This photo was taken earlier in the week when Claire was outside enjoying one of her favorite pastimes -- chasing squirrels across the fence and yard and treeing them. This little guy seemed none too pleased to have his quiet afternoon of nut-gathering interrupted, but he did stop and pose for a few snapshots.
When I look into Claire's eyes after her big "accomplishments", I feel an amazing sense of love and pride. We brought her home as a puppy just over seven years ago, and she's become our "child" in every sense of the word. Sometimes it just completely overwhelms me to think of what I'm going to feel when we look into our baby's eyes for the first time. Rationally, I know the love and bond between parent and child will be so much deeper than that between pet owner and pet -- but Claire has been such an important part of our family for so long, I just can't imagine loving another being in my care as completely as I do her. I guess it's just hard to comprehend sometimes the changes that are about to take place in this family. It's one of the most exciting times of our lives.
At least now I know that "babies come with hats", thanks to The West Wing!
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