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All Dog Parents Have a Right to An Opinion, What’s Yours? #UBP13

Dog Parenting, Dog Mom, The Fur Mom, Keep the Tail Wagging, Ultimate Blog Party 2013

I’m a dog mom.

We have three dogs, all rescues, at home.  I get a kick out of the fact that we’re an interracial couple and we have three black and white dogs.  That wasn’t the plan, but I’m happy with how it worked out.

My first year Dog Parenting Mistakes

Our first year of having dogs was amazing.  It was my idea to adopt two puppies from the same litter, it was Johan’s big heart that helped him go along with a terrible idea.  Because we’re both stubborn and curious, we did a lot of research and were 90% prepared, which made that first year a lot easier.  But I still made mistakes…

  • I got impatient when they wouldn’t listen.
  • I didn’t do enough research on dog food.
  • I almost fed them grapes and I let Rodrigo lick a little champagne on New Years.
  • I allowed myself to be intimidated by our veterinarian.
  • I didn’t clip their nails often enough.

What I learned during my second year of Dog Parenting

What gives me the right to write about raising dogs?

Well, I’ll tell you.  Host Gator, WordPress, and being a dog mom to four dogs.  There are three dogs sleeping all around me as I type and one sweet puppy who isn’t far from my thoughts every day.  I didn’t start Keep the Tail Wagging to tell people how they should raise their dogs; I started it, because I wanted to be part of a community of dog lovers who shared their successes and failures in dog parenting.  And that’s what I found.

I love blogging, I love dogs, I love photography and I love that I’m part of a community where I can have an opinion.  Where I can say that I like Cesar Milan even though I don’t follow his training methods.   I love that the idea of me celebrating our dogs birthdays is normal.  And I love that when I’m worried about one of our dogs – my readers and this amazing dog community doesn’t go to that dark place and terrify me – instead, they’re warm, supportive, and great friends.

I have no idea what I’m doing most days, but I know I’m not doing it alone.

Dog lovers rock!  And I want to say thank you so very much for allowing me to be a part of this community.  And if you’re visiting for the first time – welcome!

So what are your thoughts – this is your chance to say anything you want (as long as it’s not cruel or inhumane) about dog parenting without judgment.  Let’s do this!

Need some inspiration?  What are your thoughts on dog parks?  TV dog trainers?  Dog breeding?  The raw food diet for dogs?  Or annual vaccinations?  The links you see – are my thoughts. LOL

 

Ultimate Blog Party 2013
Standing out in a Popular Blogging Niche – download Today! Not only am I a pet blogger offering dog care tips from my perspective as a fur mom living in a multi-dog household on Keep the Tail Wagging, I also share all of the things that I did to take my sire from a hobby blog to a popular, robust online magazine. 

46 Comments

  1. Hi,

    I come for the party ^___*. Wow…you have 3 dogs 😀 I can’t tell you about dogs parenting because we don’t have any dogs. My oldest son have an allergie for cat and dog :(( Nice to “meet” you.

    Reply
    • Thanks for stopping by, Juliana – if you’re ever interested in getting a dog, poodles are said to be great dogs for people with allergies :) There are several out there; I wrote an article listing them: http://www.keepthetailwagging.com/hypoallergenic-dog-breeds/

      Enjoy your weekend!

      Reply
  2. Great article! The first year is definitely interesting! I always joked Suki needed insurance to protect her from me. I’d run into her, step on her paws, get leash tangled, drop bad food & have to grab it quickly, fed low quality dog food with poop consequences, had bad 1st vet, used bad trainer, etc. Grapes are banned from my house ’cause I’m so worried about drooping one. I made mistakes, but we also bonded & settled into a good routine. Dogs can teach us something about forgiveness!. I’ve learned that higher quality food makes such a BIG difference in health, weight, energy level, and overall behavior…not to mention less poop! I couldn’t imagine my life without Suki now. We’re in our 3rd year together and going strong….though she may still need insurance specific to me. Lol

    Reply
    • We’re on our third year too. I know exactly what you mean! Our dogs have taught us about forgiveness and appreciating every moment. I love them so much and couldn’t imagine my life without them. My boyfriend and I think that adopting a third dog was biting off a little more than we could chew, but then we look at Blue and realize that we couldn’t live without him. We fell that way about all of our dogs.

      Thanks so much for stopping by! Give the Diva some love!

      Reply
  3. My husband and I rescued a brother and sister who were on the streets. We now know adopting littermates is not a good idea, but with help from a great trainer (and a good learning experience from a bad one), we’re doing much better and improving all the time. I work at home, and the companionship of my dogs can’t be measured. I am still learning, and recognize everyone is different. I don’t judge other dog behavior; I just ask other owners to keep safe their dogs and the people and animals around them.

