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Zoey’s First Birthday + Embracing “There’s NEVER a Right Time!”

In the midst of the move I took a break to celebrate a sweet puppy that has brought so much joy to my life.


Today is Zoey’s first birthday. I think one of the things that holds us back in life is thinking “it’s not the right time.”


What I’ve learned is that the right time doesn’t exist and when you go for what you truly want, you figure it out.


I brought this girl into my life at a time that was definitely “not the ideal time to add a puppy to your life”  but she has blessed me every single day since.


I love how much Sullie loves her. (In case you were wondering, Sullie is TOTALLY in charge of this household and Zoey “listens” to everything she tells her.)


I love how different she is than Sullie. Zoey is balls, balls, balls all the time. Sullie never cared about balls but Zoey is neurotic about them! Her current favorite game is pushing them under the furniture and then flattening herself to the floor and staring at them until we get them out. I got like 6 out from under the couch yesterday at one time.


I love how tolerant she is. As long as you are paying attention to her she is totally on board! This is definitely a golden thing!


I love how smart and eager to learn she is. She has done such an amazing job with her training. Just one day before her first birthday we had a MAJOR breakthrough. I had 5 people in my house working on a project and she was a perfect angel. She waited until I told her to “say hello” to greet people, stayed in her place and listened to all of her commands. I could have cried tears of happiness!


To celebrate her first birthday, I took her out for her first run today. Zoey is so full of energy and we’ve been patiently waiting until her first birthday to run her. Just like children, puppies need time for their bones to fully grow and form. It’s best not to run them before they’re a year old due to the repetitive movement. My true comfort zone is closer to 18 months but I’ll start easing her in now with short 3 milers before working her up to 5-6. We ran 2 miles today and she still had energy to spare when we got home.


I whipped together a doggie birthday cake for her and of course she got to lick to bowl.


Finished product! This grain-free, healthy treat was super simple to make.

1/2 finely diced apple
3 tablespoons peanut butter
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Stir ingredients together and place in a greased ramekin. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.


Zoey loved her cake and ate it in TWO bites! I’m not kidding.


Looking forward to many more happy birthdays with my sweet Zoey girl!

Do you celebrate dog birthdays?

Have you ever taken a leap of faith at the “wrong time” and figured it out? (Happily!)

{ 41 comments… add one }
  • sarah October 6, 2015, 10:44 pm

    So cute! Happy Birthday, puppy! And YES, I have, but not on purpose. But you’re right – you just figure it out. 😉

    • Jen DeCurtins October 7, 2015, 9:53 pm

      Sometimes it works out that way for the best!

  • Chicago Jogger October 6, 2015, 11:01 pm

    I love this post! So sweet. Happy birthday Zoey!!

    • Jen DeCurtins October 7, 2015, 9:53 pm


  • Janelle @ WhollyHealthy October 7, 2015, 2:17 am

    Adorable! I definitely celebrate dog birthdays. My lab just turned 13 last month and we got her a couple of toys as presents. We wrap them up in newspaper and she loves tearing them open to see what’s inside.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 7, 2015, 9:54 pm

      That’s adorable!

  • maya October 7, 2015, 4:33 am

    Aww, happy birthday Zoey! She looks so beautiful and smart, and the puppy faces she’s pulling are hilarious! Totally reminded me of my “puppy”, who turned 3 in August and his favourite game still is to ‘lose’ the ball under the couch, as per your description. Made me laugh. Actually, even though I always thought Australian Cattle Dogs are ‘my’ dogs, since I watched Zoey grow up on your blog, I find myself daydreaming of getting a golden retriever. Best of luck with your move!

    • Jen DeCurtins October 7, 2015, 9:56 pm

      Thanks! Golden are my absolute favorite. They’re the friendliest dogs and have so much personality!

  • Lauren October 7, 2015, 4:47 am

    What a sweetie!! I always make ruby pup cakes for her bday and have been known to have parties too …. 🙂 she also loves the ball under the couch game!

    • Jen DeCurtins October 7, 2015, 3:20 pm

      Ha! I’m not the only crazy dog mom!

  • Hilary October 7, 2015, 5:59 am

    I can totally relate! I took a leap of Faith when I got my pup and life would not be the same or as enjoyable as it is coming home to him everyday! We also celebrated his first with some doggie ice cream and a birthday party!

    • Jen DeCurtins October 7, 2015, 9:57 pm

      Love it!

  • Sara @ Oats & Rows October 7, 2015, 6:09 am

    She is so cute! That last picture of her…that sweet face! Last year, I celebrated my dog Winston’s first birthday at the Canine Café in South End. He loved the treats to say the least. Getting him was a last minute decision and I am so glad I made it!

    • Jen DeCurtins October 7, 2015, 10:06 pm

      We’ve never tried Canine Café but might have to soon! Zoey is very food motivated, so I’m sure she would love it.

  • Sara @ LovingOnTheRun October 7, 2015, 8:06 am

    My pup is named Zoe too though she isn’t quite as good at listening she too brings SO much joy to my life!

  • Julie @ Running in a Skirt October 7, 2015, 8:31 am

    How sweet! This post hits home because my hubby and I have been talking about getting a new dog too. We lost our incredible boxer in the spring and the house has been so quite. We still have a 14 year of dachshund and we just don’t know when the “right” time is… but our hearts say it is time 🙂 Maybe it is…
    Happy Birthday Zoey!

