Browsing Tag

Dogs

FUR BABY: GATSBY

How Not To Forget About Your Fur Baby On Valentine’s Day

February is all talks about love. Whether you’re dodging it and celebrating “gal-entines day” or celebrating it with your one and only. If you know me, I have to include Gatsby in everything as well. Here’s some ways to show your fur baby some extra love + to make them feel included in the love fest all month long.

Talk to them. Some people may say I’m crazy for this, but I don’t care. I’m known for my “Gatsby voice” and I talk to Gatsby all the time. I know he likes it, and can understand because his ears will purk up, or he’ll open his eyes. We all know, dogs are pretty much human, and 100% apart of the family.

Play with them. Grab their toys and have a tug-a-war marathon, chase them around the house like a crazy person, play fetch, and watch their tail go wild.

Teach them a new trick. They think it’s fun, we think it’s fun, and it always stimulates their mind. Working your fur baby’s mind is SO important because it wears them out and let’s you create a special bond with each other.

Brush them, and make them handsome/pretty. Letting them know that you care about their hygiene is a simple way, you’ll often see them licking their paws. By you brushing them, it keeps them healthier longer, as well as I know Gatsby always thanks me by licking my hands after I’m done brushing him.

Go on an adventure. Time spent with them goes a long way. Maybe your pup loves hiking, going to the park, running on the beach. Make an effort to take them with you, even just one time. And you’ll be able to tell how happy they are!

Show them extra affection. The kisses, the belly rubs, the cuddles, the hugs. Every dog is different? What does yours like? Take that and run. Maybe yours doesn’t like to be cuddled but loves belly rubs! That’s fine, they’re just like us- and every fur baby is different.

If you think about it, we’re all they have. Our time. Our energy. Our effort. Our love. While we have work, friends, our loves, our hobbies, activities + THEM! We need to make it known to them that we love them just as much as they love us.

Gatsby is the neediest dog ever, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. He wants to be by my side at all times, and even better for him if I’m talking or petting him. If you have other ways to show your fur baby a little extra love- I’m always up for new ideas, and trust me, Gatsby is too.

~ XOXO, Amanda & the needy boy Gatsby

FUR BABY: GATSBY

Why I Think I Got The Best Dog Ever

I’m starting to see a reoccurring theme on a lot of my posts having Gatsby in them, but I’ve also come to realize that I just can’t help it! He makes himself always noticed, and he can’t help that! He thinks he’s invisible and unless he’s touching you, you don’t know he’s there.

So here’s to Gatsby, and how I think I got the best dog ever. And what I did when he was a puppy to ensure that he would be the best, I’m not biased at all 😉

First and foremost: Training. I have to admit, I had NO IDEA what I was doing with a puppy. I think the training was more to train me on how to be a dog mom. But I made it my job! And of course Gatsby being so treat oriented helped my cause a lot. My biggest piece of advice with the training is to make sure everyone is on the same page. My parents helped me a lot with him, so I had to train them on what I was trained to do.

Also, (I lied I have another) stay consistent. For example, with walking, “sometimes” not being strict on him pulling, and sometimes it was okay. Would have taught him that he can test his boundaries.

People asked me why I was so insistent on training..well I knew if I put in the time and effort with him as a puppy, it would pay off as he got older. And it has, he listens so well, and knows his boundaries and what I expect from him.

Still after 3 years, I take him to training. He is right now in a canine good citizen (CGC) prep class. Keeping his body and brain active and hopefully becoming even better!

Next: Socialization. I took him everywhere I could, and still do. He met everything- people, animals, kids, you name it. He learned how to behave in crowds like farmers markets, and he learned how to be with kids, he sat there (most times rolled onto his belly) and let them poke his eyes, stick his fingers in his mouth, and yes, sometimes giving me puppy dog eyes to save him.

I think as a puppy this is really important because dogs are social like people (especially Goldens) and if you have a person in the house they become scared of things they don’t see/know.

Gatsby learned “Go say hi” meaning even though you are scared of it, trust me, it’s okay. Trash trucks was Gatsby’s biggest go say hi fear conqueror.

Third: I gave Gatsby my time. And I still do. Not only did I take him places, but I worked with him on his training, do things I know he loves like throwing the ball or wrestling. With time, you gain each other’s trust, and with that you have everything. I know in situations he trusts me to show him what to do, he comes and sits at my feet when he is unsure. I know how he will behave in situations as well, if a dog lunges or growls at him, I know he’ll do it right back.

