The Best Family Decision – To Have a Dog {giveaway}

When the boys were younger, they were considered my double diaper duty boys, because they are two years and six days apart. Each had to be changed almost simultaneously and it made for a busy lifestyle while also having a daughter who is four years older than the first born boy.  This was the time my children begged and pleaded for a dog, we decided that at that time there was no way, no how, I could have a dog.

Pug IAMS BandanaYears later, when the boys were out of diapers and all were heading to be in school, I realized that having a dog would really help keep our family unit strong and possibly give the kids some entertainment. I have always loved the pug breed and knew that would be the perfect size dog for a 2, 4 and 9 year old; the ages of the kids at the time. After looking and looking for the right pug to adopt, meaning one that had decent health and wasn’t too overweight, we found our sweet Jenny the Pug. Jenny came to us at age five and was a joy to have added to the family unit.

I recall looking for the right pug, and let me tell you what those pugs all seem to be overweight these days so when someone sees our sweet Jenny the Pug they tend to think she is underfed. There is a rib that sticks out, being assured by the vet that this rib that is sticking out is completely normal for the pug breed, we explain that Jenny the pug is what a “healthy” pug is supposed to look like. Jenny the Pug is a healthy little girl who already knows we are her family. She is our forever dog and waiting to get a dog was the best family decision ever. Jenny responds to me when I call my daughter, sissy and the boy’s, brother. That may sound weird to some, but Jenny truly is like another child to me.

Mother Daughter and pugHaving Jenny in our lives has been such a blessing; she is the sweetest, most well behaved dog in the world. Jenny the Pug has also become our pet vacuum cleaner, which is why I thrive to ensure she is eating healthier dog food and stays up to date with her vet visits.  Having a dog in our home has helped the kids and I be more active, taking Jenny for walks or runs up and down the 300’ long driveway, all over the nearly six cleared acres on the property and bringing her along on car rides when we take walks through town makes for fun family memories.

The changes that I see in my home since bringing Jenny the Pug into our lives are amazing, the children have the responsibility of sharing feeding duty, letting her out to go pee, taking her for walks and much more. The kids and I work hand in hand to ensure that Jenny the Pug is living side by side with us in a healthy, active lifestyle and it is Jenny the Pug I can thank for making being active with the kids a more fun experience!

Giveaway Read the prompt below on how to enter.The giveaway is for five (5) $50 gift cards, one per person. 5 Winners. Open to US only, ages 18+. Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST on March 29, 2013. Winners shall have 48 hours to claim prize or else another random winner shall be chosen and announced. All winners are emailed directly as well as announced live on site under Winner’s Page.

I would love to hear how you all work hard to ensure your pet is living a healthy lifestyle and how your pet has changed your family life, please share in a comment below. I will have five $50 gift cards to give out randomly to those who share their story in the comments section below.

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34 comments

  1. debbie (60 comments) says:

    My son has had to have multiple major surgeries on his legs. It is sometimes difficult and painful for him to walk. We adopted a belguim malinois, who is a retired police dog. She has to have her excersize, or else she starts having many issues. He really loves this dog and knows that is very important to her. It gives him a reason to walk, even when it is painful and he doesn’t really want to. She has really helped him live a fuller life and is a very important part of our family.

  2. Jenny (35 comments) says:

    I love how having a dog (wesley) has taught my kids how to be more caring, and compassionate since I have them involved in feeding, walking and even taking Wesley to the vet. My kids love him so much they would love to add one more to our family…

  3. Kelly R. (5 comments) says:

    My Alaskan Malamute, Cleo, actually chose us for her family. She was a stray that someone had dumped off in our neighborhood. She came straight up to me in our front yard and after putting up flyers, checking with shelters, etc., we saw that no-one would claim her and we made her a part of our family. She was an older dog, but she lived another awesome 3 years with us before she died of diabetes complications. She really enriched our lives each and every day! We miss her terribly.

