It's Zora's 1st birthday!

Hey there peeps! It's been a while, huh? Life has been hectic with the move to the states so naturally, the blog has suffered. I'm back with cute puppy pics to make up for it though!My little pup Zora turns one today so In honour of that, I wanted to post a few photos of her from the last year as she grew into the gorgeous girl she is today.

Also, because I'm basically a crazy dog lady now, I had a doggie birthday party for her with some of our friends (both human and canine) that we've made here in Utah (Today I was literally that "no I can't come out cause it's my dog's birthday" meme). 

We had pupcakes (doggie cupcakes - recipe below) and partybags filled with treats for Zora's puppy pals; the 4 corgis - Clementine, Maddie, Lily and Benji plus a baby English Bulldog, Herb and his baby Yorkie sister, Fox. (Clearly it's time for me to channel this energy into a human baby)!


Pupcakes recipe:

1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/3 cup oats, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp pure vanilla extract, 1 egg, 1 banana, 1 cup grated carrots, 1/3 cup peanut butter, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1/4 cup honey.
Mix wet and dry ingredents separately, then combine.  Fill cupcake sleeves and put in 350F/ 175C oven for 20 mins.
Then put some creamy peanut butter into an icing bag and ice the cupcakes. Top them off with a pretty dog treat and voila! They went down extremely well with our guests.

So let's start at the beginning; I first met Zora on a rainy day in March. I was just getting back from a 2 month long stay in the states and the day after I landed, I drove to Wales to meet her litter. When I got there, I had to make a very hard choice between Zora and her sister as they were the last girls left to find homes. When walking into a room full of adorable puppies, it's natural to feel like you could never choose just one but as soon as I sat on the floor, Zora came over to me, sat in my lap and gazed right into my eyes for the next few minutes (that photo above was taken in that moment). I knew then that I'd found an old soul in her and my decision was made for me. She still does the staring thing and although it's probably just a quirk of hers, I like to think they're loving gazes that she saves just for me.

Raising a puppy is a lot like having a newborn baby at first. I sacrificed about 6 months of lie ins and Zora still gets me up much earlier than I did before she came. Looking back, I realise that she was quite a handful and it took a good few months for us to get to know each other but once we both settled into a routine and she learned the rules, she became a real joy to have.

Puppy tip: It definitely helps to have a routine in place when you first bring a puppy home and being consistent with commands and praise is the most important thing. They learn SO quickly when you keep your training constant and uniform. I think if I'd been stricter about my consistency when Zora was younger, she would have gotten to the point we're at now a lot faster.

It's been a lifelong dream of mine to have a dog and I was so thrilled that the right time had finally come for it to happen last year. Having her with me during the move to America has made me especially grateful for her too, as it's like bringing a piece of home here with me and her company means I don't miss home as much as I might have without her love and cuddles. She's had a pretty exciting life so far, and there's a lot more adventures to come for us yet. Not bad for a little cocker spaniel from Wales!

Let me know if any of you try the pupcakes recipe for your dog. I don't know many people that are as dog crazy as me, but I know for sure I'm not the first person to have a birthday party for their puppy. No different from having a party for a 1 year old baby if you ask me - neither of them know what's going on really!

Oh and this post wouldn't be complete without a tribute to Zora's favourite sleeping position from day one...