Today you are two. Probably.

Dear Tallulah,

Today marks your second birthday. Most likely. The day I got you, the vet said you were 12 weeks old, so I counted back 12 weeks from that day, and that was December 5. What do you want from me? I wasn’t there in the trailer park where you were born. It’s close enough. If you don’t stop complaining I’ll say your birthday is November 30 and then you’ll be stuck with a topaz for a birthstone.

Okay. Thought that’d shut you up.

I had no intention of having a dog the day I found you. I was driving to Raleigh to a job interview, and there you were. On a busy two-lane highway.

NewpupI mean seriously. Who could just drive past a snickerdoodle like this?
Littlelula I didn’t know, from the car, if you were a small yellow dog or a puppy, but once I did that hair-raising U-turn on that busy road and swooped back to the driveway leading to the trailers, I saw you were just little. And very happy to climb right into my car like you owned the place. Which you did. Because as soon as I felt how skinny you were, with your tail flap-flap-flapping against my interview suit, and I saw how there were no fences near any of those trailers where I was gonna knock and ask, “Is this your dog?” I knew. I knew I was totally stealing you.

You had fleas, ticks, a worm, and you were malnourished. I knew nothing about dogs, and left a Quarter Pounder with Cheese on the table the day I got you. When I returned? What Quarter Pounder? You were the only quarter-pounder in the room.

Eatduck It didn’t take long for you to get up to your fighting weight. Your eating-a-stuffed-duck weight.

Eatnester You didn’t stop at stuffed ducks, either. This was once a nice gift from The Nester. Not so much eight seconds later.

I didn’t know the first thing about dogs. I had to potty train you; teach you not to pull on the leash (okay, I never learned that, really); crate train you; teach you not to be afraid of the mailman, the cats, automatic doors, sticks. Really, I had to teach you everything.

Zzzzzzz Except how to be cute. You mastered that all by yourself.

When we bought our house, you were still a puppy, and you went with us to every house we considered. Then it was just the two of us living here for two months, while Marvin finished his job in TinyTown. You were my only friend here.

Look

I soon stopped putting you in your crate at night, and let you sleep with me. Since then, there has not been one morning I have woken up without you right next to me.

Bedlu

And yes, we’ve had our bad times. Like when you ate my favorite childhood book. Or when you ate my favorite shoes. Or when you ate your dog bed, which you didn’t sleep in anyway, but still.

Respect

We have learned to r-e-s-p-e-c-t each other.

Drama And you have risked life and limb just to be with me.

And you have been a real trouper, living with all these…these…cats.

Watchdoggie You were Henry’s stongest ally in the early days when Winston and Francis were less than welcoming.

Bite Okay, you’re not always that tolerant of the cats.

LippyluBut you tolerate me and my shenanigans.

Luistwo

Even though I know sometimes you’d rather be eating my neck out.

Inluv So, thank you, Tallulah, for standing on that busy highway that day. Thanks for finding me.

Xmaslu

You are a noble and true friend. Happy birthday, my little sweet pea.

Menlu

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Author: June

At one point, I was sort of hot, in a "she's 27 and probably a 7" kind of a way. Now I'm old and have to develop a charming personality. Guess how that's going.

78 thoughts on “Today you are two. Probably.”

  1. Oh June….What a post….. laughing and crying. I love the pictures and captions. Happy Birthday, Talullah! Thanks for being part of our lives.

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  2. Happy Birthday Lu!!!! My puppy just turned 3 in Nov. (yes, Topaz) and I so love her! What joy (and frustration) you can get from a dog. Here’s to many more years!

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  3. Awwww, how sweet! I wish I had thought to write letters this nice to my CHILDREN as they grew up, let alone my dog. Happy Birthday, sweet Tallulah!!

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  4. Hey Talu we miss you already. It was great visiting with you. You are one lucky dog to be brought into such a loving home. Hope you get to eat something special on your birthday. Francis maybe?
    Love from othergrandma and othergrandpa

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  5. Happy, Happy Probably Birthday, Lula!!! With best wishes,
    Your Friend from Illinois,
    Bailey

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  6. Thank you for posting that June! It made me cry and think of how much I love my own little pup.
    Happy Birthday Talu!!

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  7. Winston Churchill and I share November 30th for our birthdays. We would welcome Tallulah and perhaps even buy her a topaz collar.
    It is reassuring to see that others are as goofy about their furkids as the Furry G and I are.

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  8. You forgot that signed, first edition book that she ate. That wasn’t yours. That belonged to someone else. Just sayin’.
    Loved the pics and the birthday tribute! Happy Birthday Tallulah!

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  9. Happy Birthday Lula! I remember the interview day that June found you (and I remember that she never made it to the interview). I was so excited to see your sweet little pictures. You have brought smiles and laughter to many people and it has been a pleasure watching you grown up into a fine young pit bull mixture dog (although I think you really do have some lab in there somewhere…dang DNA test). You are a good and lucky dog.

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  10. My poor daughter was born on Nov. 30 and missed having a pretty birth stone by one day. My other daughter was born in August:( So we don’t do birthstones in our house anymore. happy birthday Tallulah!

