Friday, September 17, 2021

Our Sheltie, "Levi" is ONE!!! And...We Lived to Tell You!

 What a whirlwind of a year! Today is our Levi's FIRST BIRTHDAY and all three (make that four, if you count Roary), have lived to celebrate it!  


The above photo was graciously taken by sweet Annika at Bloomfield Pet Grooming

Let's take a look back....

Losing our beloved Dakota and Cody in 2020 was horrific, but having Roary and then Levi join our family definitely was a kick in the butt to start living again!

Before Roary joined our family I had started a search for another Sheltie. Due to COVID there weren't any rescues near us that had any Shelties available, so, as I did with Dakota, I decided to go through a breeder. A few that I was interested in at first  proved to be less than desirable for a host of reasons, none worth mentioning here.

Then I found Greyfyre Shelties, (actually, Lenny may have found her first, then I found her when I searched). As luck would have it, when I reached out, her beautiful Sheltie Myka was due to have a litter of pups! We were over the moon!

Levi and his siblings (there were 2 other boys, Riki who the breeder, Sue Sharp, decided to keep, Stormy, who lives in Ohio and we keep tabs on him through his Dad on Facebook, and 3 girls whose names I do not know). Levi and Stormy look the most alike. As pups it was hard to tell them apart! Levi was the first born of the litter of 6 on September 17th, 2020. 

He was the largest of the litter:

The above photo was taken by Sue Sharp, Owner/Breeder Greyfyre Shelties.
Levi is smack dab in the middle nursing from his mother, "Myka" whom he has grown to look nearly EXACTLY alike!

I was lucky because  Sue kept a diary on her website from the time the puppies were born until we picked them up. We could see how our puppy was growing. It was exciting (as well as frightening when we realized how large Levi was going to be!)  to watch them grow, learn about their personalities and watch videos of the puppies coming into their own.

That little nugget was Levi! (photo taken by Sue Sharp of Greyfyre Shelties, unless otherwise mentioned all of the tiny puppy photos were taken by Sue)

He soon began to grow:

And grow....

(One of Levi's siblings resting their head on their HUGE brother) 

And grow!!!

When we look at Levi now it is so hard for us to believe that he was ever this tiny!!

When our Vet first met Levi, I remember him saying "I expected to see a dog the size of a guinea pig come into the room, not a dog THIS big! Are you SURE he is a Sheltie???"

Yep, he is! 

Shelties are usually either quiet and discerning like Dakota was or loud and boisterous which is Levi. Levi grew fast, and while his mind was still in puppy mode, his body was BIG (for a Sheltie), he is definitely like the proverbial bull in a china shop. The meaning of which is below:

  • extremely awkward, clumsy person (in our case, make that DOG!)
  • to be aggressive when in fact the need of the hour is to stay calm
  • to handle a delicate situation badly
  • to not be able to manage a light situation
  • to act in a clumsy manner thereby causing destruction unintentionally
  • Source:

    Levi has a definite seriousness about him (whereas his brother Stormy, takes photos that are more "smiley", Levi has always had a more serious expression, even when he was a puppy)

    Our serious Levi....(photo taken by sweet Annika from Bloomfield Pet Grooming)

    Contrary to what I have read about most dogs born under the sign of Virgo, Levi is highly impulsive and reactive. There isn't a shy bone in his body. He LOVES people (but has a strange way of showing it with our neighbors!) He is super affectionate, playful, mischievous and constantly keeps us on our toes.

    It didn't take Levi long to jump this baby gate, the same one that  Dakota had for 13 years without EVER attempting to jump it, not even once! (Observe photobomber Roary in the background above)

    Our "Ironman" Sheltie soon needed an IRON gate! (Truth be told he could probably still jump this one if he really wanted to!!)

    Levi's relationship with Roary is still a work in progress. These photos are from when they were younger. They love each other but Levi hasn't yet learned proper "doggy etiquette" that must take place when playing with a cat. He thinks Roary's swinging tail is a toy, and he thinks Roary is a meal. 

    He is super protective of our family and our home and has a bark that is DEEP and MENACING, one would think a Great Dane was living in our condo when they hear him from the hallway!

    Levi is highly food motivated, saying that he loves food is an understatement! He is so food motivated that the Vet even has that noted on his chart!

