Aslan’s First Birthday

I’ve experienced a whole lot of firsts on the farm, and here’s yet another one: a birthday party for a dog. Now, I know for some of you dog lovers out there, this might be normal. But for a girl who never thought she’d have a dog, and certainly not one in the house, the idea of a party with lots of effort just never crossed my mind. But when you have a daughter who loves to bake, loves to make people {and dogs} feel special, and who’s crazy about her puppy, she has a party!



Laura Finley has a special bond with Aslan. I never saw it coming. When she holds him in her arms, he melts like butter. He can be wild and crazy one minute and melting in her arms the next. Hallie has always been a dog person, so I expected her to love having a dog in the house, but I’m beginning to think Aslan was meant for Laura Finley. He’s seems to be therapeutic for her in a way I never imagined a dog could be.


When I asked her what she thinks it is that makes her feel so connected to Aslan, her response leveled me inside: “We’re both a mess. We both have things we can’t eat. And we’re both different together. I don’t feel lonely when I’m with Aslan.” Now if that doesn’t make me want to keep a dog despite his heavy shedding in the house, I don’t know what will. She likes having someone to be a mess with in our family. Gosh, don’t we all need to be with someone who loves us in our mess?

I’m just going to have to get over the fact that he sheds so much. I don’t know if it’s possible to overlook all the black hair on the white linen slipcovers and all the white hair on the dark floors, but if it is, I’d like not to notice it as much. I’d like to become less obsessive about vaccuuming, or at the very least, more joyful about vacuuming. It’s pretty funny that my neighbor said Shelties don’t shed, and that I didn’t bother to do my own research. Because when you research…you find out they are one of the top shedding breeds. Ha! God has such a sense of humor!


On the days when I vent my frustration with all the dog hair in the house, my oldest daughter reminds me that if I give Aslan away, God will find another way to mess up my love of clean. Yep. He’s been doing it ever since we moved here…exposing my addiction to cleanliness and control and giving me grace to embrace the mess. Thank you, Aslan. You’ve taken the mess to a whole new level!

While Laura Finley baked, Hallie played with Aslan on the farm. He was even allowed to “herd” ducks. An impossible task when they fly every which way, but he sure had fun! And Hallie took some great photos:










This birthday boy knows he’s loved. And while all his shedding, following me everywhere I go in the house, and insatiable desire to play has rocked my peaceful, clean and quiet homebody self, there’s no doubt he’s meant to be in our family. For therapy, for disruption, for love, for play. He may even be meant for me as much as he is for Laura Finley.

And on the days when I wonder what on earth I was thinking to bring a puppy home without researching, I just go back to this story and watch video of the day we surprised the girls:

Heart melted. Mess accepted.

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  • Amanda - Can I please tell you how this touched my heart!?! And–my sweet mess, Ben–he is our dogs’ biggest fan. Their love is a deep love. You’ll love this–I had to pick up some work items in Houston, so I swung by Quatrine & Whole Foods–my two favorite stops. I want a darker slip–there is dog hair everywhere in my world–and I’m hoping it will be less noticeable with a darker/chenille slip!!! We are so much alike–makes me love you even more!!!! Happy Birthday Aslan! PS Holly’s birthday is Christmas–so Ben always makes us celebrate!ReplyCancel

  • jessica - those PUPCAKES are adorable!! did LF come up with those on her own??? Are the pawas made of marshmallow?!!! genius!

    So cute. Y’all have a mighty creative household over there 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Julie - So sweet! I love the connection with your daughter and Aslan. Our yellow lab, Charlie, just turned one yesterday! He was a surprise Christmas puppy for our boys too. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • chrissi - he needed you almost as much as you all needed him. isn’t that how it always is? i tell my husband that God made puppies and dogs so cute that you just have to love them. the hair, the toys, the time….so worth it. once look at that video and my heart just melts.
    happy birthday dear aslan, you are so very loved♥ReplyCancel

  • Dianne - This is the best post you have ever written. It touched my heart more than I can say. We just lost our family dog to a horrible disease and my heart is still crying. Last week we decided to get a new love, a yellow tabby cat. My heart is healing. There is nothing like a pet to help us grow love.ReplyCancel

  • Lulu - hey, as long as you have that nifty sweeper, dog hair can be dealt with, especially in view of the attachment Finney has for him. Her creations for his birthday are incredible. I’m sorry we missed the party. BTW, how long before Aslan got to come in the house after wading in the pond? Hallie is getting good with the camera.ReplyCancel

  • Tricia - Aw, Happy Birthday sweet Asian~ what a precious pooch! Our sweet little Max joined the angels in heaven back in September so I have an even softer spot in my heart for all dogs. There’s a little 10 year old girl in my house who is only asking Santa for one thing this Christmas….hmmm. 😉

  • Sherry - What a sweet party for your baby! Your daughters are just too cute! Those furry family members are the greatest! Just enjoy it all every moment.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - Aslan is one lucky dog! You all are so sweet. We have 2 dogs. Both were rescued by us off the streets when they were very little. Snoopy and Farmer shed terribly, and over the years its been frustrating. Now they are 14 years old. They don’t hear us come in the house anymore, and are moving much slower these days. I recognize now that I will miss their dog hair terribly when they are gone. Hoping thats not for another few years at least. Keep on vacuuming. Its not that bad and they are worth it. 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend! Great pictures!ReplyCancel

  • Eli - Dear Linsay,

    I follow your blog for a long time and its always special and something I am looking forward.
    Today I am deeply touched bye watching this video. We lost our sweet Collie this summer, he was 16 years our wonderful friend, played with the children, a member of the family, you know…!
    Wishing you a wonderful time with your sweet girls and your dogs!!!

  • Three Years On Our Farm » Bravehearted Beauty - […] this shedding Sheltie at my feet continues to deposit massive amounts of hair all over my house, but I’ve learned […]ReplyCancel