  4. Mami2jcn (168 comments) says:

    We adopted our miniature poodle Cocoa last spring and our kids have learned to play more gently since we’ve had him. Our 9 year old has also learned some responsibility by being in charge of walking him (I come along for the walk as well, but my son holds the leash). We work hard to give Cocoa plenty of exercise, grooming, playtime, and love to keep him healthy.

  5. Jessie C. (146 comments) says:

    Our dog Max came into the family a few years ago. We go jogging, camping and playing soccer all together with kids and Max. Kids learn how to take care of him during the process of getting him healthy food/snack, taking him to the vet…etc. We can never imagine how much happiness Max brings to the family.

  6. Rosey (1010 comments) says:

    We don’t have a pet in the house, so I’m not entering, but I wanted to say ‘aww!’ We always had a dog growing up and I always loved it.

  7. Thomas Murphy (27 comments) says:

    To keep my dog living a healthy lifestyle I take him for lots of walks and feed him healthy food. My dog makes my family much more happy!

  8. Amanda Sakovitz (111 comments) says:

    My dog Bella is a maltese and she goes just about everywhere with me. I take her out for walks, brush her teeth, groom her and just show her a lot of love. She is always waiting for me when i get home from work and she instantly puts a smile on my face.

  9. Elena (208 comments) says:

    We have two cats and one dog. My child learned how to take care of someone by taking care for his animals. We make sure our pets are healthy by feeding them organic food and taking them to the vet twice a year

  10. erin (134 comments) says:

    My dog has that rib thing too – it also made me worry about her weight. But I asked the vet and they said she was a PERFECT weight and what I saw was a floating rib. Some dogs just have it more prominently than others.

    That is GREAT you adopted. We adopted our third dog, Kronk, from Animal Control. We rescued our first family dog too, who passed away last year. Sookie we purchased.

    As for the happy healthy pet – we do pet playdates. LOL. That counts, right? Dogs are furry kids, right? So they need play dates too! My first dog, the one who passed away, LOVED my mom’s dog and vice versa. Without a doubt they were BFFs and so excited to see each other all the time. My sister got a new puppy, a German Shepherd, and my Kronk LOVES playing with that pup. They both have the same amount of energy. And then there are two other dogs in the play dates, as well. My Sookie and my sisters other dog Lola. I don’t think Lola has a BFF, though, in the group, although sometimes Kronk can entice her to play. And Sookie loves Kronk and get jealous when he plays with other dogs. But overall, the playdates are good socially for all of them.

  11. Holly Manthey (1 comments) says:

    We have had our dog, Emmy, since she was just 8 weeks old. We brought her home just a couple of months after we got married. I was only 18. She became my bestest buddy (besides my husband!). Now, 12 years later, she is diabetic and getting pretty old. We take care of her the best we can with medicine and special food. She is so precious to our family. She follows me everywhere, and sits and pouts on the couch when I am not around. She is a part of the family. I even tell the kids that she was the first child. :) They love her as much as we do!

  12. Margaret Smith (88 comments) says:

    Having pets has encouraged my family and I to be more active. We play with our pets, walk them daily and socialize more because of our pets. I really feel that my kids also has learned patience and understanding and compassion, because of our pets.

  13. Lorena Keech (6 comments) says:

    My husband is retired and I still work full time. Having two dogs has been a boon for us. The dogs stay healthy by walking miles a day and it has done the same for my husband. They walk all over the neighborhood, the dogs have their favorite neighbors and my husband now knows all of our neighbors. Everyone has benefited.

  14. Darlene Owen (12 comments) says:

    We have two black labs. We got these 2 dogs when we were in our 60s. I have always loved dogs and these two are the best thing that has happened to us. We make sure they eat the best kind of food, take them to vet as often as needed. We take them camping with us which means we do a lot of walking which is good for us and the dogs.