    Levi thankfully is good at our Groomer, and I am beyond grateful that when I asked if they would take some birthday photos of him in the hat that I bought, that Annika one of the hardworking assistants there, graciously complied:

    When Annika came to the car to get Levi to be groomed, I actually noticed a difference in him that I attribute to his almost being one (on that day). Instead of walking beside her like the Tasmanian Devil like he used to do, (when entering the groomer AND our veterinary practice)

     he actually walked next to Annika in a normal fashion! I was also proud when I texted Annika thanking her for the photos and received the text below in response:

    "We loved having Levi with us! He is such a sweet boy-very handsome too! I'm glad we were able to get the pictures you wanted, he was a very good boy! Happy early birthday Levi!! 
    With much love, 
    Bloomfield Pet Grooming"

    It meant a lot to me because Dakota had been groomed there his entire life and was always the perfect gentleman. Then, along comes Crazy Levi!!!

    The past year has been a blur, it's been wild, fun, awful, terrifying, exciting, rewarding and every conceivable emotion you can imagine having a puppy. It's a wild ride that I pretty much doubt I would ever undertake again. But...we wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Our boy is growing up, he  is maturing right before our eyes.

    I have faith that one day he WILL calm down!! In the meantime I call him my "hunka hunka burning love Sheltie"...... Levi lives hard, he plays hard, he barks hard, he eats hard, he slams into walls, he slams into baby gates, but when he settles down and wants kisses and cuddles, he becomes the sweetest dog on the planet. He is also INCREDIBLY intelligent too!

    Saw the above  photo  in the Sheltie group I am a member of and it's perfect! The shirt is made by Tee Chip and I have a sneaky feeling I will be ordering a couple, SOON!!! 

    Happy Happy FIRST BIRTHDAY to our Levi "Rowdy!!" (I realized once we knew Levi's personality that I made a huge mistake with the name I chose for him. He should have been named "Rowdy", "Rowdy" is his middle name.

    Thank you for bringing so much love, excitement (and TERROR lol), into our lives!!!! We can't wait to celebrate your "Gotcha Day" in November!!! Will share more info about our crazy Levi then!!

    Happy Birthday you "hunka hunka burnin' love" Sheltie!!!

    Photo was taken by Levi's main trainer, Dylan (September 15th at Canine College!) They had a Fall scene set up and they took this cute photo. Our boy is really growing up!!

    Even if you sometimes drive us completely crazy, we love you more than you could ever imagine! We are forever grateful that Sue allowed you to join our family!!!!! HAPPY HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY LEVI ROWDY!!!!๐ŸŽ‚๐ŸŽ‚๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ’•


    1. Happy Big 1 to you today, Levi! Celebrate large!

    2. Happy birthday Levi! He was a very big baby who continued to grow and grow! It sounds like you have your hands full with him, but all the returned love makes it so worthwhile.

      1. sooo true in reference to EVERYTHING you mentioned! He's still a big baby!!!

    3. Happy Birthday, Levy! I can't believe it's been a year already!

      1. well, we haven't had him a year yet, that will be in November.

    4. Happy 1st Birthday, Levi Rowdy! You were sure one cute puppy and you have grown into a very handsome boy!

    5. HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY LEVI! Oh my how you've grown....big puppy = big grown up boy but you have that same precious "baby" face and I know you are as happy to be part of your family as your family is to have you. You and Roary make a fine pair - you just remember he's your brother and you are his....and the two of you need to love, protect, and care for each other FOREVER. Have a wonderful birthday celebration big guy - we love you too!

      Hugs, "Auntie" Pam and "Cousin" Teddy!

    6. A furry happy birthday to you, Levi, you handsome woofie!

    7. Happy birthday, Levi! We're glad you keep your humans on their toes. Hahaha. Have a wonderful day, filled with love and of course treats.

    8. Happy Birthday, Levi! You sure have had a fun first year and we hope you have many more.

    9. I loved learning more about Levi and his fun, wild, and larger-than-life personality! Happy Birthday kisses from Deb and the Zee/Zoey gang.

