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Preparing Victory for her Little Sister

 

Now that we are literally in the home stretch of our pregnancy, with a few weeks to go, we have been doing our best to prepare our beloved little Victory for her little sister’s arrival along with the great, positive change that will impact all of us.

If you are expecting, and want to create and foster a happy and healthy environment for your new baby, your family, and your furry family member, here are some thoughts and ideas, outlined below.

 

MAINTAIN DAILY WALKS AND OUTINGS WITH YOUR DOG

The number one thing you can do to keep your dog happy, healthy, and calm during the arrival of your new baby are maintaining daily walks.

-It is a good idea to vary the times of walks together because a baby’s schedule is unpredictable to help prevent your dog from expecting walks at certain times of the day.

-If possible, vary who walks your dog so when you are occupied someone else can step in and help with dog walks, when necessary.  (Victory is not always amenable to this!)

-Most importantly, when you are able to go for walks with the baby, be sure to include your dog on these walks in order to help make him/her feel included, too.

-Victory is accustomed to going on outings with us.  It is our sincere plan to continue this practice, after the baby arrives, so she remains included.  It will, however, take a little more creative planning on our part!

 

PREPARE YOUR DOG FOR THE BABY’S ARRIVAL

With a new baby, your dog is going to be bombarded with many new smells, sounds, and experiences.  By introducing these to your dog in a gradual way, you can help prevent an invasion on his/her senses when the baby first comes home.

-Let your dog get accustomed to the sounds a new baby will make.  This will be new for everyone to get accustomed to, including your dog.

-Let your dog sniff some of the baby’s items first.  When you are in the hospital, it is a good idea to send a blanket home with the baby’s scent on it.  This allows your dog to get used to the new smell.  In our case, we plan to do this along with bringing Victory to the hospital, post delivery, which we received special permission from the hospital, to meet her little sister to help her prepare and to ensure Victory is included as part of this special experience.

-Let your dog get accustomed to the new baby gear on his/her terms.  We have actually put Victory in the baby’s crib and buggy, pictured above.  (Victory has also sniffed out the baby’s infant car seat as well, but she is a little too big to fit into the  infant car seat in order to get a photo of her!)  We believe she knows change is upon us.  I am sure she can feel my growing belly when I pick her up and hold her along with the physical changes that have occurred in our home.  We have also tried to bring her into the baby’s nursery to get her accustomed to things.  Recently, she has gone into the nursery on her own, to check things out, which has been great!  We have decided to let Victory decide when she wants to come into the nursery.  We know, in time, that she will get curious and want to come into the nursery on her own more frequently.  This is what happened when we first brought her home after rescuing her; she was very cautious of exploring the house and eventually came to exploring and feeling comfortable in our home in her own time.

-Keep in mind that no dog is the same.  Talk to others, to gain insight, who have had experience with bringing their baby home to their dog.  Our pediatrician shared with us recently that Victory will likely soon view the baby as part of her pack and she will view the baby as something to protect, similar to a puppy of her own.  The pediatrician also said that dogs are very good about understanding family dynamics and structure.  We shall see!

 

CREATE A TRANQUIL SPACE AT HOME

By promoting a safe and calm space within the home, you will ensure not only your dog remains happy and healthy, but the whole family does as well.

-Provide a safe, warm space for your dog to curl up in away from the baby.  Victory has several spaces in the house that are exclusively hers, including her ‘hut!’

-Be calm with your dog, even under stress.  Having a new baby is a big change and stress inducing, at times.  Dogs, especially our little Victory, are highly attuned to our actions, demeanor, and voice.  If we get stressed, Victory feels the stress ten fold.  She is extremely aware of her environment.

 

CREATE A PLAN FOR YOUR DOG DURING THE BIRTH

The birth of one’s baby is unpredictable, in most cases, baring a scheduled cesarean or induction.  However, the last thing you want to do is rush off to the hospital/birthing center without a plan for your dog.

-Prior to your birth/due date, decide who will care for our dog while you are in the hospital.  It is important for this person to know how to care for your dog, as each dog is different.  Make sure you include instructions and emergency contact numbers, including the number for your vet and emergency vet.  We have a few friends lined up to help us take care of Victory during this time to ensure that we have someone to care for her during the labor and delivery time.

-There will be a lot going on during this time and it is not the time to have a stranger help you with your dog.  Make sure the person who is caring for your dog is someone the dog knows and is familiar with.  Make sure your dog is comfortable on walks and feedings with this particular care provider.

-When returning home, make sure you have focus on your dog as well.  This will be a big change and your dog needs to be and feel reassured and included.  (Our Bradley teacher informed us that our dog is very similar an older human sibling, and to be mindful about how this change will impact her [Victory], similar to an older human sibling.)

 

PLAN FOR ONE-ON-ONE TIME WITH YOUR DOG

For many dogs, they came first.  Many were on the scene long before any children came along.

-While your time is now more limited with a new baby, it is vitally important to carve out alone time with your dog on a regular basis to keep the bond strong.

-Spend quality one-on-one time with your dog every day.  This is not only for their benefit, but yours too.  Time spent together will recharge you both, promoting a happy healthy family for everyone.