  15. Leanne V (1 comments) says:

    My goofball Harley (a pembroke welsh corgi) and his housemate Annie (a border collie/husky mix) can easily relieve any tensions in the house. Anytime any of us are down or stressed, leave it to the dogs to lighten the tensions by frapping around the house or jumping on someone out of the blue just to say hello. After they both put on an unhealthy amount of weight, I changed their food to prescription EN and a high-quality wet dog food and carefully monitored their portions. They each go for walks everyday, get NO human food or processed dog treats, and for their treats love frozen green beans, apples, and carrots. Happily at their wellness exam, both dogs lost the amount of weight in a year’s time that the vet set for them. He was extremely pleased and said it will help them to lead longer, healthier lives.

  16. Cynthia C (86 comments) says:

    I make sure my cat gets the best food and I spend time playing with her every day. Since my kids are grown she is a great companion for me.

  17. Vicki Wurgler (75 comments) says:

    10 years ago we picked out a black lab pup at the animal shelter. He has been a wonderful addition to our family-the boys love him. they feed and take him for walks. I think they learn to be responsible and have compassion for animals

  18. Katie Roch (1 comments) says:

    I ensure my dog is healthy by feeding him quality food, taking him on daily walks, and making sure he gets to the vet for his check ups. My little guy has changed my life because sad moments are fewer in my life. He always knows how to bring a smile to my face and encourages me to get up and moving when I may just feel like sitting around.

  19. Lydia Harpe (7 comments) says:

    When I was eleven years old, I adopted a stray barn cat. I named her Saber and she was my constant companion…I lived on 23 acres with my family at the time, so we would run in the woods together, climb trees, and everything. I don’t have Saber anymore but if I did I would make sure she still got her exercise and good food too.

  20. Janna Johnson (20 comments) says:

    I just got a rescue dog a few weeks ago. He lost his eye due to injury and his owner not taking him to the vet. We walk everyday with my neighbor and her dog at least twice a day.. sometimes 4 times depending on if I have to work. I take him to the petstores to socialize him> I also buy him healthier treats without rawhide. He lights up my life.
    Thanks! Janna JOhnson jannajanna@hotmail.com janna@feedyourpig on gfc

  21. Becca (87 comments) says:

    Haha I just had to go yell at my dog to get off my bed while starting to write my comment. We assure his health by feeding him very healthy dog food, only giving him the amount the vet says, taking him for regular check-ups, and normally walking him multiple times a day. It has made us healthier to have to walk him all the time. He has a ton of energy!

  22. Stephanie Larison (16 comments) says:

    We have a beagle now that we walk every day. My daughter being 4, she loves to take her out on the leash for walks, and it’s even healthy for us as well. Keeping us all healthier and growing closer to my daughter, what more could I ask for?

  23. Laura Jacobson (25 comments) says:

    After suddenly loosing my little beagle girl about a year and a half ago, I was so lost. My sister had to stop and pick up some dog treats for her dog, and they were having an adoption day. I fell in love with a lab mix named Murphy would had been looking for a new forever home from a long time. He had just been rescued from an Iowa shelter…and seemed so sad. We really bonded, but I didnt have the money to get him that day. It was just before Halloween….and on Halloween Night…the doorbell rang…I thought it was my first trick or treater…and it was my sister with Murphy dressed up in a pumpkin costume! She had arranged to get Murphy for me! Oh I was so excited…and we have been best buds every since! He had lost about 1/2 his weight in the shelter and had severe ear infections…but we got all that cleared up and he gained his weight back! He is doing great and I am so glad I got him! I take him on daily walks…even when its 10 below zero…only we dont go far. Just down a couple houses…so he at least gets a little walk in. He gets pretty upset if we dont get our walk in! Although he is a bed hog at night….I dont mind. :) He is my buddy…and I want to do all I can to keep him healthy as he was 6 years old when I got him.

  24. Amy Orvin (8 comments) says:

    I have 2 dogs, 4 cats and 2 sugar gliders. They are all rescues and are indoors only. I take the dogs and cats to the vet annually or as needed to insure them a healthy, long life. They all get plenty of great food and exercise daily. Even the sugar gliders have a giant wheel in their cage to run on. They truly have changed my life in many ways. They provide me with companionship and love unconditionally that humans just do not provide. I am so thankful for each of them in my life!