      1. Thanks so much Deb!!! Wait for the complete "tell all" (lol!!) on his Gotcha Day in November! OMG!! xoxo

    10. ♪♫Happy Birthday to you,♪♫
      ♪♫Happy Birthday to you,♪♫
      ♪♫Happy Birthday Dear Levi,♪♫
      ♪♫Happy Birthday to you.♪♫

      What a wonderful birthday post.

      I didn't unfriend you from Facebook. I deleted the account. I'm no longer on any social media. I would never unfriend you.

      Have a woof woof birthday, Levi. My best to your sibling and your peeps. ♥

      1. thank you sooo much! Whew!! I seriously feel better!! I thought I did something (by accident) to offend you. So happy!! But...miss seeing you there......but....I TOTALLY get it and kudos to you!!!!!! Much love!!!

    11. Oh what an amazing birthday post for the one and only amazing LEVI! Happy birthday you gorgeous big boy๐ŸŽ‚๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽˆ๐Ÿพfrom your auntie Layla

      1. thank you so much Auntie Layla!!! Wish I could see you to give you kisses! Love, Levi

    12. Levi sounds like he's always keeping you entertained, such a sweet guy. Happy Birthday from all of us Levi!

    13. Happy 1st Birthday to Levi! Whew, what an exciting dog he is, what a story of his first year! All the pictures of Levi are precious, but those young puppy pics are just heart-melting!

      1. I love the "whew" true! He definitely IS an exciting dog, that's for sure!! Wait til his Gotcha Day post in November....all the juicy details will be spilled then! lol. Thanks so much!

    14. Happy Birthday Levi!! One year old already? Where does the time go!!

    15. Happy Birthday Levi! You are such a handsome boy!

    16. Happy Birthday Levi. Wow that went by fast. Bailey was oversized too. He often got mistaken for a small collie.

      The personalities are so different. I will also say that even with the different personalities my memory faded over the challenges of the early years. We were talking with a friend who is just starting on his puppy journey with a different breed and it brought back some things I'd probably intentionally "forgot" about what Bailey was like as a puppy. We got the 2 girls when they were 2 so while they still had challenges nothing like the early puppy years.

      1. Yep, Levi gets mistaken for a Collie all of the time!! His personality is world's different than Dakota's was. It's Levi's way or the highway lol!!! Oh I don't envy your puppy friend!! Lenny wanted to get a 2 yr old Sheltie, I was the one fixated on having a puppy. While we adore will totally understand when I say NEVER AGAIN lol.

    17. Happy Birthday Levi! You sure grew into a big boy!

      1. he sure did!! He's taller and approx 7 lbs heavier than Dakota was when Dakota was full grown!

    18. Happy DOGGONE Great Furst Birthday wishes to Signore Levi! I’m watching you with my keen cat eyes from UP here at the Heavenly Catpuccino Cloud Cafe and it’s ok to do any doggone thing youza wanna do today cuz it’s your Birthday! Hoorayzatini!

    19. He's so doggone cute! LOVE that one droopy ear. Too cute. Happy Barkday little man. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    20. Levi it is so cool to get to know you better and we know you will calm down in a bit. Be good to Roary and your Mom and Dad dear Sheltie. Now we know we have you in our calendar for a card next year buddy.

    21. Happy Birthday to Levi! What a cute pup he was. Now a very handsome boy.

    22. Happy 1st Birthday sweet Levi! XO

    23. Happy 1st Birthday Levi!
      How cool to see your baby pics and current pics.
      It's hard to remember when you were that small ;)
      Sounds like you are on the large side of the breed standards with a purrsonality to match
      Purrs, Julie

    24. It's Julie from "Mickey's Musings"
      In my previous comment I may have signed with a strange name.
      Darn copy and paste ;)
      Purrs, Julie

    25. Happy Barkday Levi ! And many more !

    26. Happy birthday, Levi! You sure did find yourself the best forever family. We can feel the love! :)

    27. HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LEVI!!! We love you and your family and you have to be the most beautiful Sheltie in the world. Love from Loulou and familly

    28. Happy Birthday, Levi! Gosh, he is growing up to be such a handsome guy!! ♥

    29. Oh, dear...our peeps were out of town on his now we are very late...

      Happy Belated Birthday Greetings to YOU!!

      Now you are one!
      Isn't that fun?
      Just wait til you're two!!

      Hugs, love and wiggly woofs!
      Benji & Dalton with Petcretary, too.