{Happy Gotcha Day, Lonnie!}


Our Lonnie Girl has officially been a part of our family for a year!!  It’s so hard to believe it’s been a year since we brought her home.  I can’t imagine our lives without her and it’s hard to remember what it was like when she wasn’t here.  I know that sounds so corny, but it’s true!  She has fit in from the first moment she joined us.  (You can read her adoption story here!)

We have no idea when her birthday is so we celebrate her Gotcha Day!  Throughout the year, we celebrated all of Lonnie’s “firsts” – First Vacation, First Christmas, First Snow, First Easter.  James keeps gently reminding me that it’s not, in fact, her first Christmas since she was two years old.  But it’s her first Stoup Christmas and part of me likes to think that God made her just for us and her terrible life before us never happened.  She’s just so happy and so grateful and so at ease here.  And she brings all of us (and so many people she meets!!) so much JOY!!

If there was ever a doubt (and trust me there isn’t!) that James is totally in love with this dog, he convinced me when I came to him with this crazy idea – a puppy cake smash photo session!!  Everyone loves watching little babies chow down on some cake for their first birthday so who doesn’t want to see a fur baby in a party hat?!  James helped me wrangle Lonnie in the back yard and even made her cake!  (Recipe below!!)  She, naturally, brought her great smile and even wore her party hat!  She was super excited to see her cake and you can really tell how great she is when she sat so nicely beside it for pictures!

I have to brag on my sweet girl for just a minute.  She’s currently taking another Advanced Obedience class but has earned her AKC Canine Good Citizen Award as well as the Advanced CGC!  She’s still working on walking without pulling and she still gets really excited when she sees new doggie friends but I’m so super proud of the progress she’s made.  The first time we brought her home, she refused to walk through the front door of the house because she was so nervous.  She’s truly the best dog ever and the perfect fit for our family!!

We just found out this week that Lonnie has Lyme Disease so we’re still figuring out what all that means.  The vet put her on antibiotics and from everyone we’ve talked to, we don’t think we should be too worried.  (However if you have any “oh it’s no big deal” stories, I’d love to hear them!!  Keep any other kind to yourself!!  Ha!!)  We weren’t seeing our beloved Dr. Betty that day and I’m not sure that poor vet expected me to cry (read: sob) as much as I did when he told me.  But she’s our first pup and my baby and I just hate to think there’s anything going on that might make her hurt.  Once I got myself together a bit, he said he could tell that she’s very special to us and that we must love her tremendously.

But enough of all that!!  Bring on the cake pictures!!!  I gotta say, Gotcha Days are the best!!  If you’re looking to add a furry family member, I urge you to visit your local animal shelters!  Rescued pets are absolutely the best around!!  And you too can celebrate your own Gotcha Day!!!  Adopt don’t shop!!!

Oh, Lonnie, we love you so much it hurts sometimes!!  I’m truly blessed and so thankful that God brought her into our lives when He did.


Do I smell… cake??   No of course I’m not sharing with you!!


Good “Leave It,” Lonnie!!  Super shout out to her amazing trainer Patty Allen at Pawsitive Attitudes in Carrollton, VA!!  We love us some Mrs. Patty!!!


This shot cracked the kids up!!

Happy Gotcha Day, Lonnie Girl!!  We love you so much!!

Lonnie’s Birthday Cake

  • 3 tablespoons refined coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 eggs
  • 1¾ cup (248 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce
  • Frosting: peanut butter and plain yogurt (we didn’t measure… she’s a dog…)

2 thoughts on “{Happy Gotcha Day, Lonnie!}

  1. Sandy kanehl says:

    It’s wonderful to see how much you and your family love Lonnie! Thank you for sharing her stories with us❤️

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