  25. diane Baum (30 comments) says:

    We have 5 rescue pets-3 cat and 2 dogs. They are Norman Ray , cat age 19, Angel Rose cat 9, Toby Trouble cat age 6, Mitzi dog age 4 and Layla age almost one. I was very sad (mixed feelings) when we became empty nesters and our sons left for school. My pets make me laugh and less lonely. They also encouage me to take them on LONG-walks. the walks are fun, refreshing and have helped me meet new neighbors.

  26. Jennifer Reed (8 comments) says:

    We got a puppy for my kids back last summer. I knew at the time I would be the one taking care of him but I did not know how attached I would get to him or how much he keeps me company. He is such a constant companion that I am thankful is in my life, as well as my kids. We feed him good quality food and regular veterinary appointments. He walks with me almost daily.

  27. Laurie Emerson (59 comments) says:

    I work hard at giving and keeping our dog in a healthy lifestyle by always making sure that he has all of his shots each year. I also feed him foods which I know are nutritious for him and help to give him a long and healthy life. Our dog Rusty has changed my life in so many ways, especially when it comes to my son. Our son is Autistic and has trouble expressing himself, especially when it comes to speech. He is so shy and self-conscious that no matter how hard we tried he shied away from talking to others. We decided to get a dog so we went to the local shelter where our son picked out Rusty. They fell in love with other the minute they met as each recognized the shyness in each other. Since Rusty our son talks to not only him but also others as Rusty has brought out his confidence in himself and our son has brought out the love and trust in Rusty. Rusty has changed our lives forever.

  28. Leslie S, (1 comments) says:

    Nine years ago our little guy was brought to us.He was a stray that ended up at a friends brothers house.We were told they were going to shoot him the next day if no one wanted him.I did not want a dog nor was I a dog person but they has forever changed.The little guy ran into our house and snuggled up on the couch next to me.It was love at first sight.For three days all he did was throw up and had an upset stomach with blood.We thought he was going to die and at the time had no money for a vet as hubby had just been laid off.We loved our new family member and on the fourth day he was fine.I believe they may have poisoned him before bringing him to us.He has been with us since that day.We now give him regular vet care and a special diet since he has a very sensitive stomach.The vet believes he is about 12 years old and he is starting to get grey hair around his mouth.He is a member of our family and like another child to me.Thanks!
    lstanziani(at)yahoo(dot)com

  29. jen gersch (4 comments) says:

    I adopted two rescue dogs, Maggie and Rags. They are my healthy motivators, but encouraging me to walk and take time to have fun and play. They are medicine for my soul!

  30. Susan Smith (89 comments) says:

    To keep my dog Daisy living a healthy lifestyle I take her for walks, play with her brush her, take her to the Vet for check ups and feed her healthy food. My dog is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and she needs a lot of attention. She loves sitting on my lap and sleeping in my bed at night.

  31. susan smoaks (65 comments) says:

    When my husband and I were newlyweds we lived in a small apartment that wasn’t on the safest side of town. My husband had to work night shift so he wanted to get a dog so I would be safe at night while he was working. We looked all over until we found Samantha. She is a lab mixed with ridgeback. She is super scary when she needs to protect her mommy but she is also super sweet and wonderful with kids. Samantha stays fit and healthy and happy because we feed her quality food and treats. We also make sure she gets lots of love and affection. She gets walked twice a day and has regular trips to the vet.

  32. Samii Meyer (7 comments) says:

    Not really anything super interesting, but I love what my dog does. My boyfriend gets home really late from work, and at the end of the night when everyone goes to sleep he sits at the top of the stairs and will not move until his daddy comes home. I think it is really sweet.

  33. Sand (58 comments) says:

    Walking my dog Heidi who is a rescue daily made me lose thirty pounds! I saved her and she saved me!

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