It's not that we don't still love him. Obviously, we do! But with all of our energy going in to keeping a toddler and big boy (as Colton refers to the two of them) fed/dressed/bathed, off each other, and entertained, it is hard to find time to really indulge Chipper. Especially because some of Chipper's favorite games and activities include barking incessantly, taking things he's not supposed to and subsequently chewing them up, and fetching items over and over and over again. I'm thinking it should come as no surprise that my patience for these has drastically dwindled since adding the other two children that we have to constantly contend with.
But Chipper is a key member of our family. And while it feels like we sometimes dwell on the frustrations he causes, he actually has tons of really good traits. Chipper is just about the sweetest dog you'll ever meet. He greets us with happy tail wags and lots of sweet kisses whenever we walk in the door...even if we have only been gone a few seconds. Chipper is an excellent cuddler. He comes back to share the bed with me every morning after Josh leaves for work, is an excellent companion when Josh is out of town, and I will never forget how he kept me company on all those sleepless pregnant nights. And Chipper is the most patient brother we could have asked for. He lets these boys chase him, pull on him, swing their toys at him all without ever getting rough in retaliation.
We love our Chipper dog, and with it being his big day and all, we knew he deserved a celebration on par with that of every other member of our family. We started off the day by making him some birthday cake pancakes. The boys sang "happy birthday" to him, and he even joined in for a bit.
Later in the day, Colton insisted on making Chipper a cake (that he and Levi ate the next day because daddy forgot to give it to them and mom was out for dinner with friends) and once Josh got home, we gave Chipper his presents. Both boys had picked out something for him from the toy aisle at PetSmart.
One of the most obvious ways Chipper has gotten jipped over the past year or so is his serious declines in walks and play dates. When it was just him and I, I would walk him twice a day and take him to the dog park at least once a week. Even once Colton came along, I would still walk him most days (we also had a much bigger yard, so that helped me justify it!). But once Levi joined the fam, Chipper's walks pretty much disappeared, mainly because getting everything and everyone all ready to go took way more effort than seemed worth the 20 minute-ish walk. Oh, and dog park trips were completely cut out.
Well, we had big plans to take Chippy on a special trip to the dog park, but the weather was absolutely awful. We did manage to squeeze in a walk (and quickly remembered why we don't do them more often.), and then made it up to him later with a weekend trip to the dog park. The good news, for Chipper at least, is that the dog park, may officially be my two dog-loving boys' new favorite place on Earth, so trips there may become more frequent for him!
Overall, I think we paid proper homage to our sweet puppy dog (yes, at 5 he is still way more puppy than dog!). So we'll end this with Colton's words of the day..."happy birthday Chipper dog. I love you!"...he repeated that about a bajillion times that day...literally.