Tips For First Time Dog Owners

A reader asked me about tips for first time dog owners. While I can’t predict every problem a dog owner may face, I have compiled a list of suggestions and reminders for people who have decided to become dog owners.

Tips For First Time Dog OwnersBefore you get a dog: If you know you want a dog, but don’t have one yet, there are several things you should do before getting one.  Continue reading

Lana’s Big Day

Today is the third anniversary of Lana’s Adoption Day! The time has flown by since we first got her from Florida All Retriever Rescue. So what better way to celebrate than with food, gifts, and of course plenty of pictures?

Lana celebrates her Adoption Day Anniversary | DreamBigBarkLoudly.comI’ll admit, the pictures might have turned out a tad bit better if the sun had chosen to come our and celebrate with us, but nothing to be done about that!

Lana celebrates her Adoption Day Anniversary | DreamBigBarkLoudly.comSince we count her adoption day as her birthday (because we have no idea what her birthday actually was), I guess that means Lana’s 21 in human years?

Lana celebrates her Adoption Day Anniversary |

Lana celebrates her Adoption Day Anniversary | DreamBigBarkLoudly.comDesi looked like she wanted some attention too (so of course she got some). She’s a good sport. And, I suppose, how could she know it wasn’t her day? We always try to celebrate with both dogs equally.

Lana celebrates her Adoption Day Anniversary | DreamBigBarkLoudly.comShe enjoyed the balloons a lot more than I expected her to. Almost as much as I enjoyed wandering around Party City acting like I was throwing a little girl’s birthday party. I was just praying nobody actually asked about my ‘daughter’.

Lana celebrates her Adoption Day Anniversary | DreamBigBarkLoudly.comNo worries, I stopped her before the balloon popped. I’d hate to give the old girl a heart attack.Though I probably didn’t do her much of a favor by giving her a delicious (but not super healthful) Pupcake.

Lana celebrates her Adoption Day Anniversary | DreamBigBarkLoudly.comThis recipe, adapted from a Pretty Little Pastimes recipe for peanut butter carrot Pupcakes, turned out fantastic! And by “adapted”, I mean I didn’t have one of the ingredients so I did change the recipe a little, but this time I’m happy with the changes I made. I did a taste test, intended to be a small bite, and ended up eating a quarter of one! It’s no wonder the dogs loved it too.

Lana celebrates her Adoption Day Anniversary | DreamBigBarkLoudly.comI’ll post my variation of the recipe later this week. Of course, in the mean time you can always go check out the original on Pretty Little Pastimes. And, if you still need something to do, you can check out our “Dog Stuff” Pinterest board where we have this recipe and others Pinned!

ImageLana got a couple of toys for her birthday, but we’re waiting until my parents get home from work to ‘open gifts’ (which aren’t really wrapped because I am no good at wrapping).

Happy Hump Day readers, and Happy Adoption Day to Miss Lana! I’ve loved the last three years with her and I know we’ll enjoy the next years just as much.

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Everywhere And Nowhere

Yesterday I sat down and wrote four blog posts. And they all sucked. So I posted nothing. And today I’m not doing much better.

I was hoping after a good workout my brain would be back on track, but it’s not. It is, as the title said, everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Stupid brain.

So instead, I’m just going to inform you our Facebook page (feel free to “like” it if you haven’t) now has a courtesy posts picture album. This album features dogs in need of forever or even sometimes foster homes. Because I am still living in a non-foster friendly situation, none of them are mine at this point.

And… I dunno. It’s pretty hot out now, so here’s some pictures of Desi enjoying snow a couple of winters ago. Just to help you beat the heat. You know, mind over matter and whatnot.




Stay cool, kiddos.

Always Hoping For The Best

A few weeks ago, I saw something on Pinterest that said I could spray freshly painted nails with cooking spray and they would dry instantly. Of course I tried it. Of course it failed. (Was it because it was butter flavored? Who knows.) My parents asked what on earth I was thinking. They asked why I even bothered to try something so utterly ridiculous.

Because it could have worked. And the best case scenario outweighed the possibility of failure.

And that’s just the type of person I am.

ImageStephen King once said: “There’s no harm in hoping for the best as long as you’re prepared for the worst.”

And it was with that cautious optimism that I scoured the internet for a possible cure for Lana. You see, after four days of antibiotics, Lana’s accidents got worse. I slipped in a giant puddle of pee and nearly busted my head open. When I called the vet, I was prescribed more medication, something I was to give Lana twice a day, every day, possibly for the rest of her life.

ImageFirst of all, Lana hates taking pills. I’ve become a master of shoving pills down doggie throats, but no pills is nicer. (Don’t judge, I usually just coat them with peanut butter, instead.) Not to mention the cost! Two weeks worth of pills was $15. $30 a month. $360 a year. And she’s not even three years old. I expected those kinds of expenses when she got older, but I’m not financially ready yet. I technically haven’t even graduated from college yet!

ImageSide effects, costs, general pain in the butt-ness. There’s almost no reason I want to give her pills. She does love pill bottles, but she can have mine. I’ll share.

