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Questions To Ask Before Getting A Family Dog

Dogs are awesome. We are dog people. To be fair, we love cats and guinea pigs and mostly all animals but dogs are our favorite. They can be excellent additions to any family. Saffaron, Lola and Stella are the best things that have happened to us. These furry friends stick by your side for their entire lives, giving you all the attention you need, through thick and thin, dogs just love you unconditionally. Honestly, humans don’t deserve dogs at all. They’re far too good for us; offering up all of their love without wanting anything but a few belly rubs and treats in return. 

Having a dog to yourself is one thing – it’s completely different if you want to get one for a family. When you have kids to think about as well, you can’t make a snap decision to just get a dog. A few key questions need to be asked and answered to help you figure out if this is the right move for you and your family. 

Do you have room for a dog?

Firstly, is there enough room in your house for a dog? You might have a relatively small home with a small backyard. It’s absolutely perfect for you and your family right now. There’s enough space for everyone, and the yard is just big enough for the kids to enjoy. 

Unfortunately, if you add a dog into the picture, the house seems a lot smaller. There’s no space for the dog to roam around during the day – particularly if it’s a fairly big one. You can’t really find anywhere to keep a dog bed and there’s certainly not enough room outside for your pooch to have a little house. 

Consequently, some families might be unable to handle a dog because there’s not enough room in the home. This does depend on the type of dog you’re thinking about getting – smaller ones don’t need that much room. However, we will talk more about dog breeds later on! 

Are you able to look after the dog?

How busy is your daily schedule? Are you packed to the brim with things to do every single day? If you already struggle to find time for yourself – which a lot of parents do struggle to do – then a dog may complicate things. Suddenly, you have another responsibility on your hands. 

Can you walk the dog regularly? Can you keep them groomed? Can you ensure they’re given all the attention they deserve? Can you afford to keep them fed, loved, and rewarded with treats when they need them? These things may not always be cheap or convenient to provide but you need to consider them. For example, you might think treats are not a necessity but Treatibles are great for training, and behavioral adjustments, some are good for joint pain, tummy issues and relieving anxiety.

Yes, you can argue that your kids should give them lots of attention. In reality, they are the ones that probably asked you to get a dog anyway! But, what if they are too young to walk the dog by themselves? They’re too little to give the dog a bath or even to feed it. So, all the responsibility falls on your shoulders. 

Okay, what if your kids are old enough to help you look after the dog. In this scenario, you still have to give them loads of attention when the kids are at school. There are many hours in the day when a dog will be left without your children to take care of it. Can you find the time in these hours to give them attention? If you work a full-time job, the answer will be a resounding no. 

Please, please, please take this into consideration before getting a dog for your family. As you can imagine, time is the number one reason people surrender dogs. Owners simply can’t find the time to give a dog the attention and care it deserves. Don’t be one of those people that gets a dog and has to give it up. It’s not nice for the dog to be taken to a new home, only to end up being abandoned at an animal shelter. 

If you want a family pet, but don’t have the time to devote many hours a day to that pet, think about getting a cat. They’re super low-maintenance and can be left for hours on end with no issues. As long as there’s water, food, and a cat flap, the cat is fine by themselves.

Why do you want a family dog?

Ask yourself, why do you want a family dog? It might seem like a strange question, but consider what has pushed you to think about bringing a furry friend to your family. Is this a decision you and your partner have been thinking about for a long time? Perhaps you had dogs before when you were growing up, and you’d love to have one for your new family to enjoy. That’s a perfectly viable reason to get a dog; you want a new addition to the family!

But, what if you’re getting one because your kids have pestered you about it. They’ve been saying they want a dog, so you’re finally thinking about caving in. If this isn’t something you and your partner are too keen on, don’t give in. 

It’s never a good idea to get anything because your kids really want it. Kids are kids, meaning they like different things all the time. They may love the idea of a dog right now, but will they still be as interested in a few weeks or months?

A dog is a long-term investment for you and your kids. Be sure that this isn’t just a phase before you decide to get one. 

Can you afford a dog?

After answering the previous questions, you’ve reached a pivotal point in the dog acquiring process. Can you actually afford the financial commitment that comes with owning a dog?

The initial costs will vary depending on how you get your dog. If you adopt, it’s completely free. If you purchase a dog from a breeder, prices depend on the specific breed of dog as well as the caliber of the breeder. 

