Turning One

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In the year prior to graduating college I had this undesirable urge to have a dog not like a small dog but a big one that will play fetch and keep your feet warm while you work and make a huge splash in the lake. I cannot explain it but I could not wait to graduate so I could have a furry friend. All while at the same time I was rapidly falling in love with Mike who also truly wanted a dog as well. So once we walked across that stage our search began to find the right dog for us and our future. Ideally we probably should have gotten a smaller dog considering we would love to live in some cool loft apartment, but we opted for a Golden Retriever, who can wear accessories like a flea collar. My family has one and though she has her quirks she is a great companion.

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Little did I know when I was graduating on May 9th that my little friend was coming into the world and we found her in the paper only a month later. I went and picked her out when she was but 4 weeks old and I remember how right when I walked into the kennel she was sitting there perfectly looking at me and I knew she was the one.
So we picked her up on June 27th (the same day Mike and I got engaged) and we know now that our lives would have felt a little empty without her. I have never felt quite the connection with any other animal like I do her and I know that is silly cause I believe animals should be animals but it is strangest thing. Mike always jokes that she is me 100% down to the looks she gives and how she gets excited about the silliest things. I love her more now than even the day I picked her out. She has taught me so much about trust, humbleness, and true pure affection. She does not leave my side all day while I work and in the morning she patiently waits for me to wake up even though she cannot wait to get up and say hi. The relationship between a dog and it’s owner is the most unique relationship that is more rewarding than I ever expected it to be.
There is no doubt in my mind that she was created just to be my companion. She makes me smile everyday and is one of the biggest blessings in my life. The wonder of her is she was born the day Mike and I’s life closed one chapter and began another and we picked her up on the day we made the biggest commitment of our lives to each other, which to me means a lot.
There are tons of things that warm our hearts about Nellie from her intense interest in birds, her constant desire to be close to us, her belief that pets are more important than food, her strong desire to cuddle and how she pouts if she doesn’t get them, her love for large stuffed animals, her torturing of the cat, and especially her idea that she is super woman.
Mike and I look forward to the memories she will be apart of in our lives, the changes she will accomplish with us, and the wonderful full life that we will provide each other.
So in honor of Nellie Anne (named after both of our great grandmothers) I want to show some photos from over the year of her growing into the beautiful and fun dog she has since she joined our family. Happy Birthday Nellie!
If you cannot tell I am pretty crazy about her…excuse the large amount of photos.




















Hello! I’m Megan Gilger,

A strong believer that nature and the seasons are our greatest teachers. We live on a hill in Leelanau County, Michigan just a stone’s throw from Lake Michigan. This land we are responsible for is where we are focused on building a life around the seasons and intention. We spend our days here building a regenerative model of living and focusing our garden on native plants and intensive polyculture planting styles. My focus is less on self-sufficiency and more on community-sufficiency through how we grow and connect through the seasons.
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