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  11. Happy Birthday Lula! We all have enjoyed watching you grow up over nearly 2 years! And given some of us cat people hope that we can have a dog one day. 🙂

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  12. Happy Birthday, Talu!
    You’re one lucky little girl. I’ll never forget the day that your momma found you! A great day for you and the Gardensalads!!
    I’ll be sending you something special soon.
    Your Auntie and Godmomma,
    Your Pal from MA

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  13. Happy Birthday DOG!
    somewhat affectionate feelings (the most I can muster for a dog),
    Scooter (the cat, so happy to be an only child while the others are off at college)

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  14. Happy Birthday, Talu! What a great post!
    Also, I like your hair short.
    Bonus: You are the ONLY person I know who knows that the term is ‘trouper’ instead of ‘trooper’…I used it recently on my blog and had to add a link because someone told me I spelled it wrong!

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  15. Last time I wrote trouper on this blog I spelled it wrong, Pendy, and I even hesitated and said to myself, Spell it the right way. Yes, I do say things like that to myself. Its a hard one. Right up there with champing at the bit, which everyone thinks it chomping.

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  16. Aw, they grow up so fast. Thank God.
    Happy close-enough-for-government-work Birthday, Lulabelle.

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  17. I wish you many more happy years with Tula and so much joy with her like we had with ours, one is now 16 and the other 10 years old, happy, happy birthday from Spain!

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  18. Woof, go get the UPS man. Slobber. Lick yourself a whole bunch, cuz you can. Sniff some crotch, cuz you will. Shake your ears. Pull on the leash. Its snowing here.
    Happy Day, take a nap.

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  19. How sweet, you made me cry! Happy Birthday Puppy Face!
    I had the same experience, finding a stray teeny pup with worms, sarcoptic mange, fleas….
    and then losing sleep because of the crate training (whining) and losing things because of the teething and losing my mind because I loved her. And after I realized I was indeed a dog person, we got 3 more.

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  20. Chicago Manual of Style was your favorite childhood book? That explains a lot.
    I too remember when you found Lula, and I was so happy when Marvin wasn’t allergic to her. When I die I want to come back as an animal in June’s house.
    Re: trouper…the only reason I know how to spell that is because I had to go out and buy ABBA Gold after my kids fell in love with Mama Mia. Now I can’t hear that song without seeing Meryl Streep vamping it up.
    Happy Birthday Lula – have many more.

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  21. Don’t horses chomp on their bit? And if I work hard and do a good job, am I NOT a good “trooper”? Let’s go to the dictionary:
    Trooper~Idiom-like a trooper, with great energy, enthusiasm, or display: He swears like a trooper.
    Trouper~a loyal, dependable worker or participant in an undertaking: He’s a real trouper, even when the going is rough.
    Huh. I guess I don’t see much difference. Except now I have a slight idea of what it is like to be Junie.
    OH GOD!! HELP ME!!

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  22. Happy Birthday Lula!!! A song for you:
    “This is your birthday song…it isn’t very long.”
    I am not pms-ing anymore and that made me bawl like a baby. Dang it, June! That was very touching.

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  23. *sniffle* You ding-dang hat was so hilarious, it made laugh until I cried.
    oh and Happy Birthday, Miss Tallulah! You don’t look a day over one and a half.

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  24. Happy Birthday to a sweet girl who is so lucky to have a mom who wrote such a lovely tribute. Purrs from Gingersnap, Snowpea, Butterbean, and Sassy

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  25. I hope you are not doing this like you did with Marv’s b-day, that just might be in February or some other time like it might have been last month or so.

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  26. Either I’m completely hormonal, a total sap, or both. That was funny and touching and it made me cry while smiling. Thanks for sharing your sweet pea with us. Just beautiful.
    PS – one of my best friends, Deb, has a pink Christmas tree like yours, but smaller, accompanied by a couple of other Christmas trees in different shades of pink, in her living room year round. She loves her some pink and she loves her some Christmas. And her husband is totally okay with that.

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  27. A more touching mother to child tribute has never been written. I’ll bet by her next birthday, you’ll be calling her your fur baby. Just saying. xoxo

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  28. Well…since I am ON TEAM LULA, (and still have the button on my blog, thank you very much), let me wish you a very happy birthday, my favorite of June’s pets!

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  29. Okay, just wondering…did Marvin know what he was getting into? That you’d have tuna juice on your breath from kissing your cats and that he would never be able to cuddle up in bed without a snout in the way?
    Happy birthday, Lula! From Larry and Farley, the world’s most neurotic cats!

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  30. That was an awesome tribute to her! What a sweet baby girl. She reminds me so much of my rescue pup who turns 1 this month. Happy Birthday Tallulah!

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  31. Happy Birthday, Lula! And thanks to your mama for giving us such great pics.
    Sylvia in Queens, who’s missing her cats…

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  32. My birthday is November 30. I got a pair of topaz earrings for my 10th birthday, but they were stolen when my house was burglarized in college. Now I wear blue topaz.

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