A Year In the Life of Norman ~ January 23, 2021

While I typically do not post on Saturday’s, I couldn’t let this particular Saturday pass without acknowledging an important anniversary. It was one year ago today that I drove to Colorado Springs to pick up a moose, er, I mean, my buddy “Stormin’ Norman” at a restaurant parking lot. I had been introduced to him a few days earlier at his foster dad’s home and admit I wasn’t quite sure just what I was getting. Oh sure, he seemed absolutely lovely and he was great around Elsa but I knew he would need some time to find his inner self after being uprooted from his long-time family and fur-sister and placed into the world of rescue where getting used to new people, new routines, etc. would be what would occupy him for the next several months. As I drove home from the initial meet and greet a few days earlier, I kept wondering what would an addition of this size be like around the Ranch? I couldn’t help but wonder how he would handle the 70 mile drive home, let alone integrate into a new pack with vastly different players and energy from what he was used to experiencing? I didn’t know if he’d balk at getting into my car and knew for certain I couldn’t lift this hunk but he easily climbed into my car and we never looked back. He was the perfect gentleman in the back seat and the perfect road companion, then and now.

Day One-the ride home

To say much has happened over the past year is a bit of an understatement. Norman and I have become use to one another’s quirks and idiosyncrasies, he’s been a model Big Brother to a less than hospitable at times Ninja sister, he survived a life threatening event (bloat), and became an intern therapy dog. Norman is one of the most affable, laid back dogs and his core personality has unfolded over the past year to reveal one of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever known.

Let’s take a look back at this lovable joker over the year.









One of the things that impressed me most is how this sweet boy will allow me to pose him in the silliest of hats, etc.


To say he’s larger than life is a real understatement. Weighing in over 85 pounds, this boy is BIG…and v-e-r-y tall. Like all sheepdogs, he has a big, fat large head (the better to munch bones on apparently) and has managed to master being adorably photogenic like a puppy without even trying.


He has no problem being photographed as a unicorn (super patient with me laughing hysterically trying to capture the photo while not moving the camera) or as a slumbering sofa-surfer.


It was just ten minutes after he arrived at his new home that he was making himself comfortable on the sofa, despite being assured by his foster dad that “no, he never gets up on the furniture.”Norman


This past year I’ve watched as Norman’s personality blossomed especially during the past few months when my son was staying with me. This mellow giant is just giddy expressing his love for people through significant butt wiggles with a one-sided smile (I’ve never managed to capture that smile in a photo as he’s constantly wiggling and my cell phone just can’t focus without blurring). He’s become a master at sniffing every tree and bush encountered on walks and I’ve learned the hard way that when he puts the brakes on or suddenly stops I’d better be prepared for significant recoil since he’s not easily moved. And I’ve also learned to hang on for dear life when he suddenly takes off after a squirrel and pray I stay upright.

Norman has brought such joy to my grieving heart after Sam’s unexpectedly crossing to the Rainbow Bridge just a month after Norman arrived. Sam must have thought he was leaving me in good paws  when he departed and he was right. Norman seems to know when my heart is particularly heavy and will quietly lay next to me with his head across my lap or legs. It feels like a big furry hug that comforts my aching soul.


And so on the anniversary of his first Gotcha Day, I wish this handsome pile of fur many happy returns. Turning eight looks pretty darn good on you, Dude. Here’s wishing you a ‘pawsome’ year of great adventures and fun. Love you, buddy!

Norman & Elsa

Live, love, bark! 🐾

88 thoughts on “A Year In the Life of Norman ~ January 23, 2021

  1. Awww I LOVE this post!! Happy 8th Gotcha Day (and Birthday) you BIG HANDSOME DUDE!!!! You give me hope that Levi will settle down. Levi is 4 months old and wilder than wild……to say I’m losing my mind is an understatement!!!!!!! Levi is projected to be 40 lbs (when full grown, nearly double Dakota’s size, less than double but close!) I can’t imagine having an 85 pounder!!! Lots of love to that gentle giant!

