Thursday, April 3, 2014

Nacho Noel

This past fall, when I was training for the Marathon, something really cool happened to me out on the road. Whether or not I let on here, all that long distance running, solo, got really lonesome. I was out on my 14 mile run, all by myself Sad Story, when these two dogs came out of no where and ran with me.

Instantly, I felt encouraged by companionship in my long run, and ever since that day, my husband and I have been talking about getting a dog. I have always been an animal lover. However, we both felt this would be a huge commitment for us, taking on a pet. 

How would a new pet, (we have one very spoiled house cat) , affect our day to day lives? Would we have time to give the dog the proper attention it would need to be happy? Would we be both be involved in training the dog? Do we have space for a dog?

We were both excited by the idea but needed to give it some time to marinate. We both feel introducing a new character into our lives is a commitment that we don't take lightly. If we do this, it's important to us that our pet be an active member of our little Noel unit. After months of chatter, we agreed a retriever or Labrador would be ideal for us at this stage. We want an active, friendly, and intelligent new pet. We're on the verge of a move, life is crazy, and we agree a puppy will have to wait until after the move.

Until the perfect scenario presented itself, and we just couldn't say no. Introducing Mr.Nacho Noel

Nacho is a Golden Retriever/ Labrador Retriever mix (intentionally bred). Nacho's Dad is man's best friend to my husband's first cousin that's way too many degrees of separation. Nacho is three weeks old. He enjoys eating, sleeping, pooping, and cuddling. He's unsure about running for fun, but like any new runner he'll warm up to the idea with time. Right now his favorite past time is my favorite past time, cuddles, and I am instantly in love with our new family member.

Nacho and I: Let's never part
Mr. Noel is unsure about the puppy stage and wants to skip straight to the hop in the back of the truck and take a ride with me big floppy dog stage. 

Nick meets Nacho for the first time
This will be an adjustment for us all, and we could not be more excited to take on this challenge! Yes, this is a little bit of a let's start small before jumping to a real life human baby test for us. Real talk, I have no qualms admitting to that. It will be another three to four weeks before Nacho comes to live with us. I'm terrible at sitting on secrets, and I've been on this one for a hot minute.Since January when I found out Nacho's Mom was expecting him. That's a long time yo! 

Nacho is already standing apart from the crowd, straight stylin in a lime green dog bone embellished collar from Petsmart. #annoyingthingsthatbloggersdo

Advice time, those of you with man's best friend living with you, what are your puppy must haves?

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  1. Aweeeee!!! Soooo stinking cute.

  2. He is ADORABLE. You guys will be great puppy parents! Congrats :)

  3. YESSS!!!! PUPPY LUPPY!!!!! Get ready for that puppy stage. It's beautiful and awesome and gross and great all at the same time. True motherhood! Excited for the Family Noel!

  4. I had a golden/lab mix. He was the most amazing dog! Sweetest thing there ever was, but boy are they handfuls for the first 3 years! haha! He is beyond cute! Congrats!

  5. Kongs or nylabones for the puppy/chewing phase. It'll save you lots of shoes and furniture if you give them something else to chew on.

  6. Oh dear - I want a puppy now! lol

  7. He's adorable! Having a running companion is awesome :D When we decided to get Cody, I had to wait 4 weeks until he came home, and the most important things that helped me were books on Labs. I only bought two - but they had so much great information in them - without them I would have been lost. (They were "The Everything Labrador Retriever Book" and "The Labrador Retriever Handbook") both very useful. IF you ever have any questions don't hesitate to email me ! :)

  8. Yes... Kong's for sure. We just got a puppy and she enjoys chomping on antlers as well (naturally lost--the idea freaked me out as well!), they are pretty expensive but those baby teeth are sharp and our girl has not even made a dent. A comfy bed for Nacho to sleep..We get ours from Costco...oh and tiny tennis balls... Lots of fun training treats... Cute collars! Good sturdy food should maybe register ehh? Puppies are so fun... That being said you may question your decision the first couple of nights he is home. The puppy love is worth it though. Enjoy!

  9. Congrats! I have a 10 month old Retriever/boxer mix who is my awesome running buddy (we rescued her in November - she had one day left before she was going to be put down at the shelter)! We are hovering around the 3 mile distance and I'm slowly increasing the mileage - she's still young and I don't want her to injure herself! Tip for running with dogs - teach them how to walk on the leash first - my mistake was that we just started running off the get go and now she thinks that's what every walk is!!

    Holly :)

  10. My boyfriend and I just brought home a puppy this past weekend, so we are knee deep in the throws of potty training and chewing all the things. Before we brought him home, we made sure to have lots of different types of toys for him to chew on. We got a variety so we could see which ones he preferred and also to see which (if any) he would chew through/destroy. I try to keep one of his toys/nylabones at arms reach so when we catch him chewing something he's not supposed to, we immediately put something he is allowed to chew on in front of him. We tell him no when he's chewing something he's not supposed to, then praise him as soon as he starts chewing on his bone/toy. I think it's starting to work, but we've only been at it for a few days now so we'll see. Yay for puppies!

