7.17.2013

FOUR Gals and a Guy - A Furry New Addition

There are moments in life when I like to give myself these little things called, "Cool Mom Points."

Unexpected trip to the park with my kids - 3 Cool Mom Points
Ice cream cones before dinner - 5 Cool Mom Points
Allowing each child to pick an awesome prize from the Target dollar spot  for no reason - 10 Cool Mom Points

Get the idea?

The best part, is that there are no set rules or guidelines on HOW you can obtain CMP's (Cool Mom Points), because that's simply up to you. If just getting out of bed after a sleepless night with a new baby, to fix some cereal for another screaming child earns you 15 CMP's... then WHOO HOO! You're rockin' it! Give yourself a pat on the back, girl!

 I'm sure everyone has their own version of "Cool Mom Points" in their minds, right? Little ways that you celebrate yourself for doing the things that you may not really WANT or can afford to do, but know if you did them your kids would think you were awesome.

Well... about a month or so ago, I earned some major CMP's AND CWP's (cool wife points) when this "not-really-a-pet-person" (that's me) finally agreed to bringing home this new little furry friend into our family.

Little Miss Zaylee. A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.


Okay, in all honesty, there was a LOT of thought, work and planning that went into finding our sweet little pup, but both Cason and I knew once it was all said and done, the joy on our girls' faces would be priceless... and we were right.
Tell me those smiles don't scream like, 1,000 Cool Mom Points?
:)

After doing GOBS of research, visiting shelters, talking to other pet owners, and even randomly stopping people on the street who had dogs that we were interested in knowing more about, we finally made the choice to go with the kind of dog that we thought would fit our family's dynamic the best; and for us, that happened to be the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
This criteria is going to be SO different for everyone, but for us, we had a few key things we were looking for. We wanted a dog that was a girl, small-ish, light in color, smart, obedient, loving, kind, calm, good with kids, loved being around people, and wasn't yappy/hyper or barked a lot.
One thing that's hard when picking out a dog, is that while each breed is known for having a certain temperament, each individual dog has it's own personality! So really, I'm sure there could be a lot of different dogs that could possibly work for one family, it's just finding that special one that will work for yours!

Although this might sound crazy, and a bit heartless, even though it's totally not suppose to, "dog shopping" for us, was a LOT like finding a new house. SO many options! Old, new. Big, small. There were a TON of factors to take into account. Getting a dog, just like buying a house is a HUGE commitment! It costs money, takes up a LOT of your time and is emotionally and physically stressful. It's a decision that you're going to have to live with for 10+ years maybe, and so you want to be very careful, picky and maybe even crazy about it! Point blank, something that you shouldn't take lightly.

So yes, when I shared on Facebook/Instagram that we had a new puppy and we got boatloads of pet-lovers commenting back with how disappointed in us they were because we didn't rescue a dog from a shelter, or adopt... of course I understood where they were coming from. But at the same time, the only people who know what's best for our little family, is us. I assure you that the choice to get our dog from a breeder (who only breeds her Cavaliers once a year), instead of a shelter or pet store, doesn't make us uneducated or awful people. (although, that's what some of you decided to think of us) yikes!

After Cason and I visited our local shelters a few times to have some one on one with a couple of more mature dogs, we realized for OUR young family, who had never had a new pup, that we also needed a pup just like us who had never had a family... so we could grow and learn together.


Having Zaylee in our home has been ridiculously fun, happy, emotional and yes, even frustrating at times. Now that she's been with us for a while, I have to compare her presence to more of a toddler, than anything else. The potty training, teething and playfulness... along with the unconditional love she gives, happiness and worry she brings us.

Is she still breathing? Does she look funny to you? Has she eaten enough?
Okay, that's more me than anyone else... but you get the idea. We definitely view her as more of a baby than a house now. ha!
:)
But, in the end, I think that was the smartest thing we did. We took being emotional about buying a dog out of the equation, until we actually knew exactly what we wanted and had her in our home. This kept us from making an irrational decision, and potentially getting a dog that may not have worked for our family in the long run. This is also why we didn't tell the kids we were even considering getting a dog, until we were SURE that Zaylee was the dog for us.

Moral of the Story:
Maybe becoming a pet person, just takes finding the right pet (?)

