One year ago yesterday, you came home. You were supposed to be a foster, though!
It became apparent – almost immediately – that the big boys adopted you. They played with you, letting you tug and tug and tug on toys that they held until they got bored, then they’d let you win. I think they instilled in you a tremendous misunderstanding of your own size and strength!
You were pretty stubborn with the potty training. It was cold then, and a few weeks after you came home we got a massive ice storm. You wanted nothing to do with that, even with coats and sweaters. You would stand outside and squeak at us. When it was really cold, you climbed into our sweater or jacket for a little nap. Inside, you loved nothing more than a lap or one of your brothers for a cozy snuggle.
As you got bigger, though, you got very mischievous! You loved to chew furniture, shred rugs, and hide under our bed. There were some frustrating incidents that involved Emmett letting you out of your crate, too.
You have also had a lot of health problems. It took us a long, long time to figure out what was going on, and for that, I’m really sorry. You had to suffer quite a bit while we figured out your combination of food and environmental allergies. You lost fur, got pretty sick, broke out into a rash, and worse. Then you started in on the head tremors. You’re a trouper, though. Each time you tremor, you come out of it ready to play and pounce. Through it all, you’ve stayed pretty spirited!
We took you all sorts of places – Maryland for Thanksgiving, BlogPaws, Petsmart, Petco, and everywhere else we could think of. You made friends at the dog park. You’re an awfully shy guy… except when your brothers are around. We’re working on it. You’re going to doggy daycare, which was tough at first, but now you’re doing great. We take you lots of places and have lots of fun!
The thing is, Cooper, you’re brilliant. You’re much smarter than John and I. We have a tough time keeping up with you!
Here’s what you know so far: the basics (sit, down, etc.), around, over, through, under, back up, crawl, twirl, roll over, bow, speak, high five, right vs. left. You play the shell game where I close my hand around a treat, and you select the correct hand. You’ve mastered a touch stick, and we’re starting to teach you to get our keys and to flip a light switch. Honestly, we can’t keep up with you, but we’re trying!
Your brothers adore you, even though you torment them every night when you go into your “midnight madness” and run around trying to clobber them.
There’s no question that you belonged in this family. But I gotta say: On this anniversary, I’m feeling a little sad that you went from this…
You grew up so fast! You are my darling little bean. Your smile is ridiculously adorable. When you crawl onto my lap for a snooze or wag when I walk into the room, you wrap me around your little paws even more.
I love you, Cooper! Happy anniversary, bean!