-Importantly, if you have special rituals with your dog, keep those in place.  For us, Victory loves ‘night-night!’  She loves to jump into bed and play with us and have her belly and head massaged by us.  It is also a soothing and a fun routine for us, too!  We plan to keep Victory’s routine the same as it is now as much as we can.  We believe, at some point, we will fall into a grove, even our little Victory will as well!

-Most of all, be present and continue to love your furry family member, like always!  Victory has been a great part of our journey into parenthood and I (we) am not sure what I would do without her!  She has been along my (our) side every step of the way, and she will continue to be there with us during this new chapter in our lives!

Victory: Visiting Santa

This past weekend we took Victory  to visit Santa, an annual tradition!  She was a very good girl!  Of course, Santa and his helpers remembered our little fur girl, as this is Victory’s fourth time visiting Santa!  (You can see Victory’s previous trips to visit Santa herehere, and here.)  Victory wore her new ivory cable sweater, that she got for her birthday, for her visit with Santa!  All proceeds from visiting Santa are donated to a local dog rescue, a very good cause near and dear to us as Biscuit and Victory are rescues.  If you are interested, be sure to check with and visit your local pet stores to see if there is a Santa in your area that specializes in furry family members!

A few images from Victory’s visit with Santa are shown below along with the previous three years’ visits with Santa!  The time really does fly by!  We are so grateful for our fur girl, Victory!

Additionally, each year, I have a photo ornament made with Victory and Santa for our Christmas tree!

We hope that you have a lovely week enjoying the Holiday spirit!

Happy Monday!

 

 

 

 

 

Pictured immediately above: upper left, 2017 visit with Santa; upper right, 2016 visit with Santa; lower left 2015 visit with Santa; and lower right 2014 visit with Santa.

Victory: A Birthday Celebration — 6 years!

On October 12 it marked four years since we adopted our dear little Victory!  We decided to make October 12 Victory’s birthday — the day we went to Michigan and adopted our sweet fur girl.

We recently celebrated Victory’s birthday marking her four years with us since her adoption!  This year, for Victory’s birthday, we did a gold, white/ivory, with a splash of champagne in honor of Victory’s beautiful fur coat!  (As shown below, last year, we did a light pink and gold themed birthday; two years ago we did a pink themed birthday and three years ago, we did rainbow themed birthday for Victory!)  We purchased some fun gold and white/ivory themed decorations, balloons, confetti, party hat, and new ivory sweater for Victory in honor of her birthday!  Victory also enjoyed prime rib and smoked turkey in lieu of birthday cake, which she gobbled down in no time flat!  Victory looked absolutely adorable on her birthday, as always, shown below!  (She is always so cooperative with my ideas, and Doug blew up every single balloon and helped to keep Victory’s attention during the photos!)  She had a fun birthday and she enjoyed being over fed along with a trip to the Eastern Shore for crabs!  We are the lucky ones to share our lives with this wonderful, loyal, and loving being.

For Victory’s birthday, we gave her a new: ivory sweater; a custom, handmade ceramic dog water bowl; an Orvis embroidered name blanket; a Jax and Bones rope toy; and a Ware of the Dog toy!  Victory also received, for her birthday, a water rover and a gift card from her Grandma and Grandpa Carver!  We all had a great day together!

(All birthday decorations are via Oh Happy Day and Sweet Lulu.)

 

 

 

 

 


 

A look back at Victory’s birthday time over the years…

 

 

If you are considering getting a dog, I hope that you consider adopting a rescue dog.  There are so many dogs in need of a good, loving home.  As shown below, Victory, a rescue, has changed so much physically and emotionally over the years since we adopted her, pictured on the left (image from Victory’s foster mom via the Michigan Sheltie Rescue).  You really can save a dog’s life, while simultaneously enriching your own life/lives.

 

10 Fun Things About Victory!

Doug and I have had a full plate this year and I feel badly for not sharing more about our fur girl, Victory!  So, since it is Friday, I thought I would share 10 fun things you might now know about our fur girl!

1.  She loves ‘night night.’  This seems to be her favorite part of the day.  We think she thinks we sleep with her.  She runs up and down the bed and plays most nights with a wide smile.

2. Each night before bed, Victory likes to have a few sips of water before we all go to sleep.  I know she is very spoiled!  (Nobody is bringing me water while in bed!)

3.  She still hates bath time with a vengeance.  She knows when we take her collar off and she sees the bowls to rinse her she knows that she is getting a bath and she runs for the hills.  It takes both of us to bathe her, and it is not easy with her resistance every step of the way.

4.  She loves eating just about anything.  She always wanders into the kitchen and dinning room while we eat dinner or breakfast.  She is always up for tasting just about anything (within reason).  She especially loves carbs.

5.  She is very loyal.  She never waivers from our side and she just likes to be with us!

6.  She is apprehensive with new situations and meeting new people; and she is not always the most flexible little being during these situations!

7.  She loves her daily routine when we are home.

8.  She loves her Ergo and her Hound About!

9.  Despite being nervous in new situations, she is always up for an adventure and going to new places!  We are lucky she travels well with us!