    Reply
    • Well said, Jen – that’s how I feel too and God Bless you for taking in your littermates. We adore ours and I work hard everyday so that I can reach that day when I can work from home with them and Blue :)

      Reply
      • Having raised 3 sets of littermates, I don’t think it’s terrible–I think it is wonderful. They entertain each other and us. As long as the pet parent treats each as an individual, spend plenty of time teaching them to focus on the parent, and has tons of patience and love, it can work just fine.
        Our cuttent pack of five dogs doesn’t have any littermates, but I wouldn’t hesitate to raise another pair.
        Enjoy your blog.

        Reply
        • Thank you so much, Mary! Wow THREE!!! I couldn’t imagine. I think we’re more prepared now and I wouldn’t trade our experience in for anything in the world. I’m so glad that we took the time to educate ourselves, but I’m so careful when it comes to suggesting this to anyone else, because it really does take a lot of time and patience. And you really can’t know until your dealing with it. I know plenty of dog lovers who are well equipped, but I’ve met a few who would struggle with one puppy so I suggested that they start off slow.

          Wow FIVE DOGS! That’s where I’d like to be in a few years, but I can’t imagine it. Three is a lot of work; but if I could work full time from home, I would have more time.

          Reply
  4. I think you bring up a valid point. You don’t need to be an expert to be a dog blogger, just a dog parent who is willing to put their thoughts and ideas out there for other people to read and discuss. I’ve just become a dog mom again after 12 years – and believe me there is a lot I’ve forgotten – so I’m happy of have my dog blogger friends to help bring me back up to speed!

    Reply
    • Thank you so much, Vicki and welcome back to dog parenthood. It’s fun, right? When we adopted Blue, we were reminded of many puppy things. Like if you take him out to go pee, make sure he actually pees and doesn’t play the entire time.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  5. Kimberly,
    I’m going to read what you have to say about diets because our new dogs NEVER STOPS FARTING! It’s cray cray.

    I like your writing style.
    <3
    Nonnahs

    Reply
    • Ahhhh, thanks so much. We know when we’ve made a bad move with the dogs when they have gas. Our dogs only get it now when we feed them something new that doesn’t agree with them so we’ve learned to keep their diet interesting, but not jazz it up too much. They eat Halo Pets kibble and Natural Balance food rolls – between the three of them, they eat about 8 cups of kibble and 1/2″ of a natural balance food roll (beef or turkey only).

      Thanks for stopping by!!!

      Reply
  6. Our family absolutely loves our dog Nimmer. He is an 11 yr old weimaraner. We live in a city so dog parks are great eventhough we have our own small backyard. He loves to run around with the other dogs, but I do have issues with owners whose dogs are not “other dog friendly” being brought to a dog park wether they are leashed or not. Obviously other unleashed dogs are going to walk up to them. If you come by my site you can actually see a picture of Nimmer in my about me section. http://www.gaelenvandenbergh.com

    Reply
    • I’m right there with you about other dogs who aren’t friendly or comfortable with other dogs. Having three dogs, it makes it a tough situation to control when things get out of control.

      Your Nimmer is adorable; I couldn’t resist popping over to take a peak. Your site is gorgeous too!

      Reply
  7. Very cool site! I have been a dog owner in the past until we had to put him to sleep he was a pitbull.. Now looking to get another in the future a pit or a bull dog

    Reply
    • Thanks for stopping by, Martin. I love pits, gorgeous sweet dogs. Best of luck finding your new pup!

      Reply
  8. So glad to meet someone else with 3 dogs! I write about them too…mostly my puppy, who is always getting into trouble. We also have 4 cats so its pretty much crazy around here. But I couldn’t imagine life without them! I have a feeling I am going to enjoy your blog!!

    Reply
    • Yayyyy, someone who GETS me! We have 2 cats with our 3 dogs. It’s crazy – at the moment, it’s quite, but it’s usually a mad house. Happy to have you and I’m looking forward to your blog!

      Reply
  9. We’ve been dog parents for many years…since we moved to CA in 1995. We’ve had 5 dogs of our own and three fosters. Guess we have a fair amount of experience…but what I’ve learned is the dogs are all different and require you to treat them differently. Our Sally was a puppy, so we had all of the puppy experience to deal with. Tino was rescue who came to us sick with distemper! Becca was easy – she was a service dog and was wonderfully well behaved! jack and Maggie have been our challenges even after all our experience! You’re right though, this community and the support it provides is invaluable!

    Reply
    • So very true. I always forget that Jack and Maggie aren’t the only dogs you’ve had; even with the excerpts of Tino’s story. Thanks for the reminder. I love the name Sally for a dog. I had one named Sheila as a kid.

