Happy Birthday, Vader

We don’t know his birthday. We took him in on August 5th, 2022 when he was approximately three months old, and decided a few months later that May 5th will be known to the world as Vader’s birthday, which makes today his first birthday.

Our little dog, the poor little guy that had been left abandoned in a sink in an apartment complex, has grown into a beautiful big dog, with an even bigger heart.

We joke if my husband and I will ever separate we won’t fight over silly things like a car, home, or money, but we would fight over this dog, which means we will stay married until death hopefully takes us both at the same time, because we love each other and we love our dogs -and they seem to know it.

Vader! I chose that name because we guessed him to be a Doberman mix, also I am a Star Wars fan and the name just sounded about right.

Vader came into a house that was still in mourning. Our oldest dog, a pit bull mix had left us six months earlier (age 17) and his ‘sister’ a Weimeraner girl (14 years) a year before. Our Patches, also a pitbull mix, became an only dog when she was six years old, and she wasn’t sure what to make of it. “Is being an only dog fun, or is it downright boring, because there is nobody there to play with when the humans are busy with silly stuff like work.

Patches, who has separation anxiety and doesn’t like to be left alone, pretty much dictated that our home needed another dog -and we heard her loud and clear. She looked lost!

We were ready to adopt and when we were turned down by a shelter, we were furious and a bit heartbroken, but the universe stepped in and made sure the right dog would find us. While we had thought an older rescue dog would be the perfect match, we now know that perfect matches are not planned, they just happen.

Left in a sink at an apartment complex. They must have cared, there was water and towels.

On day #3 in our home, my husband bought him a little yellow hat and Vader took it like a TROOPER. His sweetness and his calm demeanor showed from day one. This dog doesn’t have a mean bone in his body and while he was abused at a very young age, he has forgiven humankind and trusts us unconditionally -until it’s bathing time. That is something he just doesn’t like at all. I suppose being stuck in a sink as a puppy might have something to do with it.

The last nine months with Vader have been eventful, he has trained us well and we have grown together in a way I didn’t think would be possible that quickly.

We have taught him human commands and he has convinced us that the daily walk and playtime are not enough, but that there has to be a time for a nice round of ‘fetch’ with all balls, no matter if it rains or shines. He has retrained my husband, who now insists that Vader knows what time it is because it’s treat time at 5 pm every day. Watching my husband interact with our youngest dog is so sweet, he has wrapped him around his paw and both are enjoying it to the fullest.

I am also not as tough as I normally would be. Vader is not my first rodeo when it comes to training bigger dogs, but somehow he seems to get away with more things than other dogs before him.

My original idea of having him in a playpen when I give classes -or when I work- changed quickly. Nowadays the furniture or projects I work on are fenced in and protected and the dog runs free. Vader is in my workroom during the day and finds the silliest places to take a nap and he doesn’t move, not even when the air compressor comes on. Quite often I am forced to step over him, which I do without complaining. “Mr. Vader,” I sigh that’s all I can come up with.

“Mom, I am telling you don’t throw the old bed away, I can still use it.”
“Ok, I changed my mind, the new bed is a keeper.”

He is a moaner and groaner, he smiles in his sleep and entertains us every night. He is a talker, and he whines when he doesn’t get the attention he thinks he deserves but he never lets it get to the point where it might be annoying. Over the last months, we have developed some rituals we didn’t have before. He shook up our routine and we needed it.

Vader has a strict bedtime, which means at 9 pm he sits across from me and gives me THE LOOK, and if I don’t move, he sighs, moans, and goes upstairs alone. He then sleeps on my bed -on his blanket- until I finally go upstairs as well. He knows how to push my buttons gently.

Little Vader came into our home and the first day when the dogs met they played, the second day Patches hated him, and they are best friends, joined at the hip, ever since.

They sleep together, they cuddle together, and when she is scared he comforters her -and vice versa. He is Mr. Independent, learns everything on his own but makes sure we are around.

“Are we going for a walk or play ball soon?”

I call him THE TRANSPORTER, he finds things which is not hard to do in my workroom. The first time he picked up a pin needle my heart stopped for a few seconds. He picked it up, carried it to me, and dropped it. He picks up nails, nickels, needles, wires -everything that he sees on the floor that doesn’t belong there. (No, my workroom is not a mess, but you won’t believe what I find in the furniture).

