Four years ago, I adopted the sweetest little black puppy from the Greater Charlotte SPCA. Her name is Isabella. I had recently graduated from college, had started my career in digital marketing and Bella was my right-hand lady.
She went EVERYWHERE with me - to work, to friends’ houses, on dates, to parties, to restaurants, on vacations - if I was going, the Bean, as I affectionately call her, was going too! With her sheer beauty, calm disposition, athleticism, slightly judgmental attitude, and charming personality, it’s impossible not to fall in love with Bella.
I was obsessed. I mean, I was always a crazy dog lady. Growing up, my family always had pups, but they primarily stayed outside, and my brothers and I split the responsibility of taking care of them under the watchful eye of my mother who made all the calls.
This time was different. Isabella was all mine. Mine to play with. Mine to train. Mine to take care of. Mine to protect. Mine to love.
Fast forward a few years, and Bean and I met the most perfect, loving man who would become my husband and her daddy. To further solidify his place in our hearts, he got us the greatest Christmas present one could ever receive - Penelope Rose.
Penny is like a cartoon, in both personality and appearance. She’s sweet but spicy, she snores all day regardless of if she’s sleeping, she runs fast as lightning despite her stumpy legs, she burrows in and under everything, she’s deceptively heavy for her size (solid muscle, mind you), and she has cat-like tendencies.
Lovingly referred to as “Poo” (Oh yes, there’s a story there!), she brought colors to our lives that we didn’t know we were missing.
As I mentioned, I became obsessed when I adopted Isabella. I fell in love with her the moment I saw her listing in PetFinder, and the moment she bounded into my arms when we first met, that love turned into a deep, fiery love… a puppy mother’s love.
The unfortunate thing with our pups is their life is only a short portion of our own. Thinking about how Bean will only be in my life for around 15 years has made my eyes well up with tears since the moment she became mine.
I was and still am determined to make her years full. I wanted to give her more than she’s given me. I wanted to pour into her more than all she’s poured into me. I wanted her life to be filled with adventures and joy and love. So, I set out on that mission… and not without a few “you’re crazy” comments along the way.
So, here I am, four years into a lifetime with Isabella, and one year into a lifetime with Penelope. And I’ve learned a lot along the way - about training, disciplining and rewarding, care, grooming, traveling, trust, fear, patience, love - the list goes on and on.
Bean’s not like most dogs. Raising her has been very different than raising other dogs (I know this because Penny is like most dogs, ha!). Although I did tons of research and gained plenty of professional advice along the way, I also learned so much from studying my girls and working with them hands-on.
Over the past several years, I get asked a lot of questions about my life with Isabella and Penelope. They are two very unique characters and my lifestyle with these two isn’t exactly your normal “family has two dogs” kind of story.
So, that’s what this blog is here to do - share our story. Share our journey. Share what I’ve learned along the way. Share training tips. Share products I truly believe in. Share answers to questions… and ask a few of my own. Share the funny situations and the hard ones. Share great dog-friendly places we travel to, and the gems right here in our hometown of Charlotte, NC. And to share anything and everything in between!
I’m excited to share our adventures with you all. Even more, I’m excited to share Isabella and Penelope with you all. These girls are two of the greatest loves in my life, and it’s an honor to tell our stories to you.
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