However, these aren’t the main costs you should be worried about. Instead, you need to question if you can afford the ongoing costs of dog ownership. So, how much is this going to cost? Well, you should start by considering everything you need to buy: 

There’s a lot you need to think about, and the costs can add up to anywhere between $1,500 to $9,900 per year. That’s a lot of money that you might not be able to afford. Of course, it all depends on your financial situation. Some of you may do the calculations and figure out that you can definitely afford an extra mouth to feed. If that’s the case, you’re one step closer to owning a dog. 

If you can’t afford a dog, think about how you can save money to possibly get one in the future!

What dog breeds are good for kids/families?

You can financially afford a dog, but you’re still not ready to go out there and pick one up. Some dogs are better suited to families and young children than others. For the sake of your kid’s safety, you need to consider breeds that are suitable. Here are some of the options you should think about: 

Labrador retrievers

Labs are always popular family dogs because they have the perfect temperament for kids. They’re very patient, playful and full of love. As you can see on https://chocolatelabradorretriever.ca/lab-retriever-michigan/, you can get labrador retrievers in a range of colors, with chocolate labs being very popular these days. They do grow to be quite big, but they always retain a sense of playfulness that makes them perfect family companions. 

Boxers

Boxers are great medium-sized dogs, so they’re great to have around kids. There’s never any worry about the dogs knocking over young children, and they have a very fun-loving, bright and active demeanor that makes them ideal for a family setting. While originally a working dog, these dogs are constantly eager to play games and have fun outside. They’re a great option if you want a pet to occupy your kids for hours on end. 

Boston terriers

A small dog breed that works really well with families and children is Boston terriers. The great thing about Boston terriers is that they are pretty low-maintenance. They don’t need to be walked that much, and they’re more than happy to stay inside for hours a day. Make no mistake about it, this doesn’t mean they’re lazy creatures. They are still keen to play with your kids, they’re just easier to look after than many other dogs. 

Should you adopt or buy a dog?

The final question is whether or not you should buy a dog. It is a good idea to adopt whenever possible. However, if you are looking for a specific breed of dog – or you want a puppy from birth to raise in your family, buying from a breeder might be the better option.  After asking yourself all of these crucial questions, you will know if a family dog is the right choice or not. Furthermore, you should also know what breed of dog is the best, and whether or not you should adopt it. It is so important to think this decision through as carefully as you can. Don’t rush into things as it could mean you get a dog that ends of being put up for adoption very soon.

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things to know before getting a Dogue de Bordeaux, a French mastif

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

A couple of months ago, we were doing our regularly scheduled visit to play with puppies because puppies make us feel better about life and life has been kind of shitty these past couple of years. When completely out of character, we impulse-bought a “Dogue de Bordeaux” which I think is French for expensive ass dog but still not as expensive as its much tinier but much more expensive little cousin, the French bulldog. Apparently, if your dog is French he’s going to be adorable, lovable and expensive. These are things to know before getting a Dogue de Bordeaux, a French mastiff if you’re nasty.

The thing is you know how when you just know something is right? Like my husband said he knew right away that I was “the one”, his “soul mate”. Well, we all felt the same way about Stella (our big, beautiful, playful, sweet, lovable French mastiff). The thing is when we bought her, we had no idea what kind of breed she was which is very out of character for our family because we like to research and plan the shit out of everything.

This may have been the most spontaneous thing we’ve done in the past decade because since we had children, we’re always thinking long-term and BIG picture but not on Friday, March 11. Nope, we fell head over paws in love with Stella Coco on the spot. The Big Guy was signing paperwork before the girls and I even knew what was happening.

things to know before getting a Dogue de Bordeaux, a French mastiff

The first couple of days, not going to lie, I was having major buyer’s remorse. Remember, no idea what the Dogue de Bordeaux was before deciding to bring her home. Once I got home and Googled Dogue de Bordeaux, I scared myself because she will be the biggest dog breed we’ve ever owned with the shortest life span and she needs a lot of love and attention. Did I mention she’s only 6 months old and eats 5 cups of food a day? The vet predicts 8 cups a day by the time she is full-grown.

