Yesterday was a big day. Our youngest son, of the furry variety, turned two years old. It definitely does not seem like two years have passed since I was working at the shelter and injecting a little 5 week old Jasper with fluids and coaxing pills down his throat between shifts, all to combat the Parvo that had stricken his litter of five snuggly boys. I caught his sickness early and with round the clock care, I think E and I helped him along just fine, even though those weeks were some of the most worry-stricken in my life.
Those days are long behind us now and that little five pounder sure has grown, easily taking up half the sofa. Lovingly known as Jasper, Army (what I call him most often), Jasperillo Armadillo, Arms, and more, we have all sorts of love for this big lug of a canine. More than any of the others he makes us laugh, and when I cry, he is the first at my side, snuggling into me and cuddling close until the tears subside. He is a mix of mastiff, lab, pit, and who knows what else, but mostly he is a mix of sweet, funny, and loving, the kind of dog I have always wished to have in my life and am so thankful to have found.
Army is also a daddy's boy through and through, which is fitting since the moment he came into the shelter, I knew he would be the dog for E, and for us. E has a love for mastiffs and I have a love for labs, so when I saw a litter of the two mixed together, I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to start my convincing. Picture messages were sent and I urged E to visit us after work, fully knowing he could not say no to the cuteness that was baby Jasper. We took him home under the guise of a "foster", but I had no doubts that he would be with us for the long haul.
Jasper is an attention hog, a lover, and a big fan of fun. He loves walks, hard toys wrapped in towels and fabric scraps (the better for chewing I suppose? He's an expert at wrapping them up all on his own.), and he is also the biggest fan of bananas I have ever met, which has affectionally earned him the additional nickname of Monkey Dog.
His best friend is our cat Roxanne. They can often be found wrestling in the middle of the living room. We will also often find Roxy eyes deep in one of Jasper's ears, giving him a bath and caring for him like a mother. While they are the best of pals, Army is a friend to all and has never shown aggression toward anyone he has crossed paths with.
He is the friendliest and sweetest pooch I know and I feel lucky to be his mom. So, happy birthday Jasperillo, we love you like you love bananas.