He sleeps right beside me when I pull staples on a chair or couch. I tried to move him, it was hopeless.

He is a hunting dog mix, has soft lips, and carries everything with gentleness. My workroom is not a place for a dog, but somehow he made sure I understood quickly that he will not harm himself. He is smart and careful and unbelievably fast. He has a natural instinct to chase birds, which means we won’t have a ground bird feeder anymore, and he dislikes squirrels with passion but also enjoys racing with them.

“Mom thinks the white scar on my nose makes me extra special.”

He is a thief and can reach the kitchen counter with ease. The first time he got a pound of Italian Sausage I had set out to thaw, the second time he made my gluten-free veggie sandwich and a pickle -disappear.

I got inventful and left lemon sandwiches and mustard crackers for him on the counter -he gave me THE LOOK. I caught him in action, and ever since he hasn’t been on the counter again, still he is looking and hoping food will fall down on its own -which it sometimes does, or I get shaky hands and the piece of ham just flies on the floor by accident.

“Something, anything fall down on the floor please!”

Vader makes us smile every day and it seems our now seven-year-old Patches is glad she is not the center of attention anymore. She is now seven, a senior dog, and while she loves to play hard every day for one or two hours, she needs her beauty sleep more and more. I hear you girl!

“Why did you wake me?”
“I swear, I don’t know how the plastic ended up on my nose”

Happy Birthday, Vader. We are so glad you found your way into our lives!

Yes, stop notching me, it’s time to go to bed. I know!

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39 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Vader

  1. Happy birthday gorgeous Vader. It breaks my heart that he was left in a sink. People! My daughter’s Schnauzer watches the floor when I cook dinner. Eyes fixated for those miniscule scraps that fly off the counter. My hand must shake too!

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  2. Happy belated birthday Vader! Thank you for sharing this lovely story of how Vader is making your lives even better. Dogs have magic super powers and I for one would be lost without mine. It was very lovely to read about how Vader came into your lives and made it better! ๐Ÿพ

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  3. I love your description of ‘fencing’ yourself in while you work: my mother had a treadle sewing machine and used to do exactly that while we were small. A belated happy birthday Vader!

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  4. Vader is just a wonderful dog and a fabulous addition to your family. I remember when the other shelter turned you down and I felt the outrage with you. An impossible situation! But you’re so right to smile with the acknowledgment that the universe stepped in with other plans. And how fortunate y ou are to have each other. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. Vader is a very, very lucky dog! Also, you and your husband are fortunate to have such a loving dog., but I believe the two of you bring out the best in your pets. I enjoyed learning about Vader and his habits. Thanks for the fun read, Bridget.

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  6. Happy Birthday, Vader! ๐Ÿฅณ๐ŸŽ‚ He is such a sweet and loving dog. I have read and watched videos about animals being abused by previous owners and it takes a great deal of time and patience to earn their trust due to the trauma experienced. But when you have finally won their hearts, they are the most loyal and protective creatures on this planet! An unexpected and worthy gift from the universe to you both indeed.

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    • Thank you, Lilly. He was trusting right from the start. He came into our home and he fit right in. He is the first puppy who managed to sneak out the front door and then barked to be left back in. He did not run away.
      The abuse happened when he was very young. All three scars were healed when we got him, so perhaps he doesn’t remember?

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  7. What a sweet post! It’s interesting how much a dog can enhance a marriage between two dog lovers. Our previous five dogs were brought into the marriage like stepchildren and crossed over during our ten-year marriage. David wanted to stay dog free for a bit longer to travel easier, but now he loves Marley as much as I do. Marley is like the first son we’ve had together. Thank you so much for rescuing Vader and loving him and your other furbabies so well.

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    • My husband has a deep, very manly voice but the way he talks with Vader is super sweet. I find myself calling him Mr. Vader and according to friends and my husband I have a singing voice when I call him, which is of course not true. ๐Ÿ™‚
      It’s funny how they come into our lives and then we can’t imagine being without them. It’s a special kind of love for animals!

      Liked by 2 people

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