I was intimidated because they are also known for being great family guard dogs but that’s never been what I looked for in a dog. Our dogs are like family members. TBH, I think the Big Guy and I gravitated towards this mastiff because of her HUGE paws. When our Bella was a baby, we called her Big paws and Stella the big paw French Mastiff shares our Bella’s gentle, giant, friendly disposition. How could we not bring her home with us, she was born to be a part of our family.

things to know before getting a Dogue de Bordeaux, a French mastiff

Things to know before getting a Dogue de Bordeaux

  1. The DDB is an excellent companion, deeply devoted to her family. 23 hours of the day, she’s calm, affectionate, docile and steady. But for that one hour (at least in my experience, at the puppy stage) she can be needy, hyper and super playful but always loving. She also has a protective instinct and guards her family with courage like a boss b*tch. In my opinion, Dogues de Bordeaux are great for families with older children who won’t be easily knocked over or startled by this big dog that tends to hop when excited.
things to know before getting a Dogue de Bordeaux, a French mastif

Be warned, this gentle giant is not a pushover most of the time. Along with that mostly calm temperament comes a stubborn streak that will make a teenage girl seem easygoing, self-confident, and a tendency to dominate. However, in our house, she is very submissive to our much tinier and older Victorian bulldog, Lola. I’m not sure if it’s because Lola’s older, if it’s a doggie respect thing or if it’s the regal Bridgerton aura that Lola emits but Stell tens to just roll over and bear her belly for her big sis. Socialization and patient positive training are a must with Dogue de Bourdeauxs, much like myself, they can’t be forced to do anything. Start early—it’s easier to train a puppy than a DDB who may be bigger (and certainly stronger) than you are.

  • Dogues do very well at dog sports. While only moderately active, their willingness to learn and eagerness to please their owners make them adept at cart-pullingobedience and even therapy work.
things to know before getting a Dogue de Bordeaux, a French mastiff

Keep in mind, that exercise will tire them out so we’ve figured out that burning off some of that energy before bedtime (much like when we used to dance the sillies out with the girls) is the key to the whole family getting a good nights sleep.

  • Do not teach your cute 30 lb. puppy any habits that you wouldn’t want your 130 lb. DDB to have. We’ve always had medium-sized working dogs but never something as massive as our Stella is anticipated to be so our dog babies have always been lap dogs, even at 50 lbs. we’re made of sturdy stock but our pediatrician has assured us that this warning needs to be heeded or we will be the ones who suffer the consequences. She loves to sit on our laps, sleep across my teenager’s chest and cuddle in like she’s tiny. She is currently 60 lbs. at 7 months (honestly, she’s on the smaller size compared to other DDBs of the same age and we are fine with it) and she’s getting too strong for the girls and me to control or pick up so positive reinforcement is the trick in our house. She loves treats like they’re addictive.
  • These are tall like ridiculously tall. Our girl can stand up with her front paws at the height of our kitchen island. Did I mention
  • They drool. Apparently, they really, really drool! Our Stella is not as wrinkly as some of the others and has not started to drool uncontrollably yet. It’s coming though. She loves to fill her jaws with water and carry it across the house. Anyone who lives with a Dogue de Bordeaux quickly becomes familiar with strings of drool covering furniture, floors and walls. Be prepared that you may have to up your cleaning game. I know, sounds like a shit trade but I promise you, all the love that your French mastiff will give you will be worth every single slobbery kiss you endure. To know a dogue de Bordeaux is to love her sweet face, drool and all.
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Lola, dog, pets, dog mom, homemade dog treats, peanut butter and banana dog treats, homemade dog treats, peanut butter and banana dog treats recipe, easy dog treat recipe, A Dog's Way Home

Today, A Dog’s Way Home is opening in theaters everywhere and to celebrate, the girls and I are making our Lola some homemade peanut butter and banana dog treats. Or as my Mother-in-law calls them, cookies.

Only, this time instead of the dog treats being some kind of preservative filled meat by-product treat, it will really be a cookie. In fact, it will have some of Lola’s favorite things in it. Our dog is crazy for peanut butter and bananas, the only thing that could make it better in her eyes is if I could sneak some chicken, bacon and watermelon in it.

Lola, dog, pets, dog mom, homemade dog treats, peanut butter and banana dog treats, homemade dog treats, peanut butter and banana dog treats recipe, easy dog treat recipe, A Dog's Way Home

Lola’s peanut butter and banana dog treats are going to be homemade goodness. Honestly, I think I might have a hard time keeping the girls out of these dog treats because om gong to infuse them with cbd since I red at Pet Life Today that it has many benefits for them.

READ ALSO: Is The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up Marie Kondo Method for You? 

