For those of you who don’t know, Sparty is our 5 year old German Shepherd! (Yesterday, on July 24th!)


He has been with the family for about 3 years, he joined a few weeks just before his 2nd birthday. He was rescued by a shelter when he was a little baby, they found him roaming the streets of Michigan all alone. He was adopted by a soldier, who then later had posted an ad on Craigslist looking for a new home for him before he was scheduled to go back to Iraq. He was the biggest dog at the park where we met, but all he wanted to do was to be a puppy, playing and running around. It was hard not to fall in love with Sparty, two days later he was on his way home with us. To this day, I thank my sister for sharing the ad with me. 

As scary looking as he is to some people, he loves to cuddle and pretend he’s a lap dog. You can watch him melt into a fluffy baby by simply petting his big head or scratching behind his radar ears (they flop to the side and he looks like Yoda when you do this).


He will eat pretty much everything I leave on the counters for too long, but most of his favorites have one thing in common–they crunch: carrots, treats and bacon. Well, he’ll eat any meat actually, his ears even perk up when he hears the word “Steak.”

His favorite toys are those he can bounce, squeeze, and squish. Most toys don’t last very long in our house but we’ve had the best luck with the brand Planet Dog, they can take quite the abuse from his big chompers.

Like many dogs though, he becomes anxious with the rumble of thunder and crack of fireworks. This year was our first 4th of July in our home and he did not like it, barking occasionally but mostly nervous panting and pacing. We were able to calm him down to the point that he fell asleep as the sounds died down, only waking on a few loud ones. We considered that progress! Getting comfortable with loud sounds is his biggest challenge; whether they be sudden or anticipated, a crash of pans in the kitchen or a doorbell ring from the mailman delivering a package, it’s hard not to feel a sense of sadness from the reaction of this 101 lb. mini T-REX.

At the end of the day, he just wants love from his mom and dad, especially right when we walk in the door with groceries in hand and all. He brings a ball over to us, begging that we pet him, never understanding that our hands may be full, and hoping we toss the ball so he can chase after it. 

I could go on and on about how great Sparty is but, I’ll refrain and save some stories for later.
For now, enjoy these pictures of him!


Radar Status: Misaligned.  Recalibration needed. 


This is his derp face, silly puppy. 


First off, we're excited to have arrived at this point!

At the time of this writing, it will be one year in our lovely home!!

It has been quite the journey, here's a short recap to get you up to speed:

Steph moved in--bringing a 5 year old, 101 lb. German Shepherd, named Sparty; we painted a kid's room and invited a roommate of whom I did my first Spartan Race (she also loves photography and works with Steph); Steph's dad and his company took out the overgrown bushes around the house; I was out of town 2 times to Iowa, Wisconsin before the end of the year; Steph and I escaped the Chicago winter to San Diego to see my new nephew and niece, Lani and Lincoln; we celebrated our first birthdays in the house, along with Friends-giving and Christmas; I went on a trip back to where my mother's family is, in Taiwan; we adopted another re-rescue, a 2 year old, 40 lb. American BullBoxer, named Neela; Steph completed her first Spartan Race in June of this year; and now that the weather is nice, I've returned to the yard to design the rest of our landscape!

We'll definitely be detailing all of this over the course of our blog, but that's a brief overview to get started!

What do you want to hear about first?