Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Mirum Shopper on behalf of Purina, but opinions expressed are my own.
Anytime I was asked about why we didn’t have a pet, my response was always the same. “I don’t do pets or plants. I do well enough to keep all 5 of my children fed and taken care of.” To me, it was a legit reason and worked for years. Yet, as the kids grew older, two moved out, and the others started begging for a dog, I changed my mind. This past November, we surprised the girls by bringing home Cole Black.
Owning a Dog
Now, it wasn’t a decision that was taken lightly. There was tons of research into finding just the “right” dog. We looked at everything from how much each breed barked to their projected size. Once we discovered there were breeds of hypoallergenic dogs, then we started looking only at those. With Colby and the girls’ allergies, this became a priority. But, even more important was how well the dog would get along with kids. In fact, we took it a step further and looked specifically for dogs that could be trained to be service dogs. As you can see, there were so many factors that went into our 3-month search.
And then we found Cole. He is a mini goldendoodle (Golden Retriever and Poodle mix), hypoallergenic, easy to train, and extremely good with kids. Not to mention, he is perfect for service dog training if we decide to go that route.
The funny thing is, we brought Cole home for the girls. We had dreams of him sleeping with the girls, hanging out with them, just really being their dog. But no. Cole is a “daddy’s boy.” He loves Colby and follows him everywhere. He sleeps in our bedroom, often near or on Colby’s side of the bed. When Colby leaves, Cole watches intensely out the window awaiting his return. The girls are now asking for another dog that could be “theirs” since Cole clearly prefers Colby.
Crazy enough though, I found Cole incredibly therapeutic for myself. When we wanted a service dog is was mainly for Jaden. With her anxiety, we were hoping he would help ease some of that. Now, I think that he is useful for that purpose when she is able to get him to cuddle, but I never imagined how much he would help my own anxiety. Cole greets me every morning in bed. As soon as he knows I’m awake, he hops up on the bed, picks my hand up with his snout, and demands that I pet him. He will lay across my mid-section and give me his best endearing puppy dogs eyes. You know the ones. The ones you absolutely can’t say no to.
It took me about a month to warm up to this routine considering I’m not much of a morning person, but he was persistent. Now, I miss it on the morning’s he is at the groomer or stayed overnight with our oldest daughter. He got to me. Most of all, he changed me. I find that my anxiety is more manageable and I am able to feel more relaxed in tough situations when I have him near me. As I pet him, I can feel the tension leaving my body and calmness begin to take over. Considering the depths of my struggles with this disorder for my whole life, it’s incredible to see how this dog, that I fought against for so long, could have such a positive impact on my entire being.
Of course, he is extremely well-loved and completely spoiled, so we continue to give him only the best of everything. After attending the Great American PETtogether at our local Walmart, we discovered that he loves the Purina Beneful Grain Free Dog Food. I liked that it is made from real farm-raised chicken, and I think he enjoyed the fact that it is flavored with accents of blueberries, pumpkin and spinach. Other Purina products include:
- Purina ONE — emphasizes real meat, fish or poultry and targeted nutrition formulas
- Purina Dog Chow — offers the Total Care Nutrition your dog needs in the form of dry dog food targeted for your dog’s life stage
- Purina Beyond — natural ingredients that work together to deliver optimal nutrition to help your dog live a long healthy live
Join Purina in celebrating National Pet Month by participating in the Great American PETtogether at a Walmart near you!
They are hitting the road all over the country to bring free samples, pet photo opps, and more to your local Walmart. If you’re in the Dallas area, these events are coming this weekend:
- Saturday, May 27th from 11am to 3pm at 7401 Samuell Blvd, Dallas
- Sunday, May 28th from 11am to 3pm at 555 W I-30 Garland
While you’re there, grab a selfie with your pooch and share it on social media. Purina is donating $1 to the Petfinder Foundation for every pet selfie shared this month that includes the #PurinaPETtogether hashtag (up to $25,000). For more information and to see other pet-lovers’ photos, visit their website.
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