You all know I am in the middle of KonMari-ing my house so I don’t have lots of time to spend on baking projects. Also, did I mention that our dishwasher bit the dust this week? Oh my, it did and I’ve realized that all of those dish nights I had as a child have made me truly hate hand washing dishes. So obviously, I am trying to dirty the least amount of dishes possible but Lola is a great pup and she deserves a yummy, homemade treat. Doesn’t your pup?

This is s very simple and easy recipe. Easy enough to let the kids help and you only need to dirty one bowl, a mixing utensil and one cookie sheet. Easy Peasy. Even the littlest kids can help.

Lola, dog, pets, dog mom, homemade dog treats, peanut butter and banana dog treats, homemade dog treats, peanut butter and banana dog treats recipe, easy dog treat recipe, A Dog's Way Home

 

Lola’s Peanut Butter and Banana Dog Treats Recipe

Lola, dog, pets, dog mom, homemade dog treats, peanut butter and banana dog treats, homemade dog treats, peanut butter and banana dog treats recipe, easy dog treat recipe, A Dog's Way Home

Lola's Peanut Butter and Banana Dog Treats Recipe

Deborah Cruz
Easy, delicious homemade dog treat for your furry friend. Lola's Peanut Butter and Banana Dog Treat Recipe. So easy to make even the kids can help.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine dog treat, vegetarian
Servings 15

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup banana mashed
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • Whisk together the flour, eggs, oatmeal, peanut butter, salt, and banana in a bowl.
  • Add water as needed to help make the dough workable, but the dough should be dry and stiff. 
  • Roll the dough into a 1/2-inch-thick roll. Use your favorite cookie cutter to cut out shapes.
  • Bake in preheated oven until crisp and golden brown, about 40 minutes.
Keyword Dog treat recipe

READ ALSO: A Puppy Saves Christmas

We’d love to hear if your dog loved these dog treats as much as our Lola! #LolaApproved!

Lola, dog, pets, dog mom, homemade dog treats, peanut butter and banana dog treats, homemade dog treats, peanut butter and banana dog treats recipe, easy dog treat recipe, A Dog's Way Home 

If you give Lola’s Peanut Butter and Banana Dog Treats Recipe a try, let us know in the comments.

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A Dog's Way Home, pets, Lola, kid's crafts, art

Are you a dog person? Is your furbaby showered with love and adoration? Do you have a special voice you use to greet your four-legged friend when you get home? No shame in our game, we definitely do. We love our Lola. She truly is one of the family. I don’t know what we’d do without her and all the joy she brings with her happy tail wagging and dog kisses.

Lola was a Christmas gift for our family to ourselves after a particularly hard year. In 2012, we suffered a miscarriage and lost our first fur baby, Saffaron. We were gutted. There was so much upheaval in our lives from the losses and so much love in our hearts that needed to be given and had no place to go.

The girls had been begging for a pet to fill our dog-sized hole in our hearts. It feels weird now to think that one goes to a place to “buy” a pet, especially since they are so much an integral part of our family’s story.

Lola was like salve to our hearts. She is our constant companion and loves our daughters as fiercely as we do. When I work at my desk (or on the couch or from my bed), Lola is always beside me. When the girls are sick, she sits by them until they are well. When the Big Guy has had a particularly bad day, she knows and she lays her head in his lap and soothes his soul.

I can’t even imagine a world without Lola in it. Who knew you could love a four-legged friend as much as you love human family? But how could you not, they are always there to make the world a better place.

Gabi wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up and she has a particularly special relationship with Lola. She calls her, “my sister” and she means it. In a lot of ways, Lola has healed us as a family and there is nothing we will ever be able to do to repay her for that. For now, we love her with all that we’ve got and she does the same in return.

Gabs painted a canvas of Lola to put on her wall in her bedroom and it is adorable. I think this is a great activity for all kids to do. It gave Gabs some one-on-one time with Lola and now, she has this sweet memory of the day her and Lola sat together for an hour as she tried to get her sweet face just right. I love it. I want one for the wall in my office.

A Dog’s Way Home chronicles the heartwarming family adventure of Bella, a dog who embarks on an epic 400-mile journey home after she is separated from her beloved human. A Dog’s Way Home is based on the book by W. Bruce Cameron with an all-star cast including Ashley Judd, Jonah Hauer-King, Edward James Olmos, Alexandra Shipp, Wes Studi and Bryce Dallas Howard. Its safe to say that the dog in the movie was treated with cbd treats from Observer to reduce the anxiety of being in a film studio.