    • Jen DeCurtins October 7, 2015, 3:17 pm

      Having a puppy is crazy but so much fun! I think it’s been good for our older dogs too.

  • She Rocks Fitness October 7, 2015, 8:38 am

    OMG I love the ear crimps…And her birthday cake is perfect! Lately I have been taking lots of “leaps of faiths” and I think they are totally necessary. You need to live life…get out of your comfort zone…and just try it.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 7, 2015, 3:16 pm

      Thanks! Good for you! Sometimes you have to get over the fear and go for it.

  • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine October 7, 2015, 9:28 am

    Aw, she is such a sweetie!!!

  • Tara | Treble in the Kitchen October 7, 2015, 10:39 am

    Zoey is such a little cutie!! Bernie turns 1 in December and we are totally going to celebrate!

    • Jen DeCurtins October 7, 2015, 10:08 pm


  • kate October 7, 2015, 11:26 am

    cute! can I ask who you used for training Zoey? I think you mentioned her ‘trainer’ a time or two in various posts? our pup turns one in a few months, and while she’s pretty well behaved – she doesn’t come when we call her if she’s outside…and there was a coyote in the (fenced in!) yard today – so I’m freaking out! thanks!!

    • Jen DeCurtins October 7, 2015, 12:05 pm

      Yes, we used Katrina and Greg with UberDog training and couldn’t have been happier. Well worth the investment! We got 5-6 in-home privates and ifetime group classes!

  • Hayley @ Full of Life October 7, 2015, 12:09 pm

    Exactly the same case with my puppy! It was definitely not the right “time” but we knew we wanted another dog and had just moved into a new house. It was the best decision and can’t imagine life without her now. Happy birthday to your gorgeous Zoey! <3

    • Jen DeCurtins October 7, 2015, 10:10 pm

      Thank you!

  • meredith @ Cookie ChRUNicles October 7, 2015, 1:31 pm

    Happy Birthday Zoey! So funny that she shares the same birthday as my son 🙂

    • Jen DeCurtins October 7, 2015, 10:11 pm

      Ha! Thanks!

  • SarahMTSBB October 7, 2015, 2:02 pm

    I have a golden mix (Charlie) and waited 15 years longing for a cavalier puppy because it wasn’t “the right time”. Last November, I finally got my cavalier and feel the same way. He has brought SO much love and sweetness to my life and makes me smile every day! My boys are the best!!

    • Jen DeCurtins October 7, 2015, 10:12 pm

      Love to hear that! The girls always brighten my day! I can’t imagine living without them.

  • Drea October 7, 2015, 7:35 pm

    Zoey is totally beautiful! And her relationship with Sullie is so endearing! I love seeing older dog with younger dogs! And you are dead on with the ‘right time’ thoughts…I have always believed everything happens for the right reason and the right time..whether we humans know it or not! Trusting that is the best! I’d love to see how your new pug addition and Zoey work together as well..I’m a 2 pug momma (12 and 9 years old!) I love all size dogs and just believe they are angels on earth! Thank you for sharing Zoey’s sweet face..and YES we celebrate dog birthdays! Had total blow out years ago at The Dog Bar! Was a blast with 12 pugs!

    • Jen DeCurtins October 7, 2015, 10:25 pm

      Thank you! I just had to look up The Dog Bar-so crazy! Zoey loves the pug!

  • Teri | a foodie stays fit October 7, 2015, 8:34 pm

    Happy birthday Zoey girl! Maizey aspires to be as well-behaved as you. 😉

  • Jackie October 7, 2015, 9:05 pm

    Happy birthday Zoey! I love her crimped ear hair and sweet face. Great job on the training… Will you please come train mine?! 🙂
    Question for you- was it hard to move when you just updated your kitchen so prettily?

    • Jen DeCurtins October 7, 2015, 9:45 pm

      YES! The new kitchen isn’t as big but the master bed and bath makes up for it. I miss my kitchen already!

  • JennyV October 7, 2015, 9:50 pm

    Love watching Zoey grow! We will be celebrating a 1 year birthday for one of our pups in November. Amazing how they change in 12 months!

    I’ve always been told that if you wait until the right time nothing will ever happen. This statement carries such truth to me. Often times I’ve made myself take the leap, ready or not, so I can continue growing! (That said, at 31 and married 8 years I’m still dragging my feet on babies… That one still seems so intense to me!)

  • Erin M October 7, 2015, 9:59 pm

    Oh Jen! This post melted my heart. My family and I have had goldens for as long as I have lived (23 years). We recently got a new golden, Ellie, and her ears crimp up the same way Zoeys do after she has been in water! Loved this post and I love goldens! Happy birthday Zoey!

  • Aurora@Fitness is Sweet October 7, 2015, 11:21 pm

    What a beautiful girl! I wish my puppy was that well behaved!

  • Kelly October 8, 2015, 1:37 pm

    Hi Jen! Random question but I am curious as to where you got Zoey near the Charlotte area. My fiance and I are looking to expand our family with goldens soon as well. Thanks!

  • Cassie October 11, 2015, 11:01 am

    All the time is the right time! Happy late birthday to Zoey!

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