Being A Dog Mama – My First Baby is Furry
This post brought to you by Iams. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Daily Mom.
Growing up, our family always had a dog. We had two family dogs, Lupo and Scruff, and in college I took in my brother’s dog while he was deployed. As I ventured out on my own as a true adult, I never felt like I could give the time and attention that a pet deserved with my busy schedule. But then I met my husband, and things changed as I moved across the country to be with him.
The move from my current home in Virginia to California was a huge one. I was going over there blind – I had just graduated college, I had no job, and we had no place to live. Once we were settled in our apartment, I started to get depressed – a disorder I have battled my entire life and that seems to creep up during times of stress. We had lived in California for almost three months and I couldn’t find a job as a teacher. My husband was gone all day (and sometimes all week) for work and I often found myself just sitting around watching crappy reality TV. I was alone, with no friends and no family around.
My husband and I had discussed getting a dog, but we weren’t sure it was the right time. He was set to deploy and I had plans to move back to Virginia while he was gone. But he could see me slipping into depression, and he knew I needed a companion at the house to help keep me busy and happy.
One weekend my husband asked me to run some errands with him, so I reluctantly obliged – I was watching “Tori and Dean: Inn Love” and I was consumed with my popcorn. He persisted though, so off we went to what I presumed was Wal-Mart. After a few wrong turns I realized we were at the local ASPCA.
It didn’t take long for us to find our girl. Her name was Cassie, and she was timid and shy but very loving. We could tell in the meeting area that she was loyal to those that handled her, and all she wanted was to curl up on your lap and snuggle. I thought she was perfect. Soon we had the paperwork completed and we could take her home in a few days after she was spayed.
A few days later, Pendleton, the name we chose for her as my husband is active duty Marine Corps and we were stationed at Camp Pendleton, came home to stay. She was nervous but my husband took great care of her. She wanted to be by his side from the beginning, and although I wanted her to be crate trained he convinced me to allow her on the bed for the night so she wouldn’t be scared and alone.
The Sweetest Thing
Over the years every person that has come to know Pendleton has loved her. We have been told by friends that “she might go missing” because they want to take her home with them. If you sit on the floor she is convinced that it is an invitation to sit on your lap. She is a great listener and very loyal to our family. We have a 4.5 acre unfenced yard and she has never run away, despite the increasing temptation of squirrels, deer, and foxes in our woods. She does not even need to be leashed when walked – and we never trained her to do this! She loves to chase light reflections and lasers, and her favorite activity is running in our large open field with our kids as they fly kites or next to my husband while he mows.
Pendleton is now almost eight years old, which is ancient in dog years. We have done everything we can to take the best care of her, and her health is very important to us. We try to choose the best things for her to ensure that she has the longest life possible – everything from exercise to ensuring she has the comfiest spot in the house. Nutritionally speaking, however, we have made the switch to Iams for her nutritional needs during her senior years. We love it because since we’ve made the switch we have already been able to see some of Iam’s Visible Differences. Pendleton’s coat is so much softer since we made the switch, and our friends and family are always commenting on how her fur is “like a puppy.” Her energy levels have increased, and now instead of getting tired after a few minutes running in the field she can keep up with me during my daily runs. There has even been a marked difference in her digestion – she is more interested in eating and we think that’s because her food feels better. Iams is a dog food we know we can trust to help keep her healthy and strong during these last years we have with her.
From that first day home until now, Pendleton has been a huge part of our family, and one of my biggest supporters. She has been there for every deployment, and she was my company when our bed seemed empty without my husband there. She has greeted each of our three daughters as we came home from the hospital, and she has faithfully climbed the stairs to our bed each night to snuggle with us. I’ve had quite a few dogs in my life, but none of them compares to the love I have for my first baby. She is our family, and that is why we choose Iams quality dog food to keep her happy and healthy for, hopefully, several more years.
Continue to check back here at Daily Mom for how Pendleton continues to improve on her new Iams dog food, including some stories about her new found energetic behavior with a neighborhood friend!
Photo credits: Lauren Lomsdale
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Lauren is a full-time mom of three girls, who also happens to run her own in-home preschool. She loves to write, run, yoga-it-out, and keep fit. She’s kind of crunchy in her homeschooling, cloth diapering, and natural products sort of way, but she also loves Starbucks and trashy tv. For more about her internal judgments of herself and hilarious quips about motherhood, follow her on IG and Twitter @thescoopmama, fb.com/thescoopmama, as well as her website theSCOOPmama.