May celebrates the coming of summer, graduates, mothers and all things warm. It’s very fitting that we honor this sunny family: Bo, Natalie, Shelton,(6 on May 12th) and the two furr babies: Louie (7) and Dude (3). Bo, originally from Edmond, Oklahoma and Natalie, from Ripley, Tennessee, met while in college at Ole Miss in the late 90’s and were best friends throughout college during which time Bo began his business, Smith Lawn Management which is still his livelihood to date. For the next 11 years, while they remained in Oxford for their love of the town, their friendship eventually blossomed into something more. They began dating and in 2013 they married.
During the first few years of marriage, Louie, their Labrador Retriever, came to the family as a birthday present for Natalie. It is a running joke between her and Bo that he took her present away when he sent him to “school” just months after getting him. Louie stayed with his trainer for 6 more years running field trials, only coming home at Christmas. While he was away they had their first baby, Shelton and adopted another lab, Storm. Their sweet black lab was a brief three year addition to the family as she passed away suddenly. Within the next couple of years Bo decided that Shelton needed a dog to grow up with. Besides the sadness over the loss of Storm and absence of Louie, Natalie was busy chasing around a 2 year old and didn’t think she could commit to the added emotional and cleaning duties of another furry family member. Much to her surprise, along came Dude, their Boykin Spaniel.
When this new spaniel came to the family, he immediately became Shelton’s best friend. They decided to let Shelton select the name and he kept saying Dude. Dude it was! Like real brothers, they loved playing and doing everything together. Dude had a penchant for stealing Shelton’s socks and actually eating them, resulting in more than a few trips to the vet. He loved sleeping with Shelton but eventually had to stop because he loves chewing everything and eating all things he shouldn’t. Luckily, Louis moved back in with his family full time over a year and a half ago. Shelton once again had a sleeping buddy and everything buddy. Shelton loves both brothers so much! However, since Dude is so much more laid back and doesn’t like all of the activity, he seemed relieved to relinquish the spotlight of his attention. Louie likes to eat, sleep and retrieve the very most! Although he doesn’t like getting up too much in the morning, once awake, he is on fire for the day. Shelton loves to take both boys to retrieve bumpers in the lake. Louis could swim all day; Dude just likes to wade in the waters by the bank and watch. His name suits him well 🙂
During the family travels, the Smiths utilize Homeward Bound’s pet nanny services faithfully. The sweet nannies make sure all their needs are met and that they are loved! They are always extremely excited when their nannies come. They go get the ball and want you to play. It’s funny that Dude doesn’t like to swim in the pond, but will “swim on the floor” when they come. If they sit down all he wants is to sit in their lap and not share any of their attention with Louis who has to nudge a hand to get in there. They also make sure the boys arrive safely to and from their Spaw appointments. They are the sweetest loving boys, mainly because they have a loving mom and family. Happy Mother’s Day to Natalie and all moms! And, celebrate the warm, sunny, pet loving Smiths!