I realized the other day that aside from random Facebook and Instagram posts, I’ve never properly introduced the wagging tails that are my pride and joy, the unofficial mascots of my business, the cutest and happiest faces that greet me at the door every single day after I return from work, my baby girls, Madeline and Emma.
I’ll start from the beginning by saying that I wanted a puppy, specifically a Golden Retriever, since I was about 4. If you were to ask my mom, she would verify that I used to write “Golden retriever puppy” on my birthday and Christmas lists year after year after year after year. I even have a photo that captures the moment I fell in love with the breed. You can enjoy that super high-quality gem below 🙂
I don’t know if it was the long golden hair, the adorable golden smile, or the unconditional love that I saw them give their owners, but there was nothing I wanted more as a child. I had countless golden retriever stuffed animals but for some reason they never satisfied the need I felt in my heart for a real one. I wonder why 😉
Even though I was persistent as persistent can be, I didn’t get to experience the joy of having my own puppy until February of 2013…exactly 6 years ago and approximately 20 YEARS AFTER first falling in love with puppies. This is when Madeline came into our life. Madeline is our strong spirited, black lab guard dog who we like to say is 50% dog, 50% human. My husband Miguel, was the one who heard about her through a co-worker who was planning on buying one of her siblings. This co-worker told Miguel about the litter and he came home and asked me how I would feel about getting a puppy. Next thing I know we’re driving to Peru, NY to go and pick her out. It was a magical day and Miguel will tell you that he truly felt a connection with her almost instantly.
Now you may be thinking, “Wait Erin, you just went on about how you love goldens, so why did you get a black lab?!” Well you’re right, I did want a golden, but black labs were on my favorites list as well and after seeing her sweet face, I couldn’t say no. We picked her up and were wrapped around her little paw within hours. We also found out pretty quickly that we were going to have our hands full. I remember her very first night with us, I heard whimpering in the kitchen where we had sectioned off an area for her. Miguel and I got up to go and check on her except she was no where in sight. She somehow managed to get out of her enclosure and made her way into the living room and was hiding under a table. From that moment on she’s outsmarted us numerous times, kept us on our toes, made us look at each other on more than one occasion in astonishment and ask “did she really just do that?!” but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Fast forward 9 months (which is a little amusing) we welcomed Emma into our lives. Madeline (or Maddy as we more often call her) was getting to the age where her energy was non-stop and Miguel and I felt bad when we had to go to work and leave her alone. Luckily our schedules weren’t exactly the same, so she was never alone for very long but still, it pulled at our heart strings knowing she was still alone for a period of time. We wanted to get her a sibling and decided getting her a baby sister would be the best bet. We were met with some warnings when we told people we were going to be getting another female puppy. Almost everyone said they wouldn’t get along and it would be in our best interest to get a male so they would have less of a chance of fighting due to dominance issues. I’m so thankful that these warnings were so far from the truth and we went with our gut and got her a baby sister.
We brought Maddy with us when we drove to pick up Emma. We introduced them slowly and allowed Maddy to come to terms with her on her own time, and believe me, it didn’t take long at all. Now they are the best of friends and completely inseparable. They teach each other things, feed off of each other’s energy, play together all the time, and both love to cuddle with us. They are amazing dogs, and are extremely different in their own ways. Remember when I said Maddy is 50% dog / 50% human? Well Emma is very much 100% dog. That’s not to say she doesn’t have a personality, she does for sure! She’s a “morning dog” meaning she seems happiest in the morning. She can be quite the little drama queen when she’s not getting attention, and she loves nothing on this earth more than being pet. She’s also extremely friendly. I often joke that if we were ever robbed, Emma would be the one letting them in because it’s a chance to get attention and Maddy would go into full on guard dog mode and attack.
I don’t feel like I have the right words to explain how much I love these two dogs. They are my world and I would be so lost without them. Maddy follows me from room to room which is why I lovingly call her my shadow; and Emma is at my feet anytime she thinks she has the chance of getting attention. They are a huge part of our family and it’s hard for me to remember our life together before them. I won’t lie, the first day I noticed a little grouping of white hairs under Maddy’s chin, I cried. They are my kids and I love them as such. Now that I’ve been blessed with 6 years of their company, I honestly can’t understand how anyone can say they aren’t “dog people”. WHAT. These animals shower us with unconditional love every single day of their lives and I can only hope they feel the same love back from us. In my opinion, it’s worth all the dust and dog hair in the world.
Well there you have it! My two fur babies whom (if you couldn’t tell by this long post) I adore so much. They are the perfect models for me when I want to test out different lighting or a new lens. They are our vacuum cleaners for any food that falls on the floor while we’re cooking. They are our source of comfort. They are the most loyal companions, and they are most definitely a huge part of our life. Enjoy a small collection of some of my favorite images of them that have been taken through the years!