{Pets} Happy Birthday, Gwyneth

Today’s post has nothing to do with decorating or DIY-ing and everything to do with making a house (or an apartment) feel like home. In honor of Gwyneth’s 3rd birthday today, we’re sharing the story of how we found each other and our early days together – days when my little dumpster diver looked like this:

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Like most of our good ideas, this one came from my Mom. And like most of our very best ideas, without the world of possibility she lives in, I would have filed it in the “maybe one day I can do that” folder. Because getting a puppy wasn’t part of the plan back in February of 2010. But when I mentioned that a friend had gotten a new pet, Mom immediately suggested that I do the same. “A Yorkie,” she said. Before I could interrupt and remind her that I worked at an ad agency with an hour-long commute, many late nights and lots of production travel, she made the impossible a possibility. “And when you’re at work or on the road, she can come to grandma’s house.”

Encouragement from Gwyneth’s Grandmother, put “find puppy” on my to-do list. Action from Gwyneth’s Godmother is what got it crossed off.  Meet Bailey, the receptionist at the office.

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A dog lover herself, Bailey spent her lunch breaks helping me search the classifieds. She narrowed down the top candidates and emailed me an Excel spreadsheet. (I’m serious – the woman’s a professional!) The first listing was for a family in Greenville, NC, so that weekend I drove down, met the breeder and tried to pick the cutest of the eight balls of fur jumping all over me.

Pointing at one puppy, the breeder said, “Purple is unusually tall for the breed. I’ll knock $50.00 off the price if you pick her.” He could have saved his $50.00, because he had this 6-foot momma-to-be at “tall.” In a few weeks, the puppy with the purple collar would be coming home with me. Just enough time to puppy-proof my apartment and my parents’ house and pick up a pink collar. And on March 19th, 2010, Gwyneth came home.

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The best advice I could give to someone getting a puppy is to take a week’s vacation for the first week they are home. That way you can start to get your pup on a schedule and you can spend a week taking a picture of “the cutest thing you’ve ever seen,” which will be replaced with another picture of “the cutest thing you’ve ever seen” five minutes later. Writing this post, I pulled over 50 photos of our first week together. I narrowed them down to four. You’re welcome.

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When maternity leave was over, my parents’ house became “Camp Gwyneth.” I went back to work, and Gwyneth spent her days in the courtyard with her Grandma and running errands with her Grandpa.

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Gwyneth also drove crazy made friends with Samantha, my parents’ 13 year-old Golden Retriever. A standard baby gate couldn’t keep these two from stealing each others’ toys and eating each others’ food, so Mom used reinforcements to keep the peace. Gwyneth never left poor Samantha alone, but Sam was a good sport in sharing her space. (We miss you, Samantha xo)

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Gwyneth loved to keep an eye on what Samantha was doing in the back yard. I think this was training for the supervision she gives me when I’m working on a project!

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The year we spent in Raleigh before moving to NYC wasn’t all play, though. Gwyneth learned to swim at the lake and learned all kinds of tricks at PetSmart’s puppy school. In case you’re wondering, yes, Gwyneth is wearing a corsage and a cap at her PetSmart 8:00 Saturday morning graduation ceremony. And as my Mom reminded me (she was in attendance taking photos of the ceremony), I am wearing the silk J. Crew dress that I wore to my sister’s high school graduation. It was a celebratory day – we had to show some respect!

Gwyneth Collage_2.jpg-001 As part of the family, Gwyneth was a part of every holiday. Having the biggest stocking on Christmas morning and winning the costume competition at my job were two highlights. 
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We were in the process of packing to move to NYC, but on January 7th 2011, we had a party to celebrate Gwyneth’s first birthday. It was snowing outside, but all her friends showed up at the dog park. We hope the puppy cake and favors made it worth it!

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You know all about the next two years, so we’ll just say that The New Yorkie and I loved making NYC feel like home.

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And now that we’re back, we’re making North Carolina feel like home. Even the rooms we’re not supposed to be in.

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To the girl that knows to celebrate every day, Happy Birthday Gwyneth!

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xoxo,

Mommy

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Comments

  1. Oh Meredith I loved this post! We had a scare this weekend of putting down our 10 yr old half yokie half shit-zu. The fear still lingers but he is doing a better! He is just as spoiled and pampered like Gwyneth! Happy Birthday to Gwyneth from Scooter (my lovely puppy) I love how dogs can bring soo much happiness and then when there is a threat of loosing them there is such a sadness!

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Crista, our eyes welled up with tears when we saw your comment. We are thinking about you and your sweet pooch. Will you please keep us posted on how he’s doing? We’ll be thinking about him and praying for him and your family!

      xoxo,
      mk & Gwynnie

  2. Awwwww!!!! Happy Birthday to your sweet girl!!!!

    p.s. that picture of Gwyneth in graduation cap and corsage is priceless! :)

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Hi Nancy! She was so proud of herself that day!! (and I was one proud mamma!) But the shoppers in PetSmart that morning looked at us like we were NUTS! HA!

      xoxo,
      mk & G

  3. Matllda Joyce says:

    SO SWEET! Happy 3rd birthday, G! (She is just a few days older than my youngest niece, what a coincidence!)

