One Year with Theo

It’s been one year since we brought Theo home. Zoe and I drove to the shelter to collect him, just the two of us. She had been asking incessantly for a puppy for as long as she could verbalize it. The entire 20 minute ride from our house to the vet, she squealed in delight and yet still remarks about the raccoon that we saw on the road every single time this story is told. Significant in that her compassion for animals is second nature, and we were moments away from bringing in one of the most selfless and significant first relationships with a pet that she will have.


The truth is, Zoe had chosen a different puppy for our family. She was drawn towards the smaller breeds, the fluffy white, female, energetic ones; and while she loves Theo, he wasn’t her first choice and she reminds me of it frequently. Theo was the the shy one in his litter. I was drawn to him immediately because of that, and his eyes were and still are the most soulful that i’ve seen in a dog. He gravitated towards Beau when we visited him in his pen, and that was it for me. I had seen a connection between the two of them even then, and there wasn’t any way I was going to leave without him.


I think about our story and the attention that has found us after I posted those first few photos of Theo and Beau napping on my instagram account, and I realize that serendipity is actually quite cosmically intentional. Whatever the reason, they found each other in the most lovely way, and because of that relationship we’ve made countless connections-known and unknown-with so many wonderful souls around the globe. You’ve shared stories with me of love and loss, hope and uncertainty, sadness and joy. Somehow, like a seedling rising towards the sun from beneath a blanket of dark, the purity of love blossomed between these babies and was bestowed upon us. Like us, you have shown gratitude. Maybe in some way, the relationship and immediate connection between two different species, just babies in this world, confirms that we are all one. Perhaps in that way we can see that God exists.


Our sweet baby needed Theo in his life then, but in many ways I feel like he needs him even more now. With the introduction of Evangeline into our lives, everything that Beau knew had changed, except for his relationship and napping ritual with Theo. His constant and true friend has been there for him unwaveringly. He’s been there for all of us, even Evvie. We’re all waiting for life to calm down a bit, but I think there is some comfort in knowing that whatever the case, we have confirmation in love. And that is absolutely enough.


Join the Conversation


  • Like many, I discovered you through the photos you posted a year ago. I couldn’t stop staring at Theo and Beau, charmed by every shot. And, as I began to read your blog, I fell in love with the rest of you. Warm wishes to you and yours!

  • This may be one of the best posts you’ve ever written. Sometimes love can be so understated and unexpectedly sweet. Sometimes the inspiration of God is what guides us to see it.

  • Beautifully said! He is a very lucky dog! And the kids are adorable !

  • This is heartbreakingly beautiful. Thank you.

  • Absolutely love this story and look so forward every day to seeing the pictures on Instagram and Facebook. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • You were drawn to him and what a blessing he has been to your family in ways you could not even have imagine last year. Thank you being an advocate for shelter animals who are looking for a forever home. Please keep sharing that journey.

  • I have been a silent follower for awhile. This was such a beautiful post it brought tears to my eyes as I smiled at every picture. Thank you so much for sharing your family with us and especially the amazing connection with Beau and Theo. It’s heartwarming to know that pure love does exist.
    Blessings to you all ❀️

  • youre right, it’s Theo’s eyes. They speak love.

  • You write so beautifully and we are so lucky to enjoy every ounce of your lovely family through your blog and IG! Thank you for sharing you.

  • This post almost choked me up–I love a dogs love and how much it can mean for a kid of any age (even a kid in their 20s). Thank you for sharing theo with the world!

  • Well it was serendipity that you are the mom in this love affair because few could capture these words in picture and photos the way you have this past year. Thank you for sharing you year and family with us.
    This last picture…this one I don’t think you have post before on instagram but it is the best i every way.

  • I have had the most stressful year with my education. I have less than a year left. Everyday I have watch this journey with Theo and your family. Everyday it has been such a bright place in my life. Thank you for sharing.

  • I can’t tell you the joy and healing your photos have brought to me. We have lost two precious pet family members in the last two years. Although painful, your photos remind me why it’s worth it to bring these souls home and make them a part of us. Happy “gotcha” day, Theo! You have blessed so many. It was fate πŸ™‚

  • I first read your blog just before your big move to Santa Cruz, I was even more drawn to your blog when Theo came into your lives and the fact that you were adopting him from a shelter near and dear to my heart. As I grew up just blocks from the SPCA and often went to visit all the shelter animals. My grandmother sent in a monthly donations and had a great love for her dogs. The love a pet can bring to a family is truly a blessing. Thanks for sharing your beautiful family.

