Buster's Ninth BirthdayAll pets are a wonder … and Buster especially so.

Eight years ago this morning, Buster’s life was in chaos. He was running the streets of Philadelphia … lost, alone, and terrified. Somehow – out of all the houses, on all the streets – he ended up on our doorstep.

When we stop to consider that, it’s almost beyond comprehension. Even the most staunch nonbeliever has to wonder whether fate had a hand in bringing Buster into our lives.

To mark that precious moment in time, we celebrate this anniversary as Buster’s “birthday.” For Rod and me, it’s a day to contemplate the ways Buster has transformed our lives, to gaze upon all the memories we’ve created together, to remember to hold him dear and cherish every moment of our time together, and to send out mammoth waves of gratitude to the Universe for giving us this wonderful, goofy dog.

Naturally, to Buster May 19th is a day just like any other – full of promise and magnificence, simply because we’re together. From the moment he opens his eyes in the morning, until he closes them again in a blissful cuddle at the end of the day, he spreads sunshine. He’s a constant reminder that life should be lived joyfully, and on this “birthday,” we’re taking a look back at nine days when Buster couldn’t have been happier.


August 10, 2008

Less than three months after we became family, we struck out on a 3,500-mile road trip and showed him what pet travel was all about.

Ty and Buster in the RAV4 on Buster's first road trip.


November 11, 2009

Having the whole dog park to himself, he spent forever chasing that flat basketball and splashing in the puddles in Asheville, North Carolina.

Buster Splashing in the Dog Park in Asheville, NC


August 5, 2010

He had an absolute blast hiking Snow King in Jackson, Wyoming.

Buster Hiking Snow King in Jackson, WY


February 12, 2011

His first trip to the beach, and we couldn’t have picked a better one than the dog beach at Fort De Soto Park near St. Petersburg, Florida.

Buster on the Dog Beach - Fort De Soto, FL


August 16, 2011

Combining sticks AND the sand made for a perfect day on Oregon’s Cannon Beach.

Buster Fetching Sticks on Canon Beach, OR


September 10, 2011

After months without seeing snow, he played to his heart’s content at Mt. Baker near Bellingham, Washington.

Buster Playing in the Snow at Mt. Baker, WA


July 31, 2012

He made friends with little Cooper, and then had a blast splashing around at the secret off-leash area near Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine.

Splashing in the Pond at the Secret Off-leash Area near Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME


May 19, 2014

For Buster’s seventh birthday we got him a seven brand new squeaky balls – he didn’t know which one to play with first!

Buster with the Squeaky Balls


May 19, 2015

For birthday #8 we brought squeaky balls and snow together in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It’s the happiest I’ve ever seen Buster – I actually thought he might burst.

Buster's Birthday 2015


So today, my dear boy, we celebrate your 9th birthday and the eight wonderful years we’ve spent together. We adore you from the velvety tips of your magnificent ears to the end of your fluffy tail. And as we look back at the fun we’ve had together, we’re also looking forward to many more years of exploring, playing, growing, and loving with you.

A Letter to Buster on his birthday


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