“Finding Bella” takes us on the journey of a dog trying to get back to her owner. Bryce Dallas Howard, the voice of Bella, shares the story of how Shelby the dog was rescued and goes on a journey of her own. Discover Shelby’s epic adventure as she finds her forever home and new life purpose as a therapy dog.

A Dog’s Way Home In Theaters January 11, 2019

 

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milo's kitchen, homestyle dog treats, fur baby, pet owner, pet parent

Do you consider your fur baby to be one of the family? We do. Our 5-year-old Victorian bulldog, Lola, truly does feel like our third child. We love her and she is definitely part of our family. For every celebration or milestone that happens in our family, we want to include her with a treat of her own. Recently, we discovered Milo’s Kitchen home-style dog treats at our local Meijer store and Lola loves them almost as much as we love her.

milo's kitchen, homestyle dog treats, fur baby, pet owner, pet parent

She deserves to be treated and rewarded just like the rest of us do. Lola has taught our girls not only a love of animals but a respect for all beings and a kindness towards the world. Lola is the gift of love and I think everyone should know the love of a dog and then they’d know how to put that kind of love into the world.

milo's kitchen, homestyle dog treats, fur baby, pet owner, pet parent

You see, Lola came into our lives at a time when we had a lot of love to give and a void of where to direct it. In May of 2012, I miscarried our third child. In August of that same year, we lost our beloved 13-year-old Boxer, Saffaron. For the second time in the span of one year, our family felt an incredible loss. Loss hung over our heads like a storm cloud but despite all that grief we still had so much love to give.

The girls started asking for a puppy around Thanksgiving, which by the way was the due date of when our third child would have been born. I think that made the wound in our hearts feel a little more gaping. The Big Guy and I began to give the idea some thought because we wanted to encourage the girls to heal and them wanting to move on and take a chance on loving another dog was a huge step in that direction. So on December 14, we just felt like we needed to direct all that love someplace and Lola was going to be it. The rest is history.

Lola came into our lives and filled up the hole in our family’s heart. She closed that gaping wound in our soul and she made us feel whole again. That’s a tall order for a dog. In fact, even as a lifetime dog owner, I never could have expected an animal could be such an integral part of a family but she is. She came in and healed us in ways that we didn’t even know we had been broken.

So the least we can do is give her Milo’s Kitchen home-style dog treats. They are mouthwatering treats inspired by the snack we make in our own kitchens but unlike unhealthy table food, Milo’s Kitchen home-style treats are made just for dogs with 100% real chicken, beef, duck and sweet potato and free of artificial flavors and colors. The best thing is the snacks don’t just look like jerky, sausage slices and meatballs but are actually 100% real jerky, sausage slices and meatballs.

milo's kitchen, homestyle dog treats, fur baby, pet owner, pet parent

Lola is part of our family and she deserves to be treated just as good as the rest of us. We want to keep her healthy and alive for as long as possible because we love her. Nothing says, “I love you,” more than something made with love and care.

So far, Lola’s favorite Milo’s Kitchen home-style dog treats are the Steak Griller’s Recipe with Angus Steak (Delicious, tender strips made with real Angus Steak full of beefy flavor), Premium Chicken Jerky Strips (a great-tasting, home-style recipe made with real chicken for the best mouthwatering jerky taste) and the Chicken & Apple Sausage Slices. She can’t get enough of them.

milo's kitchen, homestyle dog treats, fur baby, pet owner, pet parent

If you treat your fur baby with Milo’s Kitchen home-style dog treats or if you would like to give them a try, you can take advantage of this mPerks offer of 30% off Milo’s Kitchen home-style dog treats now through 10/7 (while supplies last) before you head into Meijer today!

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and The J.M. Smucker Company, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #miloskitchen https://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

 

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lola, Netflix, Dog , bulldog, love, family pet

My dog, Lola, is more than just a pet. She surpasses anything I would have ever imagined that a family pet could be. She is part of our family. In fact, with the girls in school all day now and the Big Guy at work, she is my closest companion and that is the reason why I give her cbd oil to enhance her well being, read more at the link to learn its benefits.

lola, Netflix, Dog , bulldog, love, family pet

Lola came into our lives one Christmas 2 years ago and filled a great big gaping hole left in our hearts from the loss of our first family dog, Saffaron. Saffy was our practice for children. She was the puppy who taught us responsibility and how to love and nurture something beyond ourselves and she returned that love ten fold.