  • Beautiful. I started following you on Instagram and subscribed to your blog because Theo and Beau were so darn cute. Now I enjoy the glimpse into your life and thoroughly enjoy the wonder and joy of all of your kids and, of course, you! I love dogs and have a rescue myself who I love with my whole heart. So thank you for being such an advocate for dogs also. xoxo

  • All the way from Denmark we follow you every day – and enjoy your photos and stories. I love dogs – and it has always been a part of my life. But yet I’ve never before seen a more understanding and loving dog than Theo. Even from the long distance and only by photos I can tell he is something outstanding! He seems to have a higher connection – such a spiritual soul. As well as I enjoy to follow your adorable family – your children are so beautiful and loving. All the best to you all – lot’s of love <3 <3 <3

  • I’m sitting in the office and I’m almost crying. Your writing is so sweet and your photos are lovely! Love your blog and your insta and especially the theo & the kids stories.

  • I can’t believe it’s been a year since we met Theo and Beau. I thought as the two grew older and perhaps less cute, the tears would stop. But the tears came freely with this post both at the passing of time, and at the innocence and purity of their love. No matter how chaotic your life can be, I can tell through your images that you take time every day to savor the preciousness of it all. That is just one of the many ways we honor God. At various points in our lives, we all need to be “saved,” and please know that the impact your photos and blogs have had on us is immeasurable. I hope you know that we are here for you too.

  • Happy adoption anniversary! What a beautiful story of love for all of you. You are truly blessed by a one of a kind dog, and we are blessed to see the wonderful pictures capturing this love. Thanks for sharing the beautiful images with us! πŸ™‚

  • I fell in love with Theo and Beau when their first picture went viral and I have been telling everyone I know to go to your intstagram ever since. This post brought tears to my eyes and I thank you for that!!!!

  • Welcome to Canada! We cooked up some chilly weather for you this morning to remind you of NYC πŸ™‚ I saw you on Canada AM this morning and you did a wonderful job. Good luck on the Cheerio’s campaign!
    Much love from Toronto πŸ™‚

  • I love seeing your Instagram and Facebook posts and reading your blog. Your way with words and images is inspiring. I cannot tell you how many times I have nodded my head, laughed out loud, or smiled through tears. Thank you for sharing yourself and your family with us. It makes me feel less alone as I navigate mommyhood with all its joys and struggles.

  • thank you so much for brightening our last year with your pictures of Theo and Beau, and allowing us to get to know you and your family though your words . It has been a great year, your IG and blog make us smile, laugh, cry, think and they inspire us. Your last year may have been full of changes, but I believe you have also brought about change through your posts. Happy anniversary to Theo and his loving family.

  • I fell in love with the photos of Theo and Beau, and after finding your blog fell in love with you and your family. I look forward to seeing your daily posts. Thank you for sharing with us. It is a real pleasure to see the love shared by all of you.

  • Dogs bring such simplicity & honesty to life. They teach us humanity like no human can. You’ve given your family such a gift – love & friendship in its purest form. Thank you for sharing & spreading this goodness.

  • Your pictures are like air to my spirit – thank you again for sharing Theo and Beau’s beautiful, loving relationship with us. I always say, it’s no coincidence that dog is God spelled backwards. Many blessings to you and your whole family.

  • You are such a wonderful writer and this is a beautiful story.

  • When my Odie passed away almost 2 years ago, everyone told me how lucky he was to have me as his mom. I always replied with, “I was the lucky one.” But, I don’t really think it’s luck that plays into it either. I believe it is divine intervention. It’s so amazing how these special, loyal dogs become a member of your family…they help you to be a better person. While Theo is lucky to have found such a beautiful loving family, indeed, you are the lucky ones.

  • Thank you for Theo & Beau and Theo and Evangeline!!!

    a true love story……………………………..

  • So special. Thank you for sharing this beautiful relationship with the world. The truth is, these animals choose us, they just let us believe we’ve chosen them ; )

  • This post made me cry, I absolutely understand that love, I have that with my puppy and I believe that this love that they give to us is the purest love anyone can have! May God bless you and your family!

  • So sweet to see how much Theo and Beau have grown over the past year! Thanks for sharing these pictures with all of us.

  • Thank you so much for sharing the wonderful bond between Theo and Beau. About a year ago, we lost our beloved vizsla Sadie. She was just everything to our family and while we still feel the emptiness of her loss, its really inspiring to see Theo and how he’s transitioned so wonderfully into your home. All the best to you and your family!

  • It seems to me that your family, pets included, is a gathering of very special souls. The picture of Zoe kissing Theo is priceless. The last picture is the best of the Beau & Theo saga so far. I have been following your blog because I stumbled on the photos of these two adorable beings already a year ago. You are a very gifted writer Jessica and a great person. I like your view on life and devotion to your family. On the surface we have nothing in common but then I realized that we do and it’s love. I am an artist and my subject in my paintings is love. As such your blog is something I look forward to read it inspire me. Love is always present. Thank you for sharing your life with us. You are making a difference, a positive and loving one. Best wishes from Italy.

  • Shed a few tears reading this blog today and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I feel so lucky to have found you and your amazing family. Your pictures bring so much joy to so many and your writings truly touch my heart. Bless you all….

  • Yep, my favorite post so far. Melt. My. Heart.