ImageAnyway, I searched the internet for possible home remedies, and I found plenty to play with. Apple cider vinegar, corn silk, parsley. All seem way better than Proin. So I ran to Publix and bought some apple cider vinegar and immediately poured some into the dogs’ water. It hasn’t been long enough yet for me to say whether or not it’s working, but I have hope. Even when my dad asked why in the world I was photographing a bottle of vinegar. For the blog. And what I would do if it didn’t work. Tell my readers, of course!

ImageTrust me, if it works, I’ll tell you. And if it doesn’t, I’ll tell you. Because apparently incontinence isn’t that uncommon in dogs, and somewhere someone else is having this problem. And I’ll do what I can to help others who are in the same panicky state I was well, really still am, in.

ImageI’ll find ways to keep calm in the mean time. But there is something that would make me feel better. I entered Miss Lana in a contest online, and I’d really appreciate some votes! I think you have to have a Facebook account (sorry!) but we’d really love your support! The link to vote is here:

ImageHow could you say no to that face? Oh, and if you like several dogs, you can vote for as many dogs as you want. But you are more than welcome to vote for Lana every 24 hours.

Life Would Be Easier Without Dogs. But I Like A Challenge.

A couple of days ago I found myself thinking life would be easier without dogs. Lana ate my work heels – these cute but pretty comfortable black Nine West wedges. I’d been wearing them every day, but when I went to dinner I forgot to pick them up off the ground. By the time I came back, there was no hope. I don’t even think a cobbler could fix them.


So, completely furious, I went to my boyfriend’s apartment. By the time I came home, Brody had gotten sick in his crate. I dragged the crate, including Brody, to my bathroom door so we could bathe him, and as the tub was filling, he threw up. Meaning, that mixed with… well, what wasn’t vomit. Worst. Mess. Ever.

Another brown stain on my carpet and some more vomit on my shoes and keys (I accidentally knocked them on the floor, what great timing), and I was pretty tired of dogs. Now, it’s not his fault he felt sick, that happens. Especially after heartworm treatment. But still, for a while I was trying to figure out why it was I insisted on having a revolving pack of dogs in my tiny apartment.

And then I ran across some pictures from a couple of weeks ago. Brody had been getting his treatment in Gainesville and Lana and I headed to a lake with some of our best human friends and their dogs. It was a blast, aside from the slight sunburn I got.



From this angle it’s a little hard to see, but on the left is Maggie the Pit bull from Temporary Home, Permanent Love and the middle two pups are Circus and Nala from Unsaid Yet Understood!


The dogs had a blast together!


And it was nice to see my friends, too. Though since I’m moving in a week, I’ve hung out with all three of my amazing co-workers/bffs (one not pictured here) more than normal. lately.




And of course the dogs love some human company.



And Lana learned she really loves swimming.




It was a pretty awesome weekend.



And that’s why I love my revolving pack of dogs. Days like that more than make up for my disturbing familiarity with stain removal techniques and my sad lack of shoes.


So this week in between stressing about packing and finding an apartment for Mike (that I will share when I come back from my internship in six months), I will count on my dogs to keep me laughing. And I will continue to be grateful for the friends I’ve met and/or grown closer to because of our shared passion for rescue.

Brody and Lana go hiking.

If you are a fan of DBBL on Facebook (if you aren’t, you should go “like” us now! We don’t post annoying stuff all the time, we promise!), then you have already seen a glimpse of our hiking adventure Sunday a couple of weeks ago. (Good grief this post has been sitting in drafts for quite some time!)


This was very exciting for us. It was only the second time I’ve had Lana off-leash (except for going from my car to the front door of our apartment complex) and it was the very first time Brody was off-leash outdoors! I was a little nervous at first, because I’m pretty sure it would be the end of the world if I lost a foster dog. But he was so good!


It was actually pretty funny to see how different Lana and Brody are. Lana’s the type who likes to be first in line for anything. She’d wander too far and play deaf when we called her, until she heard a level of seriousness in our tone and her last name being tacked on at the end. Then she’d run back as if she’d been planning to all along. Obviously I need to get back into training her.


Meanwhile Brody spent most of his time right behind someone else, whether that someone was a person or Lana. He likes to be able to keep tabs on the group. Like a faithful watch dog.



The walk wasn’t entirely off leash, and I couldn’t be more grateful. I was just about to let them loose to run on this weird peninsular thing when I noticed a big grayish brownish lump. It was colored like dirt but it seemed like an odd place for a pile of dirt.

Hiking with the dogs |

We got a bit closer and it moved! We had run across a very large gator, who apparently was very much awake! So we backed up very carefully and chose to keep the dogs on leash the rest of the walk.


Aside from the deadly reptiles, most of the scenery was beautiful.

Hiking with the dogs |


And finally the dogs got some room to run (unheard of in my little apartment)!

IMG_2228 IMG_2243


All in all, hiking with the dogs was a great experience. I’m not that outdoorsy, but I’d totally do it again!