Cason was always in the cheering section when it came to getting a dog, but I swore up and down that we would never have a pet in our home... and now I couldn't imagine our little family or life without Zaylee in it!
Crazy how that happens.

I guess more than anything, I just wanted to properly introduce our newest little family member on the blog and also share our story with you, because I've realized now, after having Zaylee, how many people are "on the fence" about getting pets for their own families.

If there's any advice that I can give, it's this:
* Do you research
* Explore all of your options
* Don't take this decision lightly
* Be ready to commit for now AND in the long run
* Know that dogs are expensive and need lots of love
* What breed is right for one person, may not be right for you

125 comments:

  1. I love this post! Zaylee is adorable. I know what you mean about the breeder/adopting thing. We ended up going with a pure bred Golden Retriever puppy and if I had a dollar for every time I got stopped on the street and asked where we got him, and the looks that people gave when my answer was "oh, a breeder in Portland". I think that some people just aren't educated about the tough decision that comes with choosing a puppy that is best for your family and your situation and they are all the same. Also, as terrible as it is, it is risky to have a shelter dog around kids. You just can never be certain if the dog has had any trauma that could be taken out on your children down the road and it isn't worth the risk, but maybe for a couple with no kids, a rescue would be perfect. It just depends on the situation and good for you guys for taking the time to research and make an educated decision! Growing up with a dog is just the best!

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  2. wow - some people! thats like asking someone who is pregnant why they didnt adopt when there are a lot of orphan children that need homes!

    Zaylee is adorable, but I'm not caving, nope I'm not!

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    1. Don't cave, I did! BIg mistake. I've apologized to our new dog many times for not fighting for him to have a better home.(we're not bad it's just he spends a lot of time in the kennel and in the backyard) The new puppy thing lasted all of 5 seconds and now it's just me and him. The Tasmanian devil and a non dog liker. oh boy I'm in for it. He's like a combination of Marley from Marley and me and the Dog from Bruce Almighty that pees everywhere. Like on the bed every chance he gets.

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    2. I currently have 5 inside dogs and have fostered over 150 for our local pound. You dog, sounds to me, like he is bored. If you can't spend a lot of time with him, buy him some interactive toys. It's ok to NOT be a dog lover but if you are keeping him out of sheer responsibility, DON'T. Get in touch with a local rescue and see if they can place him. If you keep him, he will need some training.

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  3. We sound so much alike when it comes to dogs. I'm not a pet person. I never had a dog or cat growing up & knew that I wouldn't want one as I got older. Well, my husband has had nothing but dogs in his life & he was set on having one. Once we bought our house 3 years ago, I finally agreed. We did research, went through a breeder as well & knew what dog would be best for our family: a chocolate lab. {Although the I curse the shedding...;)} Choosing the dog that's best for YOUR family is the right decision. Just with anything that involves YOUR own family. YOU know what's best. I have to keep reminding myself this over & over {and I'm not just talking about buying a dog}. :) Anyways, welcome to the family Zaylee!

    How did you choose her name?!

    Amy @ keepin' up with the Smith's

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  4. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this!! I've been following you on IG so of course I've seen the pictures, but I love hearing the background behind the most adorable puppy!!! Have fun with your new "baby" :)

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  5. Love it!!! You did all the right things for your family.

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  6. Yay, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels!! I too, am not a pet person but after stopping 2 people with Cava-poos (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle mix)on the street, we found our match; Little Lady.
    And to those who question not rescuing a dog, Lady was living in a Rubbermaid tote, surrounded by her own filth. I think rescuing from a bad breeder is just as important. Plus, like you said, it was whatever is best for your family. You have to be careful when you have small children.

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  7. Oh Shelly, I wish the outcome of my new puppy story was a little brighter. And I've had a puppy before. I swore to do more research this time. I was out numbered 3 to 1 and my family got one when we should have thought it through just a little longer. I am a cat person, I'm sorry but I just don't like dogs. I just try and try but it's not in me... at all. And now I am about 99.9% responsible for the tasmanian devil that now lives with us. I really wish we would have done better research and found the perfect puppy breed for us. Like a really small, slow dog.

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  8. Sometimes I just want to apologize for the whole world, you know? I am sorry you were criticized for the kind of dog you brought into your family. (I adopt shelter dogs because it works for my family, but to expect you to make the same choices as me on something that is not a God-mandate is just ridiculous.) That said, your new pups looks like she is making your family very happy and is fitting right in. Kudos to you for treating this decision with the intentionality it should always have.