 

We adopted Saffaron about a month into our marriage and she was our constant loyal companion for thirteen amazing years, up until the moment her heart just couldn’t go on. Saffy was with us as we moved around the country and grew from a young naïve couple into homeowners and then parents. She welcomed home each of our daughters with love and enthusiasm, gracefully moving aside as our family grew.

Saffaron,lola, Netflix, Dog , bulldog, love, family pet

Never malicious or jealous, always filled with just a little bit more love and cuddled as close as she could get to our hearts. We loved that dog. She was more than just a “dog” she was a vital part of our family. When we lost her, we lost part of ourselves and it was hard to imagine life without her cold nose and warm kisses, especially for our children who had accepted her as one of their own.

4 months later, the hole was still gaping and the wound fresher than ever. The scab has busted off and the only way to begin healing was to welcome a new canine member to our family; enter, Lola. It’s been 2 years since she came to live with us and I think we’d all agree, life is sweeter with Lola sitting next to us.

lola, Netflix, Dog , bulldog, love, family pet

 

She cuddles right up to us on Friday Family nights with her dog blanket as we gather around the coffee table playing a rousing game of Monopoly or just watching Gilmore Girls, Once Upon a Time or my daughters’ favorite new Netflix series, The Adventures of Puss in Boots. Just like next month, you can bet your sweet tukus that she will be sitting on my lap while I binge watch House of Cards Season 3 ( February 27th..Don’t miss it!)Lola is always there with us. Wherever we go in live, there she is.

lola, Netflix, Dog , bulldog, love, family pet

Dogs are smart. If I’m watching a movie that tugs at my heartstrings and I find myself crying, Lola cuddles in just a little closer and licks my hand. It’s as if she’s telling me that it’s ok. When we laugh, she doesn’t laugh but she certainly does get excited. Lola is just a much a part of our family as any one of us. And if you’ve recently adopted a dog that isn’t trained, consider professional help from Dog Works / board and train your dog in Lehi.

lola, Netflix, Dog , bulldog, love, family pe

That kind of loyalty and devotion deserves a treat.

 

Homemade Peanut Butter Cookie Treats for Your Dog

Ingredients
Vegetable oil cooking spray
2 cups whole wheat flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 cup creamy peanut butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Directions
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Spray a heavy baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray or line with a silicon baking mat. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats and baking powder. Stir in the broth and peanut butter until the mixture forms a crumbly dough. Press the dough together to form a ball.

On a lightly floured work surface, knead the dough for 30 seconds until smooth. Roll out the dough into a 10-inch circle, about 1/2-inch thick. Using a bone-shape cookie cutter, cut out bones and place on the prepared baking sheet (any scraps of dough can be formed into a ball and re-rolled). Sprinkle with the Parmesan.

Bake until light golden, 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

lola, Netflix, Dog , bulldog, love, family pet

Your four-legged family member will adore you for this treat!

Pets are part of our family. As long as these four-legged family members live with us, we are never quite alone. I don’t know about at your house, but at mine, Dog is my co-pilot in life.

lola, Netflix, Dog , bulldog, love, family pet

What makes your pet special to you?

 

Disclosure: I am a member of the Netflix StreamTeam but all love for Lola and opinions are my own!

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girl-dog-boxer-k9-advantix

As a family, we love animals. The first thing the Big Guy and I did together as a married couple was adopt a gorgeous brindle boxer puppy. We named her Saffaron and she was our first little girl; our first dip in the parenthood pond. We were young and in love and we adored this runt of the litter with the giant personality. She stole our hearts from the moment we picked her up to play with her. It was love at first sight.

Over time, she grew from the tiny puppy who could get lost amongst the blades of grass into a rambunctious, if not compact, version of her parents. Always loving and loyal, she would fiercely defend us if anyone even hinted that they might hurt us. She was doted on constantly and anywhere we went, so did our Saffaron.

I remember in those first years of marriage when finances were tight and we were moving frequently to places nowhere near anyone we knew, those trying first years full of the growing pains of married life, on those nights I’d find myself crying over the uncertainty, Saffaron would jump in the bed and lay her head on my shoulder and gently kiss my face, as to reassure me that it would all be alright. She made me smile.

On September 11th, while I sat alone in our small apartment in Greensboro, North Carolina, watching the footage play on a constant loop, trying to make sense of the world falling down around me, out of my mind with worry because my husband was working in Allentown, Pennsylvania and having no way to reach him because all the phone lines were tied up. There our Saffaron sat, always at my feet, my constant companion.

