To the family who gave us our dog:

It has been a year since beautiful Mia joined our family. I saw a Facebook post, posted by a friend of a friend, someone who went to my high school, but whom I had never actually met. I sent you a message, and although some of your friends offered to take your perfectly bred 8-month-old German Shepherd Dog, you chose us. We had the right living environment and work schedule. We won. We had no idea how big of a prize it was just yet.

You were worried about her, hesitant to give her up, saying if it didn’t work out, you would find her a new family. You knew you had to part ways, and so you put on a brave face when I showed up, a strength I’m not sure I would possess. But this was right for your family, and luckily it helped to complete ours. She got into my Jeep and we drove off.

It has been a year now since I picked up an enthusiastic but confused girl. I drove her to the park, stopping several times along the way just to pet her and make sure she knew she shouldn’t worry. I knew it would be hard for her. An adjustment. German Shepherds love their people fiercely, and I wasn’t her “people” yet. I took her for a pup cup at Starbucks. Through my Facebook stalking, I knew this was something she enjoyed. Then I took her to the pet store and got her a well-fitting harness and a few toys.

The next few weeks were an adjustment for us all. The first day I was in tears, I didn’t think it would work out between her and our other dog, a male Golden Retriever. It did. They are inseparable now. If we have them separated by one room to brush them, they act desperate to get back to one another. She still chases her little brother, a six-year-old dachshund, but at night they have a snuggle truce. She didn’t warm up to us immediately, but eventually, she began to become more comfortable.

Over the last year, we have grown to love Mia and we are now her people. Almost daily, my husband looks at her and says, “She is so damn cute! I just love her.” He is now convinced we will always have a GSD because of how wonderful she is.

She sleeps on the left side of the bed every night. She wakes up at precisely 4:30 a.m. to go outside. She LOVES her football toys. She lies next to me with one while I work from home a few days a week. She sticks her head into the bag of food for a quick bite when she can get away with it. She is perfect in the car but barks at all strange dogs. She is afraid of bad storms and one particular fan in our house. She has eaten expensive shoes, artisan cheese by the block, and countless toys.

We couldn’t imagine our family without this gorgeous, sweet, protective, loving girl. We have a lot to work on still, in fact, a trainer began coming to our home this month to help us out with some obedience. But, she is worth it. She is our girl and we would do anything for her.

It’s been a year and you’ve been able to keep tabs on her through social media. I am sure you aren’t worried anymore. Worried she isn’t happy or loved. Worried she isn’t taken care of or that you made the wrong decision. But just in case, know she is happy, spoiled, loved, and a permanent member of our family.

After a year with our girl, we wanted to say thank you. Thank you for making the (incredibly tough) decision to let her go. Thank you for seeing us as a perfect match for her. Thank you for the love and care you gave her before she was ours. Thank you for our girl.

All the best,

Mia’s new Mom & Dad