Being a Dog Mama- The Coolest Dog on the Block
This post brought to you by Iams. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Daily Mom.
The first time we met Pendleton we could tell she was a people person. In the meeting corral at the ASPCA, she stuck to the handler like a loyal friend, crawling into his lap for belly rubs. It didn’t take long after we got her home and settled for her to react the same way with us. Even now, almost 8 years later, she still will crawl into our laps whenever we are sitting on the floor as if she is a small shitzu instead of the 40 lb. German Shepard and Sharpei mix she is.
Pendleton behaves the same way whenever guests come into our home. She greets unfamiliar faces (and familiar ones) as if they are the greatest things to walk this earth. She will sit down next to them, waiting to be pet. She will lay down at their feet, and follow them into every room. I tease that we “obviously ignore her” because she always seeks so much attention from those she doesn’t even know! She is the same way with those in our neighborhood. She will run up to neighbors as we walk by and she is well-loved by the neighborhood kids for her sweet nature. However, her favorite friends are the neighborhood dogs. Every person in our cul-de-sac has at least one dog, and most have two. If the families are outside we will often let the dogs play together in front of someone’s house. They run, they chase, they tumble. The past few months, however, my husband and I have noticed that Pendleton hasn’t been able to keep up as well as she used to. At first we thought it was her increasing age, but after we made the switch to Iams quality dog food we noticed a marked difference in her energy levels.
A Neighborhood Playdate
We live on a large piece of property as do most of our neighbors. Our family often plays in the front yard, allowing our kids to color with chalk on the walkway or ride their bikes up and down the driveway. Pendleton is always out with us, often soaking up the sun and making me ponder how nice it must be to be a dog. Our neighbors across the way often let their dogs out front using their electric fence to keep them corralled. One day, unbeknownst to them, their electric fence had malfunctioned, allowing their two dogs to wander. Their older dog, Max, stayed faithfully on the porch laying in the sun much like Pendleton was doing. But their new puppy, a little chihuahua named Zoe, made a beeline for our house once she realized that she could escape!
Zoe is much, much smaller than Pendleton but Pendleton seemed to reign back her strength with Zoe. They played and pounced while our daughter tried to join in on the fun. Zoe ran around in circles and Pendleton would stand there, letting her nip and jump on her. My husband and I sat back, watching them play and assuming that we would take Zoe back to her house afterwards. At first Pendleton was cautious in her play, as Zoe is much smaller than any of the other neighborhood dogs, which we expected since Pendleton’s energy levels over the past few months were lower. But then something happened that we didn’t expect – Pendleton started running around our property with energy we hadn’t seen since she was a puppy!
Pendleton started by crouching down low and letting Zoe get close, but then would run off making Zoe use her little legs to try and catch her. She happily let the little chihuahua catch up to her before running off in the opposite direction. Pendleton then laid on the ground, belly up, and let Zoe pounce for a minute before she took off again, running into our field. Zoe couldn’t see above the grass so she stayed behind while Pendleton made a few runs back and forth across our two football fields length property, seemingly struck with such energy that she hadn’t experienced in years. My husband and I were baffled. At first we thought she just got really excited about having a playmate at the house for a bit, but having the neighborhood dogs over wasn’t anything new. Usually she plays for a few minutes and then just lays down trying to catch her breath.
We soon realized that the switch to Iams made a visible difference in her energy. Her stamina increased exponentially, and her endurance lasted for much longer than we were used to seeing. For a brief moment in time it was like we had the puppy back that we had adopted so many years ago. We had flashbacks to when we would take her to the dog park and long hikes as a newly married couple. It was great to see Pendleton so happy and having so much fun now that she felt better on her new food.
Doggie (and Human) Friends
We never mind having other dogs come play at our house, and Zoe isn’t the only dog that has ventured over to us. Our neighbor’s labradoodle, Hattie Mae, spent an entire two weeks sneaking out of her yard at least once per day and joining Pendleton for a romp in our woods. One of our other neighbor’s new puppy, Bear, has mysteriously shown up in our yard to play even when Pendleton is not outside. We always let the dogs play together before we take them back to their owners, and everyone is grateful that the dogs can get some energy out together.
The people and the dogs of our neighborhood know and love Pendleton for her friendly nature, willingness to always play, and her amazing loyalty. The past few times we have brought neighborhood dogs back to their homes or the dogs have played together in our cul-de-sac, our friends have mentioned how they have noticed differences in Pendleton – both in her energy level and her coat. Bear’s family has always noticed how soft Pendleton’s coat is, but after a recent playdate they asked if we switched shampoo because her coat was so much shinier and healthier. We told them no, that we just made the full switch to Iams dog food. They were shocked! We usually take Hattie Mae, our neighbor’s labradoodle, back to her house very unwillingly. She is a puppy too, and her energy levels are off the charts! She is bigger than Pendleton and we have noticed that Pendleton’s play is more reserved with her because of how intense Hattie Mae plays and her size. Just a few days ago, after finally coaxing Hattie Mae back to her family’s home, the owners texted us later that day about how Pendleton seemed to really be enjoying herself. We told them how happy we were with the switch to her new Iams dog food, and that we credit her new energy levels to that. They said they would send Hattie Mae over for more playdates because of how tuckered out she was from playing with Pendleton!
We are so happy with our switch to Iams for Pendleton. The Iams Visible Differences has made in her coat and her energy levels is undeniable. We love our sweet girl, and we would do anything to keep her happy and healthy. After 8 years with her, we have come to realize that she won’t always be able to do the things she used to and we began to change our activities with her because of her old age. However, after making the full switch to Iams, it seems we have our old Pendleton back.
Next in this series you will see how Pendleton has gone from the one I leave behind on my daily runs to the one that carries me further and faster as I train for my first half marathon, all thanks to Iams dog food.
To learn more about our story with Pendleton and how she came to be a part of our family, check out Being a Dog Mama- My First Baby is Furry here on Daily Mom!
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.