      Reply
  10. We own a crazy, fat, Pug named Zack. He’s a riot and acts just like one of the kids.

    Stopping by to say hi during UBP13.

    Reply
    • Hi Back! Love the name Zack. I’ve decided that if we get a fourth dog, he’ll be named Jackson or she’ll be named Arizona. I love cool dog names.

      Our dogs crack us up every single day!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  11. Hhmmmm? Cosleeping with a dog? Sounds like I would be very stuffy. I love dogs, but don’t have time to take care of them. In fact, it would be a drain on my energy. Dogs are like kids – and I don’t need anymore right now.

    But, kuddos to you for raising 4. That’s a lot of work. Especially if you are making their food.

    Sheesh.

    Reply
    • You are so right. We have three dogs; our newest puppy joined our family after our dog Riley passed away last spring. I don’t cook their food. I wish I had the time, but I don’t. I tried to figure out how to put them on the raw food diet, but even that’s work that I just don’t have the time to do and you should see how much pre-made raw is – ha ha ha.

      We’re a busy family, but we’re having a blast. We also don’t have kids and when we get tired of our furkids, we can put them outside. LOL

      Thanks for stopping by. Have a lovely weekend.

      Reply
  12. I’ve only owned one pet, my hamster, Rosita, when I was about ten years old. But it sounds like you’re doing a great job! Though I barely remember Rosita’s death, I know what you mean about the loss of a pet, because some of the clients in my distant healing practice have lost them. I have one client now who just recently lost a pet and is heartbroken.

    Reply
    • Please share my huge hug with your client. When we lost our Riley, I was inconsolable for weeks. My boyfriend would just hold me tightly as I cried myself to sleep at night. I truly have never been so sad and I grew up with an abusive mom and absent father. It takes time, but that time is spent wondering why. If it weren’t for the Keep the Tail Wagging community, I don’t know how long it would have taken me to heal.

      Thanks for stopping by, Jeanine

      Reply
      • Awww!! Thanks, I will. (((Hugs))) for you, too.

        Reply
  13. Hi! Thought I’d stop in and show a little love by dropping a comment. I’m surfing on over from the UBP!

    I’ve got two dogs and two rabbits and pets are wonderful but they sure a whole lot of work. I’d say that anyone who wants a pet should take it very seriously. Being a parent to a pet or a child is a full time job but the benefits are great!

    Party on! ::: Tossing Confetti :::

    Reply
    • Thanks so much for stopping by; you are so right about pets being work. It’s 8:40; I got up at 4:15 this morning. I’m exhausted, but I had to get up, take care of 3 dogs and 2 cats, go to work, come home and do a Costco run, feed my boyfriend, then we came home and cleaned the house (sweeping, mopping, vaccuuming, laundry), and the dogs didn’t get their walk today, and I’m exhausted. I couldn’t imagine adding children to the mix.

      We have wild rabbits on our property. Thank heavens they’re smart enough to evade our herding dogs.

      Reply
  14. Okay, so here’s my thing. I’m totally an animal person. Have always been and have gotten more so over the years. Growing up in Africa (fifth generation), I’ve had my share of exotic pets. Right now I’ve two Staffies, one of whom features in my upcoming memoir. Love a site titled “Keep The Tail Wagging.” Cheers.

    Reply
    • Thanks for stopping by! I’m excited about your blog post – great title. Heading over now.

      Reply
  15. I just stumbled upon your website. I’m actually mostly a travel blogger, but dog stories have crept into my blog thanks to Dino, the cock-a-poo we adopted 7 and a half years ago. Here’s Dino’s back story:

    http://www.boomeresque.com/baby-boomer-dog-daze/

    (I hope I haven’t overstepped any boundaries by including this link.)

    Reply
    • Absolutely not; I love it when people share. If you ever have anything that you think I would like or would help move a conversation along, you’re more than welcome to share. Sometimes these comments get put into spam, but I always check to rescue them. My first priority is learning as much as I can so that I can take better care of our dogs and I appreciate people who take the time to share what they know too. Thank you!!!

      Reply
  16. Thanks for the opportunity, and this is a little scary, but… and if any other greyhound owners read this, oh well… I hike with my greyhounds OFF LEASH. I know it flies in the face of what every sight hound owner knows, that they may see something and run off, and they have. But they always come right back (OK, except for one very scary 4 hours). Yes, I’m afraid of cactus, rocks, and rattlesnakes. Yes, they’ve gotten skunked. But here’s the thing: there’s no greater joy for me and my greyhounds than to get up in the morning, drive over to the trailhead and spend the first part of the morning hiking, running, and smelling the fresh air and whatever else it is that they smell. We’ve been doing this for many years, and now that my greys are seniors they show no signs of slowing down. As long as they can walk, this will be what we do. And that’s my opinion.