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  9. When I saw the picture you posted of her on Pinterest, I HAD to come over and read about the precious new addition! I got a cavalier puppy for my 16th birthday present and I think Zaylee will make a wonderful addition to your family! I have never met a cavalier that I didn't like.

    Also just let those hurtful comments roll off your back. Cavaliers are such good dogs that it is nearly impossible to find one in a shelter. Plus you did your research and found a reputable breeder, which is so important.

    Congrats on your adorable little girl!!

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  10. Hi Shelley! Such a lovely update, even though I feel as though I know her already via Instagram! It is a shame that anyone criticized you for not rescuing. I think this process is so personal, and you can choose what you wish to do. Enjoy this experience, owning a spaniel is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding experiences! We have been a spaniel owning family for 25 years, even though we have the English springer kind. Enjoy! xx

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  11. She is too adorable. You're making me (a girl that swares to never have a dog) want one! When we rescued our kittens, found them in the back meadow of our townhouse, we weren't planning on getting any pets. But now I couldn't imagine not having them around even when they drive me nuts and I threaten to throw them out!

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  12. Awwww, I've been seeing your little Zaylee on Instagram! She is as adorable as your whole family, a perfect fit! Glad to see that the negative, mean people don't diminish your strength and your steadfastness for what is best for you and your family! There would be no pets in shelters if there were more responsible people like you guys! xo

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  13. I adore this story! Looks like you all found the perfect little addition for your family. And you're right- every family is SOO different! Congrats on your little baby!

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  14. I adore this story! Looks like you all found the perfect little addition for your family. And you're right- every family is SOO different! Congrats on your little baby!

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  15. She is ADORABLE! She reminds me of Lady on Lady and the Tramp. Puppies are a handful, especially if you aren't expecting the commitment it requires. But, when they grow out of their puppy phase, they can be the best companions ever. Good luck with Zaylee!

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  16. Sooo, I just found your blog and I have to say you are going to love your little Zaylee, we just got a Cavalier King Charles, Lexi, in April and she is wonderful, sweet, gentle, loving & a VERY quick learner :) Hope you don't mind a new follower :)

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  17. Great post! Rescue is best, but not always the best fit for your family. As long as your pet isn't from the pet store (aka puppy mill) I don't think you have anything to feel bad about. Have fun, she's adorable and worth probably 1 million cool mom points!

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    1. Excellent! Most people don't know you can get full bred puppies at rescue :(

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  18. I've heard these dogs are super smart. Our neighbors have one and love him! And yes, becoming a pet person is all about finding the right pet. I swore for 12 years we'd never get a dog and after one false start, we are now dog owners. And I adore our Coco. :)

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  19. Congratulations on your new furry family member. She's adorable. May she bring you much happiness and joy.

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  20. i totally agree with you! i am not a pet person, but i inherited a black lab when i married my husband. he's sweet and great with kids, but he's huge and leaves hair and footprints everywhere! a king charles is definitely more my style. :) she is so precious!

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  21. OMGOOOOOOOOOOOOODNESSSSSSSSSSSS what a precious lil thing!!! *dreamy sigh* wtg for doing what is best for your family rather than what some others may deem 'right'.

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  22. OMGOOOOOOOOOOOOODNESSSSSSSSSSSS what a precious lil thing!!! *dreamy sigh* wtg for doing what is best for your family rather than what some others may deem 'right'.

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  23. How cute! My mom has a king charlesmare they are the best dogs ever!

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  24. Hooray! We LOVE our Cavalier, Darcy (ours is a tri color) but it was the BEST thing for our family. Aren't they the sweetest most snugglie things? I spent about a year researching before we finally decided, but I haven't regretted having her one bit. Ok, maybe just the morning when she ate my favorite church shoes, $100 patent leather peep toe pumps. :( Zaylee is sure a cutie, congrats!

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  25. I got both of my puppies from a responsible breeder instead of "rescuing" a dog from a shelter. My philosophy is that you never know what might have happened to these dogs if you hadn't purchased them. They may have ended up at a shelter after their original owner decided some torn up carpet was worth giving them away. I may have "rescued" them from what could have been a tough life ... you never know!

