Getting a Dog, 1 Year Later

One year ago today, we brought home Cassidy, our adorable Yellow Lab.

Over the last year, we’ve discovered that she thinks she is one of us, so sleeps with her head on our pillow, snuggled up between us. She’ll do anything for a treat and loves to run in the park. She will eat and destroy any toy that is not her galileo bone or Kong treat toy, but doesn’t touch anything in the house. She’s a smart girl and pretty disciplined: once she figured out how to get out of her crate (one month after coming to our house), we realized it wasn’t to ruin the house while we were gone, but because she preferred snoozing on the couch in the back porch.

Cass on "her" sofa

She gives Luda a head bath and lets other dogs take the lead during playtime. She doesn’t like (human) strangers, but is getting better (we took her to the Canine Coach, and it turned it all around). When we first got her, there was a lot to take in, so if you’re thinking about getting a puppy, here’s what I wish I knew then:

Where to Go
Chuck & Don’s, PetCo and Urban Animal have variety, and if you have questions, Chuck & Don’s or Urban Animal have very knowledgeable staff to help answer your questions.

The Not-So Basics
There is the general list of things to get when you get a dog: water and food bowl, collar and leash, I.D. tag, ear wipes, shampoo, Frontline and Heartworm pills, dog crate and dog bed, but there are some things that have been solid finds through spending too much time at the Pet store, or recommendations from friends.

The Kong Wobbler (a food dispenser she has to play with to get her food) has been awesome:

FurMinator. This thing was expensive at the time, but eliminated 3/4 of the hair shedding we experienced before we got this amazing tool (thank you Maggie for the awesome recommendation!):

Galileo Bone. When we go home, she gets this bone and brings it to us like a present…adorable:

Treats. The key to Cassidy’s behavioral success is having a variety of treats on hand, and these have been our favorites:

If you're training your dog, these soft treats are amazing.

When we play Chuckit! I reward her with a half of a biscuit - she stays pretty disciplined to get one of these

Cass will do anything for a bite of these, and are a rare treat. Will get in the bath, will let me dry her with a blow dryer and cut her nails for these.

Is great as a hearty treat in the large Kong treat toy below

Comes in carrot and blueberry as well, and makes her breath smell nice(r).

These are awkwardly shaped, so are great for the small Kong treat ball which makes it difficult to get out. She loves these treats in Peanut Butter

Play Toys
Chuck-It. For summers in a park or field, this thing wears Cass out:

Wubba. Cassidy’s best friend in the backyard during winter. If we let her have this in the house, she would destroy it in minutes. We’ve gone through a few too many, just from playing in the yard, but it’s worth it to see her so excited to play:

Treat Toys
We give Cassidy treats from our hand when she’s done something good, but treats just for the fun of it come from a problem solving treats. Lucky Cass, right?
Large Kong (good for the large Milk Bone treats)

Small Kong (good for medium treats, like Buddy Biscuits which are especially difficult to get out)

The Vet, Dog Tags and Insurance
During Cassidy’s first appointment with the vet, we discussed pet insurance and its pros/cons. We decided it is worth the extra money, and signed Luda up, too. Embrace is the company we felt good about, and covers you for pretty much everything, at any clinic. We haven’t had to use them, but I feel better knowing we have it.

Slug Butt Sit

Perfect sit, after we tell her "Fix your butt."

Not rare

Pleading for a belly rub


With Lily

With Hattie Mae


5 Comments on “Getting a Dog, 1 Year Later

  1. Yay furminator! 🙂 I am still constantly amazed (4 years later) at how much hair comes off of my dogs when I use that thing. Worth every penny! Also, remember, when brushing, to do shorter strokes rather than longer full body ones. Because furminators pull out the under-fur it’s actually kind of painful for dogs (or cats) to have to go through a full body brush. Once we started doing shorter strokes on our dogs they were much more likely to sit for a full brushing than before! Here’s to beautiful and well loved hound dogs.

    • Thanks, Maggie! Good call on the shorter strokes – they do like it so much better. Thank for telling me about how amazing this thing is in the first place!

  2. I also HIGHLY recommend the “quiet spot” ( to keep the tags from clanging together and making so much noise. It’s perfect for when dogs are indoors, although outdoors I can imagine you want to be able to hear where your dog is! I am on my second one for Wrigley (a miniature schnoodle) because he thinks they are portable chew toys around his neck. Makes for a much quieter snuggle buddy.

  3. Thanks, Katy! I’m going to get this immediately, so she doesn’t wake Frank up at 4:30am. I sleep through her morning routine (of course) but Frank has been getting little sleep!

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