe a PF’s get together after work some night!

  3. Has it already been a year since Miracle became a part of your family?! I feel like it was just *last week* that I left a comment here congratulating you. Time flies… glad to know she’s settled in well. You and Mark make fantastic parents🙂

    • Aww, thanks Sabera! She has settled in very well, and maybe just a little TOO comfy in her new life – she keeps us on our toes! I was thinking of you on Sunday when I was making a big pot of keema matar. 🙂

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