Home > Animal Rescue, Cupcake, Lady, Missing Pets, Pet Adoption > Reflecting on my past year with Cupcake

Reflecting on my past year with Cupcake

December 29, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

IMG_4222The other day I heard one of the radio DJs refer to this week, the week between Christmas and New Years, as the “lost week.” I suppose in some cases this is true. So many people take this week off from work that not much really gets done in terms of “real” work.

But for me, this week is a time to reflect. A time to look back on the year that has passed and to think about what is to come in the year ahead. I’m not sure why, but for some reason I have been doing a lot of reflecting on one particular dog this year – Cupcake, my sweet little Sheltie girl.

My how far she has come in this past year.

Last year, she had just returned home after being lost for 12 days. I was just happy to have her back home again. It was such a relief to know she was safe and not lost in Eagan or someplace beyond.

But this year, I find myself reflecting on her amazing progress.

Is she still a fearful dog? Yes. But, she is not the shy fearful dog I had a year ago. She has grown so much more confident  this past year.IMG_6554

I can still remember the very first day she came to stay with me (as a foster dog). She was so scared and uncertain, both of me and her new home. I remember her standing at the gate watching her former foster mom get into her car to leave and how she ran along the length of the fence, trying to find a way out, to follow her. Dawn had been such a rock in her life up until then. How sad and scared she must have been as she watched her leave.

But that Cupcake is long gone now. The one that has replaced her is so much more confident, happy and secure, not only in herself, but also in others.

IMG_7700The old Cupcake was afraid of all strangers and never would have even considered approaching someone other than me. Over this past year, I have watched her approach people she has come to know as friends (or those she deems as “safe”) as well as strangers. It seems she has learned that some of our dog park friends carry treats, and because she is treat-motivated, she will approach them to get one. At first it was only come close enough to have tit tossed to her, but now she will take them right from the person’s hands. She even approaches people she doesn’t know, if she suspects they have treats.

IMG_7726The new Cupcake also loves to play, and will tear around the house with her brother, Jasper, as they wrestle and growl and act like silly pups. (She has even been known to play a game of tug with her sister, Daisy!)

She also plays with some of the dogs at our dog park, especially Duncan, another young Sheltie, who seems to have caught her eye. She will twirl and jump and dance just to get his attention.

Watching her playful side come out has been such a joy.

IMG_2076The new Cupcake also knows the commands “sit”, “down”, “come”, “drop it” and “watch me”, and is quite good at solving some of the most difficult doggie puzzles. (She also is quite good at stealing the cat’s food, but we won’t mention that one will we?)

In the past year, she has also had the chance to experience new things, like a hike in the woods, putting her toes in a lake, walking along a beach and chasing more  squirrels and rabbits than one can count.

She has also learned to share my attention, doggie bones and her toys with her siblings. She is still the first to corner me in the bathroom, but she doesn’t mind sharing the space with Jasper if he wants to join her.

IMG_7589There is nothing that makes me smile quicker than seeing her little tail wag as she looks up at me.

I love that she will now put her paws up on the edge of the couch and paw at me to let me know she wants some attention. I love that her preferred sleeping space is right next to my bed (or on my bed) and that she wants to be where I am because that is where she feels safe.

I love that she feels safe and happy and curious and confident in her new home. I love that she knows this is her home. (I think she knew it before I did.)

The dog I adopted a year ago has turned into quite an amazing little dog. I never could have guessed she would have come this far in just a year. It makes me wonder… what will she do in the next year?


  1. December 29, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    What a beautiful photo of Cupcake! Indeed, she is very much a part of your heart, home, and family, and she is such a sweetie.

  2. December 30, 2012 at 1:42 AM

    Thank your for giving Cupcake everything she needed to become the happy Sheltie girl she is!

  3. December 30, 2012 at 6:54 AM

    Cupcake is such a pretty girl. All the marvelous changes are surely due to the love and care she’s received over the past year. You’ve done a great job and Cupcake is rewarding you with her love and trust.

  4. December 30, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    Lucky Cupcake. As they say…we don’t adopt them; they adopt us. So glad you found each other. Looking forward to reading about her in the coming year.

