Year 1 with Ladybug
Georgia Photographer

January 27, 2016

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Ahh!  I can’t believe that exactly a year ago today I drove my sweet Ladybug home from the animal shelter.  At that time, I thought I was just fostering her until I could find her a loving forever-home. Three months into fostering her, after not making much of an effort to find her a home because I secretly loved having her around, I finally made it official and adopted her.  I cannot imagine the last year of my life without this precious girl.

For those who don’t know the backstory, Ladybug was picked up as a stray, and we learned that she spent months and months living homeless in the woods, eating rocks and other debris to survive.  She’s a 50lb American Bulldog, and we think she was used for breeding in a previous home… The vet says she’ll always have a saggy belly (we joke that she has udders since she has the coloring of a cow).  Because of her past, she is quite skittish and untrusting of strangers, not to mention fearful of loud noises & most inanimate objects.  If you’d like to read more about Ladybug, I’ve written about her here.

While Ladybug still struggles with certain things, I’ve loved watching her grow so much over the past year.  She warms up to people much quicker now when first meeting them.  In fact, she loves being a family dog.  Her favorite place to be is my parents’ house where there are more people around and two other dogs to keep her company.  Nothing warms my heart like watching her gently love on Kuna & Laney even when they don’t reciprocate.  She has also become a little more independent; Whereas she used to be glued to my side at all times, now she is okay if I go into another room or to another level of the house.  However, if I’m gone for too long, she has to come look for me and we then get to play my favorite game: hide & seek (which she’s terrible at, but at least she never gives up!).  Unfortunately, loud noises and certain gestures still result in her hiding in the shower (apparently her safe place), but hopefully she’ll continue to become less fearful over time.

She’s still the most agreeable dog I’ve ever met.  She’s content in 99% of situations and requires very little attention.  I took her on a road trip and she was the best travel companion I could have asked for.  She’s the queen of comfort, and it’s adorable watching her move blankets around to different areas of the house in order to build a perfect nest for herself.  Her favorite thing in the world is chasing squirrels, so we have a routine of going to UGA’s North Campus for walks around the quads where the squirrels are bolder and give her more of head start (although she’s still way too slow to catch one).  Oh, and after having her for several months and never seeing her jump, I thought it’d be cute to teach her how to jump up and hug me… Looking back, it probably wasn’t my smartest idea; She now jumps on me any time she’s excited, but she’s such a squatty dog that it’s more like a flop with her front legs, and fortunately I’m the only person she’ll jump on.

2015 was a super busy year that challenged me in a lot of ways, and having Ladybug by my side was the biggest blessing.  She continues to teach me what unconditional love looks like, and she’s helped me move closer to achieving work-life balance.  Everyone who meets her falls in love with her, but I’m the lucky one that gets to wake up to her head on my chest every morning.

Here’s to another year with my sweet girl.

Below are some photos from the photoshoot we did with Payton Adams Photography.

Other blog posts about Ladybug:

That time we dressed up and got professional photos taken

That time I did a SPOTLIGHT session of her + facts about her

That time I decided to adopt her

atlanta wedding photographerathens atlanta photographergeorgia wedding photographerga georgia wedding photographer

That time we dressed up as cows for Chick-Fil-A’s Cow Appreciation Day, and she stole the show (despite not actually changing her appearance)!  We sat at the outside tables & all of the kids wanted to pet the dog that “looks like a cow.”

chick-fil-a cow appreciation day dog

That time Ladybug stole my Halloween costume idea and wore it better than me, as usual.

minnie mouse dog ears

Our first Christmas together…

christmas claire diana ladybug