    Reply
    • I am so there with you, but we don’t have the cactus or rattlesnakes. I love walking our crew off leash. They have so much fun and it’s amazing watching their happy faces. That’s why I’m glad that we have all this land, because we can just walk around. But it’s not the same as taking them to a different place that has new smells and sounds. They get so much more exercise and they do come back; we don’t have many distractions for them to take off after and I keep our leashes handy for when we come across other people. I’m not a morning person, but I’ll get up at the crack of dawn just to have a hiking trail all to myself and the dogs.

      Reply
  17. Hi, Kimberly.

    Having a dog has taught me a lot about ignoring negative opinions and doing things my way. Also about standing up for my dog, Archie (a JRT).

    I resent it when other people approach Archie without asking. Especially parents with kids, which I already griped about in another comment. Now I’m über-direct about saying no. Archie’s 4 now, but during his first couple of years, I tried really hard to accommodate people who wanted to pet him. That just made Archie unhappy and, later, snappy. Now I always put Archie first with a much better result. :-)

    Also most people we meet can’t seem to believe we bother to bring a dog along on out crazy-wonderful, full-time traveling lifestyle. They look at us like we’re nuts. Well! Sometimes traveling with a dog isn’t easy, like in the heat of Rome in July or in stray-cat infested Istanbul (my boy lives to chase!) or when the only hotel we can afford won’t take dogs, but Archie enriches our lives beyond measure. Whatever tent, RV, rented house, or hotel we’re in, it’s HOME because our dog is with is. Archie is my soul-mate dog and I will never, ever leave him behind.

    Also I agree with Gaelen above…dog parks aren’t for all dogs. Best not to bring yours if they need their space.

    OK, there are some opinions for you. I’ve got plenty more if you ever do a follow-up post. 😉

    Reply
    • I love it. Thanks for sharing and I envy your travels. We love traveling with our dogs, but have stayed within our state. They’re a hoot and love the time away with us.

      Thank you so much for adding your opinions. I love them!

      Reply
      • Thanks, Kim.

        With so many wonderful hikes, WA state is great for dogs. We spent three years in Kirkland, and still go to Bothell to visit my dad. Lots to do if you have 4 legs! I’m not surprised you haven’t taken the dogs out of state yet. :-)

        Reply
  18. Stopping by for a UPB13 visit.
    I’ve been participating since 2007. It’s great fun visiting new blogs!
    As well as saying hello to old friends.
    Dogs definitely rule!
    I hope you’re having a great time!

    Reply
    • Thanks, Rona – Have a fantastic weekend.

      Reply
  19. I’m so glad you posted this on LinkedIn! I’d never heard of The Ultimate Blog Party before, but it’s such a cool idea! I’m very excited to check out your site. And as for dog parenting – we’re all bound to make mistakes (some of them quite stupid) from time to time. Everyone starts out as a new parent. Even after more than two years of owning my own dog there are still times I feel lost. I love being able to turn to other owners when I have questions and answering theirs when I can. Experience is a fantastic source of education, as are friends. =)

    Reply
    • I hear ya and I’m excited to see that you have an UBP post too! I’ll read now!

      Reply
  20. Hi – I’m stopping by from the blog party! I’ve never owned a dog before, but I would love to at some point in my life when I have a house and more free time. I can imagine that there’s a lot to learn when raising dogs and I’m sure I would get a lot wrong the first year or two as well.

    Reply
    • Although we were prepared when we adopted Rodrigo and Sydney, we still shake our heads (nearly 3 years later) at how much work is involved. I applaud you for wanting to wait until you have more time and space!

      Thank you for visiting my blog, I’m looking forward to checking out yours too! I’ll stop by later today :)

      Reply
  21. Thanks for your honesty about your mistakes in your first year. I made many mistakes too; I think my biggest mistake was listening to the ‘experts’, even though it felt wrong eg re choker chains, keeping your dog outside instead of inside etc. Now I do whatever feels right, after educating myself on the various options. Another mistake was getting all the latest gadgets to ‘fix’ my dogs, when a simple investment of my time would have done the trick. Eg getting harnesses/haltis to help my dogs walk, where in fact they could walk beautiful on a soft collar, if I’d taken the time to train them properly. We’re in our third year now, and we’ve learnt so much over the years.

    Reply
    • I know what you mean; I wish I would have trusted myself more too. Thanks so much for sharing! I love that you follow your gut about your dogs too!

      Reply

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