Throwback Thursday & Happy Birthday to my Zoe!

Look at this little precious puppy!

She’s our “empty nest dog” and she turns two years old today.

Happy birthday, Zoe Isabelle!

Y’all… If you had told me three years ago that I’d love an animal like I love this one, I would have laughed out loud!!! I’m the furtherst person from an “animal lover” – but I sure love this one!  Zoe was everything I prayed for (except for two things: she sheds more than I expected, and she doesn’t have enough top hair to consistently wear a bow… but that’s ok.  She sweetly more than makes up for those tiny flaws – haha).

If you’ll indulge me, I’ll share the original post where you and Zoe first met. She was sitting right at my left arm with her head resting on my laptop as I typed it. (We have since worked out a more comfortable position for both of us, PTL!) 😉

Throwback Thursday: And They Call it Puppy Love


That’s just what we have here in the Walker household. A precious 10 week old puppy that we named Zoe Isabelle.

Happy birthday, Zoe Isabelle!

Anyone who personally knows me knows that I’m not what anyone would call an “animal lover.” In fact, I’ve only loved one animal in my entire life until last week. Now, I find myself head over heels with this sweet little puppy!

Happy birthday, Zoe Isabelle!

Zoe is an answer to almost 5 years of prayer. In looking toward the future, I began to ask the Lord for a little white fluffy lap content, non-shedding, sweet dog to love on as my nest became empty. With both children so close in age and grade, our child rearing years will have been relatively short when compared to friends who have more than two children, or whose children are spaced further apart. I knew that all too soon my arms and home would be empty… So000… I started praying for an “empty nest dog.” 🙂

Happy birthday, Zoe Isabelle!

I did the same thing back in 1991-92. I was living by myself in a one-room apartment outside of Memphis and craved sharing my days with another. So I prayed for either a dog, a roommate, or a husband. And in a string of little unexpected miracles, God provided all three within a year. I met and married my husband (full story here) within a little over 7 months (husband, roommate) and on our 1st year anniversary, we adopted a beautiful white fluffy Maltese named Prissy (dog). She wore bows in her hair that matched my daily outfits. She was my first child. Never before or since have I loved an animal like I loved Prissy… until now.

Happy birthday, Zoe Isabelle!

I wasn’t expecting such an addition to our family for two more years… but my sweet husband and the Lord had other plans. James is on the e-mail list of different animal adoption sites, and over the past year we applied (and were turned down for) eight different dogs. I poured my heart out on those applications, explaining how loved and cared for the animal would be… and every time we were rejected! Apparently because we don’t have a fully fenced in back yard, we never qualified. Never mind that I don’t ever plan on leaving the dog outside and unattended – that’s how they get dirty and start to smell like a dog! haha.

Happy birthday, Zoe Isabelle!

Anyway… Last week, James handed me a piece of paper with the most precious picture on it and said, “Happy Early Birthday!”


He had personally called the contact of one of the adoption agencies (East Mississippi Animal Rescue) and explained our desire for a dog and the problems we’ve had in adopting one… and she approved our application! Within four days, we had this 10 week old Beatzu (a Shih Tzu and Beagle mix) cutie-pie in our arms!

1st pic with Zoe

Our first picture with Zoe, thanks to East Mississippi Animal Rescue‘s FB page.

Zoe's family of four

Zoe’s brothers and sister. Aren’t they all adorable??? (Zoe is the one on the bottom right.) The two male dogs (left two) look more like beagles, and the girls look more like shitzus.

Abigail and I looked through all kinds of names websites to find something that was meaningful and fitting to Zoe’s personality, and together we finally settled on Zoe Isabelle. Zoe means “life” and Isabelle is a derivative of Elizabeth, which means “God’s promise.” So Zoe Isabelle has come to mean “God’s promise of life” in a house that will soon be empty.

Happy birthday, Zoe Isabelle!

Zoe has been the sweetest dog and God has blessed us so much already with her presence in our home. She is doing wonderfully with her crate-training and is catching on to many other things quickly.

Happy birthday, Zoe Isabelle!

I can’t help but wonder if someone is thinking, “If you’ve got that much love to give, why not adopt a child instead of a dog?!?” I’ll confess that James and I would agree with that question. But God has not called us to adopt a child at this time… just a dog. And we give Him the glory for this new addition to our family, and pray that God will use Zoe for His purposes and joy… which He will… because that’s one of those requests along the lines of God’s Word (Rom. 8:28).

So… Zoe is God’s promise of life in our home, and has been the most precious gift. I can’t get enough of her. However, my sister begged me not to start “quoting” the dog on facebook! haha. I promise to do my best to restrain myself from that. 😉

It’s puppy love at the Walker home, and we thank God for this sweet little blessing. Thanks for letting me share her with you.

Happy birthday, Zoe Isabelle!



OK… after two years, I have to admit that I’ve not trained her as I had intended.  I’m still trying to finish training my children.  I guess that when they leave the nest, then I’ll work on training my dog.  (grin)  Though the family dramatically complains about her from time to time, she is loved by all.

Happy birthday, little Zoe.  I’m thanking God for bringing you into our home. 🙂

My Bible Study companion.

She LOVES to wear her pjs!  Seriously!

Dog in pajamas.

Dog in pajamas and sweater.

Zoe and Nathan chilling’ in their toboggans.

Dog in toboggan.
James and Zoe in a deep conversation. 😉

Zoe and Memphis James in deep conversation.
Me and my two best girls last Mother’s Day.  {JK, Abigail.  Really… Me, my best girl, and my best doggy.  I’ll always love you more, Ab!}

Jennifer Crawford Walker.

About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two college kids, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at