    FYI, Meredith, your Expedit Love post was linked today at Design Darling!

  4. Matllda Joyce says:

    PS That last pic of the 2 of you is GORGEOUS!

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Hi Matilda! Gwyneth says a big thank you for the birthday wishes! And we were so excited and honored to be in Design Darling’s post! We LOVE her style, so it’s unreal that she’s using our bookcase as an inspiration! Thank you for passing that along! And as for the photos – I always look better in photos with Little G – she’s the best accessory a gal can get! We hope you are having the best week, dear friend!

      xoxo,
      mk & Gwynnie

  5. What a sweet way to celebrate your pup! Those photos make me happy too!

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Amy, those photos make us happier than we can begin to say! We were so lucky to have such an awesome photographer document our first year together!

      xoxo,
      mk & G

  6. Awwww happy birthday pretty Gwyneth!!! I love all of your photos, but my favorite is the puppy one where she’s passed out with all of the toys! I hope she has a wonderful birthday (and somehow I know she will) :)

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Thanks, Niki! I can remember so clearly when we took that photo! She was running around like crazy, playing with all those toys and then just crashed! It was too cute! We hope you are having a wonderful week!

      xoxo,
      mk & G

  7. happy birthday gwyneth! so cute as a puppy and even cuter today!

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Awww, thanks, Elle! Even cuter in her Oscar de la Renta that our sweet friend sent her :)

      xoxo,
      mk & G

  8. Happy Birthday Gwyneth!

  9. What a beautiful tribute to your adorable four legged friend! :)

  10. Awww you just brought back so many memories from when I brought my yorkie Cooper home! He says Happy Birthday Gwyneth!

  11. Elanah Sykes says:

    A most happy birthday to the sweet girl! Don’t forget the breeder also happened to be the college roommate of your friend. Life always has so many beautiful intertwining stories. Especially when it involves to extra special beings like you and Gwinnie!

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Yes! There are so many things about Gwyneth’s story that are so remarkable – so much to be thankful for!
      Thank YOU for being such a sweet Aunt Elanah to Little G!

      xoxo,
      mk & Gwynnie

  12. Happy b-day Gwyneth!

  13. Mary Ellen says:

    I had forgotten how small she was and how high she could jump…..right over the baby gate! The pictures brought back lots of good memories! I love being her grandma.

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      So many good memories! And Gwyneth is so glad to be back at home in NC – she loves having YOU as her Grandma and is so excited for all the extra time she has with you!

      xoxo,
      mk & Gwynnie

  14. Oops, a day late. But my cat, Chevy, says Happy Birthday, Gwinnie! Meow!

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Janet, Gwyneth says not to worry – she’s celebrating all week! Big kisses back to Chevy!

      xoxo,
      mk & G

  15. Happy Belated Birthday Gwyneth!!! You are super cute!!! Hope you had a wonderful day!!

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Gwyneth says a big thank you and that her awesome day was even better with your sweet birthday wishes!

      xoxo,
      mk & Little G

  16. Happy Birthday, Gwyneth! Gorgeous pics, sooo cute!

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Thank you, Natalie! Gwyneth also says a big thanks for helping to celebrate her big day!

      xoxo,
      mk & Gwynnie

  17. Oh my gosh, you two are SO cute!! You need to send the photo of her on the sofa to the blog that does ‘Pets on Furniture!’ Happy, Happy Birthday, Gwyneth! XOXO Rio & Pam

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Our dear Pam and sweet Rio! Thank you so much for stopping by and participating in our virtual birthday party for Gwyneth. You made her day! And she definitely thinks I need to get on sending in that photo :) We loved seeing your name pop up in the inbox and hope you are having a wonderful week!

      xoxo,
      mk & Gwynnie

  18. Gerry Ralston says:

    This is just great little story!
    I’m happy you shared it.
    Somehow it wouldn’t be the same if Gwynnie were say…an Iguana.
    She is just the cutest little nugget, and you deserve each other.

    I think your mom and dad are stars.
    Best to all of you.

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Hi Gerry!
      So glad you saw it and thank you so much for writing us and inspiring us to tell little Gwyneth’s story!
      Gwyneth and I hope you are having a wonderful week!

      xoxo,
      mk & Gwynnie

  19. Happy Birthday Gwyneth! That was such a heart warming post. She is too cute!

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Thank you, Karen! She has truly warmed my heart these past three years! Thank you for being a part of her birthday celebration!

      xoxo,
      mk & Gwynnie

  20. Happy Birthday Gwyneth! I just love her so much … and those photos are all so adorable!

    :) Linda

  21. Oh, Meredith, I loved seeing all the cute photos of Gwyneth as a puppy. I hope she had a wonderful birthday. (My favorite picture is the last one of you and your sweet pup together!)

    • Meredith & Gwyneth says:

      Thank you! It as so fun going through all the old photos! Gwyneth did have a great birthday – thank you for being a part of it!

      xoxo,
      mk & G

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