I think I mentioned before that our vet told me the first time I took Bo in for shots that he hadn’t actually worked with quite such a dramatic puppy before.  
And I mentioned that’s just what we need: more drama around here.
I don’t think I have mentioned yet, however, that we hired a dog trainer to help us know what in heaven’s name to do with this dog of ours (we’d love her to be a good therapy dog for Lucy), and he let us know in no uncertain terms that Bo is one of the most “spirited” dogs he’s worked with.

Great again.

This is how we spent the first month or so with this puppy of ours:

That and trying our darnedest to get her to go potty outside.  Yes, we tried the bell and everything everyone mentioned back in this post back HERE, (thank you by the way for all those great comments!), but she was a pretty slow potty learner at first.  And non-biter.  And non-jump-up-on-everything. (she is a puppy after all…)
Which has resulted in us removing every rug from the area of the house we allow her in (kitchen, family room, mudroom)…at least for a little while until she gets better at all this jazz.
She has ripped two pair of Dave’s suit pants, caused some good debates between me and Dave (I think she loves him the most and he loves her not-very-much…YET!), and she has changed our way of life around here quite a dramatically.
We have to keep an eye on her all the time…or carry her with us:
She gets into everything we do:
…and is getting big enough that she is getting into even more.
She has to be right next to us no matter where we go.
(But I’ll be honest I kinda love that.)
But some days I’ll admit I have definitely felt pretty “woe is me” and kind of like a martyr “taking one for the team.”
So would we do this over again? 

Because just look at this puppy:
(My friend took that picture…thanks Maureen!)
And look at these kids:

We really do adore her in spite of how she’s turned things upside down around here.

The girls STILL come home from school and get over-the-moon excited having her run back and forth to them, waging her tail so hard that her whole body is waging and shaking with pure glee.

She provides endless entertainment for the neighborhood.  Here’s one of the young women holding her doing yoga for YW one night:

And she’s already the best little companion for Lucy.
Nothing can quite describe how it makes my heart feel to look out the window and see this:

 These girls cannot get enough of her.

 And she puts up with them so well.

She provides some serious entertainment when we give her baths and all her fluff sits wet against her tiny body:

And she just “graduated” from her training…

…which means…drum roll:  we have to keep training 😉


But at least we now know what to do and how to act and react to this new little family member of ours.

My sisters and I joke that I have a “mantra” I repeat to myself every morning:

“I like dogs.”

Repeated three times.

They joke that I’m not ready for the “I love dogs” mantra quite yet, but I’ll get there.


But really, I do love this dog of ours.

She has added something to our family that has a lot of potential 🙂

And I like it.


  1. You have such an amazing attitude, Shawni. Always looking on the positive side of things and expressing your gratitude out loud. You are just so great! Keep it up!

  2. Don't give up! I admittedly couldn't stand our puppy at first, but now 2 years later, it's MUCH easier. And if Lucy is consistent and strict with her now, she'll be a great therapy dog and companion. And she is sooo cute…

  3. Shawni,

    It can sometimes take 2-3 years for a puppy to settle down. We sometimes leash ours inside so she doesn't get into everything, and doesn't have to be in a cage/crate all the time. Baby carrots make a healthy potty training treat, and are good for cleaning their teeth.


  4. We are on our second goldendoodle. What you are describing is so goldendoodle behavior. Hang in there. They are simply awful…until they are not. But along with their pesky issues they are intuitive and super smart. They make excellent therapy dogs, which is why we got another one after losing our first to cancer. A trainer is an excellent idea and having Lucy do many of the enjoyable tasks like feeding, brushing, and letting her out will help strengthen the bond between them. My dogs instinctively knew which of my daughters needed the extra attention and they will always give it.

  5. Pound sand. If they are off limits don't include them on the blog. Her pants are raggedy. Who do you think you are?

    1. Wow, victim-blaming much? "It's Grace's fault I'm making asinine/inappropriate comments about her because her mom posts about her on her blog." How about being a decent human being and not say anything at all? Just because you can post/comment about something on a public blog doesn't mean you HAVE TO. "I can and will comment as I see fit" is such a selfish, narcissistic, and mostly nasty excuse. Your opinions/criticism of Shawni's blog have crossed into inappropriateness and brings down the purpose of this blog. Find someone else to criticize and leave Shawni and her kids alone.

    2. ^^^ What she said. 🙂 And it's just common knowledge and common courtesy to leave kids alone on blogs, you know that. You're just trying to get a rise out of people.

  6. What in the world is your problem with Grace's ripped jeans? I noticed you harped on them in other posts. If she likes them and Shawni is fine with it, who are you to say anything?

    1. Grace is dressed just fine. The 80's are back. I went into the women's section, not juniors, at the store and could find a single pair of pants Capri length or longer that were not distressed in some way. Let's hope Maria doesn't need pants in the next few years, she may be confined to her home for lack of clothing options.

  7. We also got a goldendoodle for Christmas for a lot of the same reasons you did. And this post is awesome. We "laugh" that getting a dog was our worst parenting decision, and also our best parenting decision. 😂 Seriously great post. ❤️

  8. We just got a Goldendoodle puppy too! High-energy for sure! 🙂 My husband passed away 3 years ago, and it seemed like the right time to invite puppy-love into our family. I am like you though — not an animal person — so it has been a huge adjustment! There are times I wonder why in the world I made this choice, and other times when I can see it is exactly what we need. I also hope for her to be a Therapy dog for my family, and others in the future. She has changed our lives completely, and she is even changing my heart. My mantra has been: Just because something is hard, doesn't mean it's not good. Repeated at least 5 times. 😉 You can check out our puppy story here:


  9. I love dogs & yours is adorable!

    Your exercise room looks amazing! Have you blogged about how you & your family stay healthy & fit?

    P.S. My teenager would love Grace's pants! Very cute! 🙂

  10. My sister got a golden doodle at Christmas too. They are doing a training where the dog is feed from their hands after completing a command. It's made the dog much more attentive. They don't give treats. The dog works for its food. It sounded really neat.

  11. Holy smokes that Bo is SO stinkin' CUTE!!!!! Looks like you guys are doing great with her and that she is already a great addition to the family!

  12. HAHAHA! First you said "whoa is me". Now you've corrected it to "wo is me". I think you are trying to say "WOE IS ME".

    1. Dave and I fell in love with that painting in a little market in Bali a few years ago and carried it home rolled up on the airplane. Unfortunately I don't even know the name of the artist!

  13. awesome post…. we are thinking of getting a golden doodle. I also love your floors…. especially in the kitchen…. can you please share what type of wood you used?

  14. You are doing a great job with your Bo! They really are little bundles of unconditional love. Dogs teach us beautiful examples… of staying in the moment!

  15. You know it's sad when after reading every post, I scroll down to see what kinds of cheap insults Maria has to throw this time. I see nothing has changed.

    The dog is so cute!! If anyone has anything else to say over a cute dog post, they have real issues. It's a family blog and this particular one was about their adorable puppy. Chill, lady.

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