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.
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:
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:
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.