When we had our first child, Saffaron was aware of the shift in the hierarchy that inevitably comes when pet parents become parents to a tiny human for the first time. But Saffaron never let on that it bothered her at all, as I am sure that she noticed the drop in one on one time she got with us. She welcomed both of our girls home, each time, as if it were the Big Guy or I.

She loved them fiercely and in a big way. They learned to crawl by chasing her. They learned to cruise by grabbing hold of her back. They pulled her ears, chewed on her face and slapped her away and started her on the regular but she did not care in the least. She never showed her teeth, nipped or even barked at either of our girls, even when they were laying on her like a pillow or hurling baby dolls at her. She took it all and loved us unconditionally. She taught us how to care for little people and love with our everything. She taught us to be vulnerable and open and when the time came, because of her, we were better parents.

In 2012, 2 days before she turned 13, the week after our youngest started Kindergarten, 2 months after I suffered my miscarriage and again there she was at my side as I wailed and cried in the most primal way. She was not afraid. She got us through with her unwavering love and devotion.

On August 17th, our Saffaron died of complications due to pancreatitis. We had taken her to the vet and we knew that she had developed pancreatitis but she was fine and then one day, she was very ill. We lost her very quickly. It was heartbreakingly devastating for all of us. She was our first “daughter” and to lose her was one of the worst things to watch happen and to have to helplessly watch your children experience that loss was more painful than words can describe.

I thought I would never want another dog because the pain was so enormous but our girls, felt the loss and needed to feel that void of companionship and love that only a dog can provide. A few months later, our girls fell in love with a Victorian Bulldog puppy. I remembered that same feeling when first laid eyes on Saffaron. She made our lives better just by being in it. I could see it in their eyes, they were smitten and by that point there wasn’t anything I wouldn’t do to take away the pain in their face each time anyone said Saffaron’s name. That was the Christmas we brought Lola home.

The love is deep and real between our girls and Lola. She’s still a puppy and not as docile and low-key as Saffaron was but she will get there and I love watching the relationship form between the three of them and slowly, I can see the hole left by Saffaron’s passing being filled with Lola’s love. Dogs are not just man’s best friend, they are unconditional love in fur so please cherish your pets and keep them up to date on their vaccinations and well-visits.

The bond between you and your dog is a special one, and you’ll go to great lengths to keep your furry family member safe and healthy. K9 Advantix® II is a once-a-month topical application for dogs and puppies that REPELS and kills ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes.  Visit https://petparents.com/products  to learn more.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of K9 Advantix® II. The opinions and text are all mine.

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The Big Guy and I have two daughters but long before we ever had 2-legged babies, we had Saffaron, our Brindle Boxer. She was an amazing dog and she gave me a little taste of what it would be like to be a mother. She taught me to give of myself, to be selfless and to love and nurture something that was completely dependent on me. Last August, after 13 years as our first “baby”, our Saffaron died and our hearts were broken. Last Christmas Lola came into our lives.

Lola is our 13-month-old, red and white, Victorian Bulldog. She is big, beautiful, mischievous and vivacious. She brings laughter back into our home. In her old age, Saffaron was quiet, introspective and docile. Lola is nothing like Saffaron. When our daughters were little, Saffaron would let them love all over her and never with so much as a nip or Grrrr. They learned to walk holding onto Saffaron for dear life because they loved her so much they always wanted to be wherever she was. She happily accepted her new role in the family as beloved protector to the 2-legged babies. When she passed, our daughters were beside themselves. Not completely understanding their feelings about the situation, the girls asked for a new puppy.

Purina pro plan

Enter Lola, silly, funny and full of energy and life. She is fierce! She loves the girls like crazy and protect them with her life but she is still a baby herself. She has no patience for lying around or kids who want to lounge when they should be running outside. She is a herder of children only she doesn’t know her own strength and her energy is limitless. She needs lots of exercise to wind down. She loves long walks and running with wild abandon throughout the house; sometimes knocking us down in the process. In fact, they should probably change the saying to “ As graceful as a bulldog in a china shop.”