  11. awwww so cute! Like everyone said, you will need lots of chew toys. A good bed is also necessary - it will give him his "spot" in the house. Good luck - doggy love is the best! And let me know how your cat reacts. I had my dog for 5 years when I introduced my kitten. I was more worried about the dog wanting to kill the cat but he didn't mind the cat at all. Now they are best buds.

  12. Oh my goodness, Nacho is adorable!!! I have had dogs most of my I have been through the puppy stage a time or two to say the least! An important tip? I learned this the hard way....make sure that you only allow him to do things now that he is allowed to do as an adult. Sure, jumping up right now is so darn cute, you know the wrinkly puppy butt and the wagging tail...freaking adorable. What is not adorable? 75 lbs of dog jumping up on you constantly. Also, since Nacho will probably be a BIG dog....think about the whole lap dog thing! I had a Dalmatian that thought he was a lap dog. When Mac was a puppy he loved my husband's socks and would carry them around the isn't so cute now that he can chew through them and leave them EVERYWHERE.

    You need puppy training pads, one of a lot of different types of toys (not all dogs like all toys and you have to learn what he might light), kongs with something to stuff in it (my dogs love peanut butter and I always have it in the house) and lots of little treats for training. Little equals not as many calories and you can give more throughout the day!

    Also, decide now if you are going to crate train or not. Both of my dogs stay in their crates when we are at work and to sleep. If you start from the beginning, you will only have minimal whining. If you wait, you may never break it.

  13. You should buy some 'Bitter Apple Spray', it will deter chewing on things you see him going for (wall trim, table legs, toilet paper - spray a piece or two and just leave them in the bathroom), and some 'neutralizer' for the potty accidents that are bound to happen. Also, sign up for puppy classes and training and stick with it. The companionship he will offer will more than compensate for any tough puppy incidents. Congratulations on the addition!!

  14. A tiny Kong is awesome and you can get bigger ones as he grows. We always gave a kong to our puppies when we were leaving with a little spray cheese or peanut butter with a few tiny treats in it. Reinforces that us leaving isn't horrible and turns it into something positive. I don't know if you've ever had a dog before but I'd definitely read up on what foods are poisonous to dogs, like grapes! Nacho is adorable!!! Congrats!

  15. We love our Kong for our Lhasa Apso, Nala! She gets it during her dreaded brushing times with some peanut butter & food inside. I also recently signed her up for a Bark Box (similar to Birchbox or an Ipsy bag). So far she loves the toys that come in it and we're finding a lot of healthier, all natural treats for her!

  16. EEeee! He is so cute! He is SO cute! He looks like the softest, floppiest ball of fur ever!

    Not sure if you're just looking for products with your puppy must-haves, but one piece of advice I give to any puppy owners who will listen is to control what they eat the first few months. If you feed your pup, wait 10 minutes, then take him outside, it makes potty training so much easier!

    Have fun you two!

  17. He is super cute :) You will need a crate to crate train, a spot picked out to take him to use the bathroom (you will need to use the same spot outside everytime so that he knows why he is going outside and will train faster).

  18. What a precious little pup, I am certain he will provide good long run companionship!

  19. Hi! I rarely comment but had to tell you - Nature's Miracle (white bottle with red writing) is THE BEST for cleaning up puppy accidents in the house...totally removes any/all odor from rugs and carpets! A must have :)
    Looks like the other readers have you covered with the rest! We feed our dog Spot's Stew (dry variety) and he loves it.

  20. LOVING the new addition!!!

    1. potty pads - for potty training
    2. raw hides, pigs ears, treats - also for training purposes
    3. a collar and leash with metal not plastic closures - one of my two girls chewed through the plastic without any issues
    4. a nice dog bed for him to sleep in - so he doesn't join you guys in bed
    5. a water jug water dispenser - unless you want to fill water daily
    6. my vet 11 years ago recommended Purina brand dog food - and its been great
    7. get rid of your carpet if you can (or clean REALLY well once he has an accident) - if they have an accident on carpet, they will keep going back to the same spot because they can still smell it
    8. I have heard not giving them "toys" and just food/treats will help with them chewing on your furniture and stuff - but I have never done that, so I try to have TONS of toy options so they don't chew my stuff
    9. don't let him pull you on runs - when he is small its not a big deal, but when I try to run with two 70lb dogs now they pull me, so I have to take them one at a time, its hard to break habits you make when they are little
    10. decide now if you want to allow him on furniture or not, because its hard to go back on that one too

    I am so excited for you guys!!! We have 2 dogs and 2 cats and they are best buds! I was nervous because we got the cats after having the dogs forever, but introduce them under the door for a week before they meet so they get used to each others smells! Plus since the dog is a puppy you should be fine with your kitty!