Happy first birthday to Hazel the Saint Bernese!

Hurricane Hazel blew into town: This puppy yells her own story with sass-mouth

Hurricane Hazel blew into our lives one year ago and things have never been the same. I remember reading books and articles to prepare. How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond by Cesar Millan was a good one. Some things you just can’t plan for. Regardless Hazel has been such a vibrant and curious puppy. She is so different if you compare her to Keira. From day one Hazel has had a real sassy attitude- Little Miss Sass-Mouth. She is big. She is bold. She isn’t afraid of anything! She is pure comedy.

When we added Hazel to our family tree no one knew that she had a broken branch. Oddly enough her leg is the easiest of her ailments to manage. Reduce activity, keep lean, NSAIDS, supplements, chiro, CHECK! Her battle with constant urinary tract infections was the worst. When you are raising a puppy that will be 100 lbs before her first birthday these “small, frequent pees” are lake sized! That is a bit of an exaggeration but they were big urinations- like a fair sized puddle.

Her facial nerve paralysis has been a real learning experience. Talk about a curve ball! Hazel’s entire right side of her face went paralysed in October. There is really no way to predict how it is going to develop and heal- it’s a total wild card! Since then the right side of her face has tightened up- now it’s more firm than the left side. Her right ear sits higher on her head, her snout is tighter and her eye lid is more closed. Hazel if very fortunate to have several fantastic doctors that make it a lot easier to be Hazel! She has family that love her and a lot of “aunties!” Despite everything Hazel has had the happiest first year of life EVER!

It has been inspiring to watch this brave puppy just roll with it the way she does. Her asymmetrical face gives her more character and makes her sassy face look EXTRA sassy. She plays and hikes with her big sister Keira. She thinks she weighs 12 lbs. She is so much more vocal than Keira. She barks if she wants out. She cries if she wants water. She groans if she wants love. And she always wants love!

We got Hazel because we wanted another dog like Keira but in the end I’m happy that Hazel is different. She has added this goofy dynamic to our household. The best part is Hazel is enamored with Keira. It is adorable how much Hazel loves Keira- she is always more excited to see Keira than she is to see me! She completes our family. She has quirks and yes, she has flaws but don’t we all? There is no book to teach me how to raise a puppy like Hazel, but that’s okay. Hazel will write her own story.

Happy 1st Birthday Hazel- I love you little monkey! 

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