Last but not least: Pick the right one. I knew I wanted a golden. They are SO beyond adorable (especially when they are fat puppies) and they are a great social dog. There are sooo many breeds out there, you have to do your research. And there are sooo many dogs in shelters that need homes (I got Gatsby from a breeder so I can’t really speak much to that). But I did look at shelters, and knowing I wanted a golden, I was told the goldens go to homes in 2o minutes because they are hardly ever turned in, and are so popular (wonder why).

STORYTIME: When I got Gatsby I like to say it was love at first lick, I knew I wanted a boy ’cause I already had the name. He was so fat and chubby. The breeder didn’t feed the pups that morning in case they were to get car sick on the way home.

So I saw Gatsby and would go pick him up and he would go right back to sitting by his food (not much has changed) but one time when I did that he didn’t, and licked me! I was like YES COME HOME WITH ME! And the rest is history.

I’m dying inside a little just reliving the cuteness, AH! 

Bottom line: If you are generous with your time and affection, your dog will see that and want to listen and please you. If you take the time to train your dog when they are young, and keep reinforcing the behaviors you want, they will remember them and will become second nature.

~ XOXO, Amanda & Gatsby

FUR BABY: GATSBY

Top 6 Reasons Getting A Dog In My Twenties Was The Best Decision

Okay, obviously this is no news to any of you if you see any of my posts on instagram that I am in face obsessed with my dog, my saving grace? Meet him and you will be too. He’s taught me so much, and there are so many reasons people will tell you not to get a dog in your twenties, especially a puppy. Here’s my top 6, and I guarantee you’ll look back on the decision and realize it was the best thing you’ve ever done. Don’t believe me? You will, there’s a reason why dogs are man’s best friend.

I had always wanted a dog growing up, my neighbors had them, my cousins had them, and I loved them. But it still wasn’t the same as having my own. I thought my parents were just being unreasonable and stubborn. Then as I got older and could financially make the decision to get one, there wasn’t a decision. And just like that, fur baby Gatsby was mine.

  1. People will tell you, they’re a lot of work. Yes, there is NO DOUBT about that. But what people also don’t tell you is that it’s the most rewarding work you’ll ever do. It was so fun taking Gatsby to puppy classes and having him get so excited to learn. And it was even better to take your 4 month old puppy out and not walk him on a leash and have him listen to your commands- sit, stay, lay down. The basics!

2. You’ll create a bond you never knew existed. Along with a true understanding of unconditional love. Let’s face it adulting is hard. Everything changes in your life, and the dog? Well, they’ll be there for it all. The after college depression where you have no choice but to try this adulting thing out (over 2 years later i’m still trying over here people.) But the hard days, where you want to quit life, you had no idea why your boss was so frustrated with you, or a boy was mean to you, again. Walk in the door and he’s SO EXCITED and there was no one else who he’d want to see come through that door.

3. It’s expensive, yes, dogs aren’t “cheap.” But with that  being said, you will always find a way, cause you know there isn’t a different way. It will teach you to be responsible with your finances and making different priorities for where your income goes. I got Gatsby from a breeder, so I paid the bucks for him. But there are so many different options like rescuing a pup- or even a little older dog, where you can get every benefit from having a dog without paying top dollar.

4. They will teach you responsibility. You don’t have a choice but to make time for them, you decided to get them, they did not decide to pop into your life.  And if you decide not to spend time with them all day, they’ll be bouncing off the walls all night. You want to go out with your friends right after work? Oh whoops, sorry guys I’ll meet up with you later because I have to let out the dog. You wanna go straight home after a long day? Well sorry, your dog needs food. You make it work, cause you love them and it’s suddenly not a burden or a chore. It’s life.

5. You’ll create a new fashion style: dog hair. I have a golden retriever, so obviously you can’t run from the hair. A lint roller? Yeah that’s a nice thought but have you had a north face vs. a golden? I’ll let your imagination wander on who will always win that one. You want to sit in the back seat of my car in a black or dark shirt? Fine, by all means, but I’ll hand you the lint roller as you get out. At work people who don’t know Gatsby (they exist) will tell me I’m shedding. I laugh, and wave my white flag.

6. You’ll always have someone to do something with. My new favorite places to go are dog friendly ones! Restaurants, activities, you name it. I use Gatsby as an excuse to do (or not do) so many things. “Sorry I can’t I have to hangout with my dog” seems to be a reoccurring theme in my life.

All in all, I love my fur baby more than life itself and should probably include him in my will now that I think about it…

 

~ XOXO, Amanda & Gatsby