10. Home is where her heart will always be!  It is her sanctuary and where she feels most comfortable.  She always loves returning home, similar to most people.

Happy Friday!

 

Victory: 3.5 Years In

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself.” — Josh Billings

Today marks three and a half years with our fur girl, Victory!  We can hardly believe how fast our time together is passing.  We had our Biscuit for exactly two and a half years, so this mark in time is significant for us.  We had beautiful weather this weekend, and, as such, we went to the Eastern Shore with our fur girl!  I think everyone is ready for spring and we hope spring is here and ready to stay!

Simply stated, we are most grateful for our fur girl, Victory!

Pictured below is Victory three and a half years since her adoption!  (Her fur is finally growing back where she was shaved for her recent dental!)

 

 

 

Pictured above on the upper left is Victory shortly after she was rescued taken by her foster mom in the fall of 2013; pictured on the upper right is Victory one year since her adoption — October 12, 2014; pictured on the lower left is Victory two and half years since her adoption — April 12, 2016; and pictured on the lower left is Victory three and a half years since her adoption — April 12, 2017!

 

 

Pictured above is Victory on her 3rd, 4th, and 5th birthdays wearing her birthday sweaters!

 

National Dog Day: Victory

I feel like a neglectful dog mommy for not posting on National Dog Day.  Victory brings immeasurable joy to our little family and so much more.  And, importantly, she teaches me something every day about just being.  We are so very grateful for our fur girl!

Below is a short video of our little fur girl, Victory, sniffing around at the dog park!

Happy Friday!

 

 

Victory: A Visit with Santa!

This past weekend we took Victory  to visit Santa again!  She was a very good girl!  Of course, Santa and his helpers remembered our little fur girl, as this is Victory’s third time visiting Santa!  (You can see Victory’s previous trips to see Santa here and here.)  Victory wore her new red cable sweater for her visit with Santa!  All proceeds from visiting Santa are donated to a local dog rescue, a good cause.  If you are interested, be sure to check with and visit your local pet stores to see if there is a Santa in your area that specializes in furry family members!

Additionally, each year, I have a photo ornament made with Victory and Santa!

We hope that you have a lovely week enjoying the Holiday spirit!

Happy Monday!

 

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Victory: Photography Project — 93

Beginning in January 2014, I started a weekly photography project with my muse, Victory!  I will continue to share this project on the blog this year!  My goal is to document all of Victory’s changes, while preserving fleeting moments and memories, while capturing moments of our everyday.

We went to Newark, Delaware this weekend and took our fur girl, Victory with us!  It was nice to get away.  Before leaving, we finished most of our Pawliday cards, while getting our small Christmas tree and Holiday decorations up around the house, including our outdoor lights, wreath, poinsettias, and indoor window candles!  It feels cozy in our house, especially with all of our candles.  We are looking forward to making Christmas cookies and watching some festive movies.  While we are not ready for Christmas, and we are taking a low-key approach this year, Victory is ready!  She looks festive in her red cable Christmas sweater, shown below!  She is also going to visit Santa again this month!   While we cannot believe another year is coming to a close shortly, we are excited to see what the New Year will bring!

Happy Tuesday!

 

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Victory: Photography Project — 92

Beginning in January 2014, I started a weekly photography project with my muse, Victory!  I will continue to share this project on the blog this year!  My goal is to document all of Victory’s changes, while preserving fleeting moments and memories, while capturing moments of our everyday.

This past weekend, for the long weekend, we took our fur girl, Victory, to Dewey Beach!  The weather was nice and Victory loved the beach.  There were not too many other people or dogs on the beach, so it was perfect, in Victory’s eyes!  Each time we went to the beach, we walked several miles, and Victory was never ready to leave the beach — she dug her back legs into the sand and she would not budge and she turned around to head in the opposite direction we were heading!  This was the first time Victory dipped her little paws into the Atlantic Ocean!  The sunsets were very beautiful.  We had a fun time together and Dewey Beach is very dog friendly, thankfully!  It is always nice to visit the ocean!  A few images from our trip are shown below.

Happy Tuesday!

 

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Victory: Photography Project — 91

Beginning in January 2014, I started a weekly photography project with my muse, Victory!  I will continue to share this project on the blog this year!  My goal is to document all of Victory’s changes, while preserving fleeting moments and memories, while capturing moments of our everyday.

Last weekend, near Victory’s birthday, we took Victory to the pumpkin patch, an annual tradition, to pick out our pumpkins, which Doug will carve!  We all had a great time!  We still could only find one pumpkin patch located in Delaware, after looking in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, that would permit a furry family member to come along!  We had fun, Victory had fun, and the weather was just gorgeous!  After the pumpkin patch, we went to our favorite restaurant in Delaware, where furry family members are permitted on the patio — there were nine other furry family members on the patio, along with Victory, that evening!  A few images from our annual trip to the pumpkin patch are shown below.  You can also view images from our trip to the pumpkin patch last year, here.

Doug is carving our pumpkins again this year for Halloween so stay tuned!  Enjoy the photos below!

Happy Wednesday!

 

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