  • I, too, found you through your IG and received many emails saying “You have to see this boy and his puppy!” How your photos and stories have warmed my heart.

    When you said that Beau maybe needs Theo more now than ever, I wonder if you must have gotten Theo when you did so that Theo could earn Beau’s trust and love to prepare him for the coming baby. I wonder this because a very special dog came into my life in a similar way… to prepare me, I think, for a baby. It all works out as it’s meant to and you have such a beautiful story and so much love. Thank you for sharing with us.

  • When will I be able to read these posts without weeping?

  • Absolutely wonderful. I didn’t grow up loving dogs, or even liking them. But once two little puppies came into my life, well things changed. I went from carrying them home in a box…so they didn’t wee on me…to sleeping with them. Those two wonderful pups have passed on and we have three more now. I’m so glad your family has Theo and vice versa. What a lucky family and a blessed dog!

  • Your most beautiful post yet. I want to keep it so I can read it at those times when life makes no sense to remind me of what really matters. Thank you.

  • i love how you mention his “soulful eyes”! Theo reminds me of my dog, as people have described my Franklin as having soulful eyes as well. Thanks for sharing your great story!

  • I love this post. Left me with tears, so sweet. I adopted my dog, Riley, from a shelter 3 years ago. He brings nothing but pure joy to my life. I savor and am thankful for him every day. So much so, that I often think what a better place the world would be if everyone had a Riley. Your Riley is Theo.

  • Tuesday will be 9 years since my own puppy came home from the shelter. Like Theo, Sully is my nap time companion and sometimes the only constancy in my life. In the past 9 years I’ve been through quite a lot- lots of loss, diagnosis with a severe chronic disease, neurosurgery, and more. Through it all Sully has been by my side, keeping me company during my naps and giving back the kind of love that only a dog can give. A crazy dog for a crazy girl, but I wouldn’t change our story. Sully is my heart. ❀️

  • Tearing up here. I am constantly amazed at what Theo (not my first name choice, if you remember) has brought to your family. xoxo

  • what a beautiful partnership they have…. im so happy for both of them…. πŸ™‚

  • This story captured my heart, as it did with so many. I am sitting here feeding my newborn Harry whilst my three beautiful rescue dogs sit at my feet. Your family is wonderful , I love seeing your pictures everyday, reading up on your new adventures and seeing those four gorgeous children grow and one very special fur baby!! I can’t wait for the book to come out… Much love from Australia

  • It feels funny to be writing to you as I feel as if we’ve been close friends forever. I’ll bet countless of your followers feel the same.

    If I had to think of one word to relate to you, it would have to be gratitude, as I am so very grateful at the way you’ve so generously shared your beautiful family with us all. I’m loving getting to know each and every family member through your beautiful photographs and, while I was sure the novelty of these pictures would have worn off by now, I’m as captivated now as I was from the start.

    Unlike the fans who look out for your photographs and posts every day, I discipline myself NOT to look, and instead wait till a few have accumulated and then I go on a binge. I love the variety and now, with Theo forming a bond with your sweet baby princess, we have an entirely new relationship to follow.

    Like you, I’ve seen firsthand what a blessing a dog is to a family, and fully appreciate its therapeutic value. I have a son who stutters, and it’s uncanny to see how he speaks perfectly when talking to our dog, and how even absentmindedly patting him as he talks has an immediate effect on his speech.

    I’ll leave you with a funny, true story that you will surely appreciate. A couple with 4 kids and a dog were asked one day how they had managed to make their marriage work for so long. They answered honestly that they decided early on that, whoever left the marriage, had to take the kids. So neither was prepared to leave!

    Again, a heartfelt thank you for your efforts, speaking on behalf of ALL your fans and friends around the world.

    With love from Lisa in Hod Hasharon, Israel.

  • My heart! I love this post. I am curled up with my rescue pup who has brought me so much more love than I knew I needed. As we await the arrival of our new babe in the next couple of months , I am tearing up thinking about how love finds a way to exist in all circumstances. The world can be a really beautiful place. Thanks for making me remember that. Xo

  • Every time you talk about Theo I just erupt in tears! Absolutely love the story and love the posts of Theo. I do believe that God created dogs to be our “best friends” who just listen, comfort, and love. We love our rescue dog and can’t imagine life without her!

  • My granddaughter is afraid of dogs, so I love showing your photos to her. Hopefully it will lessen her fear! The pictures are so sweet.

  • When we brought our son home from the hospital, we had adopted an100#stray chocolate lab. From the moment Beau saw Justin, he was smitten and we had many similar naptimes…imagine the baby laying across the dog’s tummy. Beau would not move until Justin stirred and woke. We have had a lot of pets but our Ole southern gentleman was loved by all who met him. Everyone would say “we want a dog JUST like Beau” I would reply…pay your dues and yours will grow into this. Beau was a champion counter surfer and once ate a whole Christmas pound cake on Christmas eve! It makes my heart happy to see another child and his first best friend and floods my soul with sweet memories!

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