  5. Mickey
    December 30, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    Anything she wants to do. That is what she will do next year. And the reason is because she has a safe & loving home. That will make anyone blossom. I look forward to hearing about her adventures!

  6. To Shea
    December 30, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    Cupcake HAS come a long way….We were all on the edge of our seats when she was lost for a week a few months back. I am happy that she now fully trusts and loves you…:-)
    Alex and Penny

  7. December 30, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    That is a good reflection. I remember Cupcake being lost (though for some strange reason, I thought she had another name. Pardon my dementia.) One of the things I most enjoy about having a dog is to see how they change with time and care. I bet it’s the best feeling to have Cupcake become so much more confident and to trust you fully.

    Happy new year Mel(f)! To Cupcake, Jasper and Daisy too! X

  8. Jen
    December 30, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    Little Cupcake seems to have blossomed! What a great year….I too look forward to hearing what this next year will bring for you!

    • Mel
      December 30, 2012 at 8:49 PM

      Thanks Jen. I think she has too! Kind of amazing given what she has been through. Wishing you and Elka an awesome new year!

  9. December 30, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    She’s so adorable! So glad she found you. (And that you found her again after she was lost!) I hope next year brings all good things!

    • Mel
      December 30, 2012 at 8:48 PM

      Thanks Jackie! I have to admit, I think she is the most adorable dog I have ever seen, but I am biased. 🙂
      I hope 2013 brings good things for all of us. Wishing the same for you too!

  10. December 30, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    So sweet! It’s so amazing to see how far they can come in a year (holy cow, how is it possible that it has already been a year!!) Happy New Year!!

    • Mel
      December 31, 2012 at 9:42 AM

      I know! A year already! Yes. She has come a long way. Happy New Year Julie!

  11. December 31, 2012 at 10:31 AM

    She is a lucky girl to have found you. 🙂 I think sometimes we see more of their progress by looking back to where they were. No-one would ever think Delilah is the same dog I took off that transport, yet sometimes I look at her and think what have we accomplished these last 5 1/2 years. 🙂 She’s come a long way but it’s easier (for me) to judge her progress by looking back to where she was.

    You’ve done a great job with Cupcake, you deserve a good pat on the back!

    • Mel
      December 31, 2012 at 11:21 AM

      Thanks Jodi. I agree. I have found the same thing with Daisy. In fact, I look back now at what she used to be like and can’t believe she is the same dog.
      Kudos to you for your work with Delilah. Not every owner who gets a dog realizes the work involved, and many give up before they even give it a real chance. Delilah is so very lucky to have you.

      Happy New Year Jodi! May we both look back on 2013 as another year of amazing progress. 🙂

  12. December 31, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    Beautiful, Mel! My sweet Stoli has come quite a ways since August – she lets my husband pet her, sometimes! Here’s hoping we make a lot more improvements in comfort and confidence this year. I would love to see her IN a dog park, enjoying herself!

  13. December 31, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    That is really great about Cupcake. Gretel was very fearful when I first adopted her and it has been amazing to see how much she has changed over these last couple of years too.

    • Mel
      January 1, 2013 at 3:13 PM

      Isn’t it wonderful to see? I am so glad Gretel has blossomed in your care as well. I think looking back makes us realize how far they have really come. Happy New Year!

  14. January 13, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    This is such a sweet post and Cupcake’s story is a rather incredible one. I’m so happy that, as you said, she feels safe. It’s one of those things that many dog lovers can take for granted. Your recognition of that makes my heart happy.

    On a related note, I’ve been trying to find your post or posts that addressed when Cupcake went from being Lady to being Cupcake. I’ve heard little details of that story, (I want to say on Instagram, actually) but couldn’t find it here. Can you point me to it?

    • Mel
      January 13, 2013 at 6:25 PM

      Hi Lauren – Sorry so late. I was sick with the flu this past week and I am just getting back up to speed.

      Thank you for your kind words. Yes. I think most people who have “normal” dogs don’t realize the work it takes to make the shy and fearful ones feel more comfortable and confident.
      The post where I wrote about Cupcake’s real name is here: https://nodogaboutit.wordpress.com/2012/10/15/the-lady-has-a-secret/

      BTW – Loved your post for the Pet Blogger Challenge. 🙂

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