I’d love to tell you the story of how Vern became Vern Boonewell Dukes.It’s no secret that we most likely have two small dogs because we have dealt with infertility. They are super needy and childlike and fill that void while we have been in the waiting, I am super aware. I am also super aware that my parenting skills hopefully exceed my dog mom skills or we are in for a real adventure. I like to think I am a disciplinarian but have you met Vern? Right.We had had Peggy a few years and I was just itching for another black poodle. Peggy is literally perfect, likes to sleep in, doesn’t need to go out much, totally chill.at.all.times. So it only makes sense that another black poodle would be exactly like her. ONLY MAKES SENSE.We fell in love with this little black ball of one pound fur hailing from Cookeville, Tennessee as soon as we saw him. He had the best face, and a little white on his neck and foot and honestly was the cutest boy we had ever seen. After a few emails back and forth, on his six week birthday we drove from Nashville to Cookeville early one Saturday morning and met his owner at a gas station where we would do the hand off – Vern weighed 1.1 pounds when we got him.My first thought besides how cute he was was “there is no way we will keep him alive tonight!” He was so small and just teeny – we kept him alive and he’s a whoppng almost 7 pounds today, life of the party and love of our life.He loves a treat, peanut butter (so much so when Brad opens the pantry door, his head cocks just to make sure it’s not the peanut butter jar being removed…), his toy Santa, his bow tie, his mama is his favorite but he loves snuggling with his daddy to get to sleep and wants his daddy at bed time always, won’t have anything to do with his mama at bedtiime.He has brought so much true life into our home in the midst of some hard days. On the best days he is a joy to love on and on the worst of days he is always sunshine. He has licked my tears as well as my wounds and loves unconditionally so hard it makes my heart ache to write these words I love him so much.I love sharing him on instagram and when people love him it swells my heart because he really is the best always. He is high maintenance, barks too much, lacks self-control and self-discipline (perhaps his mother is a sucker, perhaps?), but what he lacks he makes up for in just all around love. Every day I am thankful he is mine.Happy 4th Birthday, Vern Boonewell – I am so glad you are ours.Mama and daddy are going to get you a treat tonight – since we originally forgot it was your birthday this morning, and you’ll never ever even know. Basically, mom and dad still rock. Just like you. Love you Bubs.