    1. Thanks! Oh yes, there is definitely loads of real estate on this boy. And I love every single inch. Levi will calm down once he’s out of his ‘teens.’ LOL

  2. Happy Happy Gotcha-8th Birfday-Wee are so glad yore our Frend Day to you Stormin Norman!! You are simplee amazin deer frend. Miss Monika needed a Poochie Doggie just like you to help heal her <3 heart <3….
    An you are THE Poochie Doggie to due it Norman.
    Miss Monika THE last foto of you an Norman meowss it all…..so sweet!
    Thanx fore sharin yore deer boy with us!
    ***purrss*** an ~~head rubss~~ BellaDharma~~ an {{{huggiess}}} LadyMew

  3. A most Happy Day, Norman. It has been a great year watching you settle in to your new home and family and reading about your adventures and your relationship with the Ninja.. I totally understand about sisters, I have four of them. Also I understand about walking – if Max took off he would do so at a slow waddle and I would probably fall asleep. However, when he drops down and refuses to move, there is no way I would move his bulk. Just have to stand around, nod at grinning passers and wait. Anyhoo it’s been great spending this year with you and I look forward to many more, with you, mom and the Ninja. PS Told Annabell you drove to Colorado Springs and she went all strange and yattered about Joe Kenda country…

    1. Thank you, kind sir. Yes, we met his foster dad half way between his house and ours. He was a good chap to give Norman a good start. We are truly blessed.

    1. I am too. He was just too sweet not to provide him with a loving home that would allow him to thrive.

    1. Thanks very much! Norman is now showing his ‘love’ for squirrels though he’s never going to be as fixated at Elsa is…which is a very good thing.

  4. Happy GOTCHA Day Norman! I have always LOVED Norman’s fabulous face. Those eyes….that nose, that smile. He’s just so darn cute. I know he’s a big boy but he has a puppy face and that ALWAYS gets to me!! He seamlessly fit into his new life and that just confirms what I suspect you knew when you popped him into the car in the parking lot that day – some things were JUST MEANT TO BE! Here’s to you Norman…. you are one VERY special guy!

    Love, Pam (and Teddy too)

    1. Thank you very much. The Gotcha Day boy had a lovely day and we both appreciate all the lovely wishes. He’s one of the easiest dogs I’ve ever adopted with his adorably sweet personality. I consider myself very lucky! Happy Sunday.

  5. HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY GOTCHA DAY NORMAN!!!!!! I can say, that you not only make your new pack happy, you made Ma super duper happy seein’ your handsome OES face all the times! Makes Ma miss her Angel Panda. (then I fling slobbers at her, and she forgets….😁) I digress….I am so happy you found Miss Monika and Elsa and are sharing your lovely headgear with all of us! You always looks so handsome and happy.
    Have a most FABulous day, and don’t forgets to stop by for some margaritas!
    Ruby ♥

    1. Thanks dear Ruby. ‘Ritas? What better way to celebrate a special occasion. Put us down for a double! 🍹

  6. What an amazing dog he is! Nope, he *never* gets up on the furniture (LOL!). You really lucked out with him, and he lucked out with you. A match made in heaven… Happy Gotcha Day, Norman!

    1. Truly a match from heaven. Yeah, I chuckle ever time he steps up onto the sofa. Cracks me up every single time especially when he naps on it. He an absolute sweetheart of a dog.

  7. We absolutely LOVE Norman. We had no idea he was that big. He looks like a great big love and we can’t help but wonder why he was ever abandoned:(

    Happy Gotcha Day, Norman.

    Woos – Lightning, Misty, and Timber

    1. I think his family’s situation changed and they decided giving him up was best for him and his sister. I was the lucky one to be there. Yup, he is one BIG boy. 😄

  8. Such a sweet story. Happy Gotcha Day, buddy. You are 100% right where you belong. Right place. Right time. #youdoyou Sometimes a leap of faith is the best leap of all.

    Love and licks,

  9. Norman had some big paws to fill. All this lovable fella wanted was to love and to be loved. He sure got it.

    Happy Anniversary to you guys. Enjoy the weekend.

    1. And his big paws have done a pawsome job filling the hole in my heart. Thanks for your well wishes. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

  10. Can’t love this enough! Happy Gotcha Day Norm! He is a sweetheart! Love all his different poses, especially of him laughing! And the fact that he knows when you are down and need a hug is sooo sweet! Happy for all of you!❤❤

    1. Thank you for the nice Gotcha Day wishes. He’s a typically adorable OES that makes people smile. But he’s extra special in that he lets me dress him up with no trouble. Such a sweet boy.

  11. Happy Gotcha Day to YOU, Norman! We are glad you were ‘found’ by your now Mom, and that you have hit it off together so well! You are a blessing to her, and all your family as well.

    We both are rescues also, I, Dalton have a ton of baggage,and can’t seem to shed it…I, Benji am loving and friendly, but still wary of anything that involves a camera, mostly! I will slink off if I think a photo session is in the works, BOL!

