It’s said in older tradition that your dog is your soul mate in life, your partner. When your dog passes, it’s soul is passed on to another dog and your souls will reunite. I always found this comforting. I know that Tinsel and I only have a certain time together in this life time, so I spend every day making sure I am giving her the best life possible.
Just a little background.
Tinsel and I met six years ago, when I was volunteering at an animal shelter. Our souls met and it was one of those “there you are” moments in life. We have been attached by the hip ever since.
If you are a new rescue parent or you decided to pay for a puppy (don’t honestly get me started on that) there are probably a few basic things you should know about proper care for your new family member.
FIRST: Tinsel is a pretty big girl, weighing in at about 70 pounds. She takes a lot of physical stimulation to keep her happy. I sacrifice up thirty minutes of my morning, waking up around 5:15 AM to take her on a walk. Tinsel and I walk about 2.5-3 miles each morning. This is all part of my husband and my morning routine to keep our house running smooth you can read about that here.
This does two very important things:
- It wears down her nails, so we never have to trim them. Less work for me, less stress for her.
- It also makes it so we do not have to kennel her. Which I find the practice of kenneling your dog HORRIBLE. That said, YES you should have a “safe space” for your dog like a kennel or for Tinsel a nice quite dog bed in our walk in closet. This her space and she is free to come and go, I never enter her space nor do I force her to go in it; with us it’s all about mutual respect. My dog is well rested, so she just relaxes at home until we get back from work. Other than her teething when she was a pup, Tinsel has never had ONE accident or chewed up anything in my home.
SECOND: I feed her well but I am restrictive. Tinsel eats all natural, organic kibble that we pick up in bulk from BJ’s Wholesale. Again, with our relationship it’s all about respect. She waits patiently for me to pour her food and then “release her” to eat it.
Practicing this does one very important thing:
- She learns to wait to be told to eat. No matter if I drop something on the floor or give her a treat, she waits and respects my space until I’m ready to give it to her.
THIRD: Mental stimulation. Sometimes…..she gets on my nerves. She wants to cuddle constantly when I’m trying to work and well….I love her but…IT GETS OLD. So I’ve come up with games she can play on her own. This way she’s happy/busy and I don’t feel so guilty about not paying her enough attention. You can see all of my DIY Puppy Games here.
I know my time is limited with Tinsel, so I try and make sure each day is the best for her. I make sure that most of my travels she can come with and we find hobbies we like to do together like hiking! Read our latest hiking trip here, seriously we have been OBSESSED with this hiking trail.
Are there any special traditions you do with your pup? Honestly – I just want to see pictures of your little ones below! Oh and be sure to hover of the image and Pin It! for later!