We are always looking for fun, creative, non-dangerous for us ways to get Lola outside and burn off some of that extra energy and if we get some exercise too that’s a bonus. In fact, the holidays are right around the corner so there is no time like the present to start getting into shape. Luckily, Purina, who is known for creating good things for our pets, has created Purina® Pro Plan® Fitness Group Page.

purina pro plan

This site is a partnership with MapMyFitness that many of you are probably already familiar with from your own get-in-shape efforts. The Purina® Pro Plan® Fitness Group Page challenges owners to get active with their dogs, and provides a way for us to track that activity. It’s a great thing because Lola is a part of the family and we want to keep her around for as long as we can so that means keeping us all healthy plus it’s a great example for our children. Family walks are a great way for us all to get some exercise and talk. It’s a total win-win.

lolated

From September 30 to November 13, Purina’s Leash On Challenge is… ON. We are doing it with our Lola. What about you? Join me in the Leash On Challenge here. Do it for 30 days in a row and you can earn a chance to win a year’s supply of Purina® Pro Plan® Dog Food. A whole year of free Purina dog food!

purina pro plan

Purina® ProPlan® has partnered with MapMyFitness and created the Purina® ProPlan® Fitness Group Page to get pet owner’s more active with their dogs. Check out the Fitness Group page here and start getting active with your dog today!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Purina® ProPlan® . The opinions and text are all mine.

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puppy , Christmas, Sandy Hook Elementary

Our new puppy for Christmas Came home with us on December 14th.

All my girls have been really wanting for Christmas is a puppy. I am trying to think of happy things and do things that make my children happy since last Friday. Sandy Hook Elementary is just a reminder of how precious our time is and how blessed with are to have our children with us, within hugging distance. So, I am sharing for the next 3 days, 3 things I did this year, to make my children happy. These three things made them so happy  and shocked that I have to share. Today, I am sharing a gift that we got them last Friday.

We had no idea that the events that were happening in Newtown Connecticut, we only knew that our little girls have had a hard three years and they have been begging for a new puppy since we lost our sweet Saffaron in August. It’s been a really crap year for a lot of reasons and we thought they needed a special gift to make them smile and how it did. I highly suggest to anyone whose child has ever wanted a puppy to get them one. My girls are excited to see their puppy, Lola, every day when they get home form school. They feed her and get her fresh water, they play with her and she has quickly become one of the family.

Gabi, who wants so badly to be a big sister, is thrilled to be Lola’s big sister. Bella, who has been afraid of new dogs since her Grandfather’s dog nipped her when she was 2, has had no problems cuddling and loving on her own sweet puppy. Lola, our sweet Victorian Bulldog puppy, is reveling in the love and attention that she has found her self enveloped in and we are loving having her as the newest addition to our little family.

Welcome to our family Lola puppy

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Just wondering, is there such a thing? I know yesterday was April 20th and tomorrow is Earth Day, but did I miss the memo that today was national Urination Day? I woke this morning to the sound of four little scampering feet climbing out of bed and making their way to the bathroom.( yes, we are all sleeping in my king sized bed while Daddy is out of town. Don’t judge me. I tried to keep them in their beds, it was a battle that I lost. At least if I let them in my bed,they are not waking up 20 times a night coming to get me.A Mommy needs some sleep.) Awww, how sweet I thought. One laid there quietly waiting in the bed until her sister woke up, then they both  went to potty together. About a minute into my ‘awww” the door flies open and the littler of the two screams, “Mommy, come hE-ya! Bella need you…NOW!” I figure its butt wiping time. I walk into the bathroom and step into a puddle of urine. I look up and see my 5 year old, cringing ,”Mommy, I’m sorry. I couldn’t make it.” Me: “What happened?” I am completely confused…she doesn’t pee on the floor. Then  I look on the floor and see a dry diaper in the pee puddle. Now, I am really bewildered. Gabs: “Me had to pee pee!” Bella: ” She jumped on and wouldn’t let me go.” Me: “Gabs, you had on a diaper. Bella did not. Next time, the little girl without the diaper on…goes first.OK?” Both in unison: “OK, sorry (SA- WEE). WE won’t” So, here I stand at 7:30 in the morning, unsuspectingly standing in urine. After a few minutes of toweling the mess up, changing Bella, and Swiffering the site of ‘the accident’, I decide to return all cleaning materials and soiled clothing to the laundry room. As I am making my way through the house, I step in a wet spot. Seriously? WTH? Yeah, seems my dog had the same idea as my little girls. It was a  pissing free for all. Thank God the cleaning chemicals and tools were already out. What a beautiful day; the sun is shining, the birds are singing, the sky is blue and the scent of piss is permeating my nostrils. I would have preferred coffee or bacon but hey, you take what you get. Time to get that Bissell cleaner out! Hope this isn’t setting the tone for the rest of the day? Yikes!

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