    1. Thank you for the nice Gotcha Day wishes. Elsa is also a puppy mill alum…we know all about those kinds of rescue challenges. But we love them all the same and they us. It’s just the rest of the world that has a hard time trying. Have a super duper weekend with your loving mum, you two. 💙

    1. We think so too! Thanks for the Gotcha Day well wishes. Have a great rest of the weekend.

  12. Yeah, I was surprised to see a Monika post on Saturday since I know that’s your drinking day. 😈 Just kidding, M. Wow – a whole year since Norm’s Gotcha Day, time flies and he’s obviously made himself very at home on the Ranch. Such a handsome boy (Max says it speaks well that Norm likes hats) and you can see the love in his eyes. Plus, wrangling the Stormin’ One has kept you in shape and no loss of bone density! Happy Gotcha Day, Norman and may you share many, many more at your happy home.

    1. Are you saying every day is Saturday? It really is hard to believe it’s been a year. Best and worst year of my life.

      It’s a rare day that I have to do any upper body work after taking Norman for his walk. He and Elsa have seemed to become quite the tag-team. LOL Thank you for the Gotcha wishes. Have a great weekend.

      1. I think you’ve got a whole passel of snow gonna be going your way very soon. We’re currently getting 4 separate rain storms coming onshore over the next week and their track is targeting Colorado I think. Norman in the snow would be a sight to behold but I’ll let you do the after snow grooming and snowball removal. On Norm’s Day I’d be remiss if I didn’t tip my hat and send a kind thought to Sam, too who we’ll remember always as our first canine friend at the Ranch. Good weekend to you, too.

  13. Looks to me like you both hit the jackpot a year ago today, and you both know it. Please know how happy I am for the both of you. (Oh better tell Elsa I said how pretty she is so she doesn’t get jealous and take it out on Norman.) XOX Amy, Lucy and Xena

    1. Thank you, John. He got me through a rough year and has been one ‘furbulous’ companion.

    1. He’s been such a comfort this past year. I wish Sam could have had more time with him but apparently thought his work was done. 🥰

  14. Oh no! WP told me it flushed my comment… Or that it took too long to process. Or some other hogwash…
    If this is a repeat comment, please delete it.
    I shall just say that I am ever so glad Norman came into your life when he did. Sam was definitely watching over you.
    Happy Gotcha Day Norman! Thank you for being such a loving soul to Monika and for putting up with Elsa’s nonsense!

    1. Thanks for the Gotcha wishes. I got lucky on finding Norman. The stars were definitely in line. 💙

  15. Oh my gosh, photogenic? I’ll say!! He is so stinkin’ cute in his hats and such that I can hardly stand it! Happy Gotcha Day, Norman, you are one special boy and you landed exactly where you were meant to be. ♥♥♥

    1. Thanks for the kind words and wishes. He really is a gem, one I’m so grateful to have been able to help out. He given me such live and joy this past year, I’m so lucky.

    1. Thanks for the Gotcha wishes. He’s been an absolute love and I couldn’t be happier he came into my life. 💙

    1. Thanks for the hugs. Norman is a real sweetheart, I’m very blessed he came when he did. Have a great weekend!

    1. It was so fortuitous he came into my life when he did. For which I will always be grateful.

  16. Happy gotcha Norman! You are so adorable, lovable and kissable.
    Sending you and your Mom a big happy hug!

    1. Many thanks for the sweet Gotcha wish and hug. They made both of us happy. Have a great weekend.

  17. Happy Gotcha Day Norman!!!! You are exactly what your HuMom and NinjaSis need in their lives! I love seeing/reading the blog posts about your life together. You remind me so much of Radar with respect to your connection to your Mom: Radar was the same way with me and especially with his Dad. We really miss that boy. And Ducky misses him as much as we do…they were best buddies as well as sister and brother.

  18. You make your mom so happy. You make me happy too.

    ♫♪Happy Gotcha Day to you,♪♫
    ♫♪Happy Gotcha Day to you,♪♫
    ♫♪Happy Gotcha Day Dear Norman,♪♫
    ♫♪Happy Gotcha Day to you!♪♫

    Scritches to your sibling and my best to your mom. ♥

    1. Thanks so much for the serenade. Norman & I both appreciate your kindness and continued support. 💖

    1. He’s one of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever known. Just a real champ and pal. I am truly blessed with his big boy.

    1. Thank you. He’s been a solid but ever so sweet rock this past year. Talk about lucky!!

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