Photo: Leslie Hand Photography
*Be sure to follow Nellie on her personal Instagram Account, @goldengirlnellie !
**Also, all photos are by the amazing Leslie Hand Photography! Let me know if you are interested in having her take pictures for you! She’s seriously amazing!
First of all, I cannot BELIEVE it’s been over 5 months since my last blog post. I love blogging here on MLM and sharing my thoughts with you all, so there’s no good reason for my absence except for things just got busy! From Spring Breaking in Miami, to Summertime arriving, things have been wide open around here but I am so happy to finally be BACK!
If you follow me at all on social media, you know that Ben and I added a new member to our family in May–our sweet little Golden Retriever puppy, Nellie! I thought that sharing all about our new love would be a great way to jump back into my blog so here we go!
Here is how we found our Nellie, my tips and tricks for having a new puppy (personal opinions only–definitely not a professional!) and the things that we have found and love to use as dog owners!
Photo: Leslie Hand Photography
I had been asking (okay, begging) Ben to let us get a puppy since the day we got married and he was pretty resistant until recently. Once I finally got him on board there was just no turning back and we began our search for the perfect puppy! I have always loved Goldens and I knew that was the breed that I wanted to add to our family.
Golden Retrievers are notorious for being great family dogs because they typically have great temperaments, LOVE their people, and are great with kids which was an important factor! Once we started officially looking for a puppy, I began my search online. After looking at a lot of different websites where breeders post their available puppies, I found a Facebook page called Golden Retriever Puppies For Sale, where people who are looking for puppies can be matched with people who have litters available.
I was able to find a family in a nearby town who had a littler of puppies that would be available around the time that we were wanting to bring one home. I corresponded with the breeder, and then arranged a time to come meet the puppies to decide if one of them would be the right fit for us.
Tips for Puppy Visit:
- Ask lots of questions– You will never leave regretting the questions you asked, but you might leave wishing you had more information than you left with. Prepare a list ahead of time and don’t be afraid to bring it with you.
- Ask about the parents of the litter– It’s important to either see both parents of your puppy, or at least be able to see recent pictures and have details about their health and personality tendencies.
- Meet all available puppies– When you visit the breeder, they should certainly allow you to pick which puppy you think would be the best fit for you. When we met all of the puppies in Nellie’s litter, we knew that out of the 11 puppies, only 2 females were still available. We were able to play with them, hold them, and make an educated decision.
- Make sure you feel comfortable- This one seems pretty straight forward, but if you feel uneasy about anything during your visit from the way the puppies are being taken care of, to the way the breeders answer questions or anything in between, remember you have every right to walk away!
The 8-week old mark is when breeders usually allow you to take your puppy home, so Nellie came home with us at 8 weeks old! We have had her for 7 weeks today and she is LOVING life as an Island Dog on St. Simons Island!
Like I said, I am in no way an expert–I just like to receive real life advice from others who have experience, so I enjoy giving it to those that are interested! So here are a few more thoughts and tips:
1. Puppy Proof BEFORE you bring them home– This might seem like common sense, but when you bring your new furry friend home, they are going to want to explore everything right away. If you are not willing to replace or repair certain items where your puppy will be roaming free, then remove them! Our cowhide rug, nice pillows, and Anthropologie bedding are just a few things I made sure were either put away or were in a room that Nellie wasn’t going to be allow to explore freely.
2. Set up the crate before they arrive– The last thing you will want to do once your puppy comes home is try and set up a crate. Have the basics like crate, food & water bowls as well as the food you are planning on feeding them already, that way your puppy’s first day home will be spent playing and exploring (and probably napping!).
Last but not least, I’ve included some of our favorite things (and Nellie’s!) that we’ve used since bringing her home!
- Deer Antler
- Dog Crate
- KONG Puppy Toy
- Purina One Large Breed Puppy Formula (recommended by our vet)
- Skout’s Honor Urine Destroyer Spray (gets rid of smell completely!)
- Waste Dispenser & Bags
- Flamingo Toy
- Blue Buffalo Training Treats