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  26. Oh my goodness. CUTEST puppy EVER!!! Seriously, too much cute is happening right now! Love:)

    xo, amy
    www.theblissfulbee.com

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  27. I have been eating her up on your Instagram! Thanks for sharing your story, and keep the pics coming! Too adorable!!!! =)

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  28. She is adorable and so precious! We have an aging (12) black Lab, and can't imagine life without her. My oldest used to take naps on her when he was an infant. She has herded all 3 boys away from the pool for ages, and is an excellent partner for batting practice (just make sure you have about a dozen balls!). My poor baby started having age-related seizures this spring. Thankfully, with even more loving care and attention, they have subsided, but I just know I'm going to be so broken when her time comes...

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  29. OH MY is she sweet or what?! I want to smoosh and kiss that adorable little face!!

    Congrats on "becoming a dog person" - she will be one of the greatest additions to your family. And clearly she has already learned the art of snuggling. :)

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  30. Thank you for posting honestly about how you added a pet to your family. I too am not a "pet person" and it's not that I don't like pets, I just see it the way you do. It's a lot of work and time and effort to have a pet. I am not a natural with pets (just like some people are not natural with kids) and so it will take me a while to make that decision but I know I will one day. I think some people who are just animal lovers don't really understand. Some people just assume that all people love animals or there is something wrong with them and that is just not the case. I actually was severely frightened by a strange dog when I was little and so I think that has a lot to do with it. Anyways, thanks for the tips and honest post. Zaylee is so pretty!

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  31. She is so cute! I completely agree that adopting/rescuing isn't for everyone and you shouldn't be "reprimanded" for doing what was right for y'all. It always amazes me, how many people feel the need to judge someone from behind a screen. Any who, congrats on you newest and extremely cute addition :)

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  32. I agree completely with your decision to go with a reputable, established breeder, not that it matters what I think. I myself will not take a rescue/shelter dog, as you really don't know what you are getting in regards to temperament, etc. Questions like: why are they in here in the first place? Did they bite the kids? Destroy furniture and items, etc.? These are all thing you must take into account in getting a rescue dog.

    A co worker rescued a dog and the animal bit every single one of their family members more than once. Off it went back to the shelter. Now they don't have a good opinion of dogs.

    Now you are the one that can shape their temperament, and have the dog adjust to your life style, not the other way around.

    No one had the right to judge you because you chose a different path.

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  33. That puppy is melting my heart! What a sweetie!

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  34. She is so cute! I'm not a dog person and say we won't get a dog either, but we're in a rented townhouse, so I have more of an excuse. I can't believe people were so rude to you. But then again, I can.
    You and your family are adorable!

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  35. I agree, the first question we ALWAYS get about our new puppy is "Did you adopt her"

    Well....no...but that doesn't make us irresponsible, we had her fixed so she won't add to any shelter populations. We just couldn't find a shelter mutt that was young and didn't seem like a disastrous combination (irish wolfhound-boxer anyone?)

    Like you said, we found the breed that would best fit us for the long run and bought from someone who doesn't breed for a living.

    LOVE your puppy, and totally respect your decision!

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  36. Congratulations on the new little bundle of joy in your family. It sounds like you really tried to find the best fit for your family. Like parenting advice, people always want to add their two cents on how you raise your dog. Haters gonna hate, amIright?

    Zaylee is a doll and is just as darling as the rest of your family. Good luck and enjoy the ride.

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  37. She is so adorable. Please don't let negative "shelter dog" comments affect how you feel at all about Zaylee (not that it will) :). We rescued a small mixed breed dog, it was young but was set in his ways and it ended up biting my daughter...nope not gunna happen in my home bye bye. After that I got an email from a friend, that helped up find a home for the biting dog that she found a Gold Retriever that needed a home FAST. One look and I was taking the day off work and driving 2 hours away. She is the best dog ever. After a couple of years with one beautiful, smart, loving big dog we decided we wanted a little dog again but this time we wanted to start with a puppy so that we could help guide their personality to fit our family. We finally found him in a little ball of Yorkie/Bichon fur. He works great for us. I have friends that run rescues and even a family member that started a humane society in her county and they had a hard time with our choice but they have come to except it. Enjoy Zaylee....that unconditional love just stops you in your tracks sometimes. :)

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  38. She is the sweetest little pup! Congrats to your family! I am a BIG, BIG advocate of dog rescues as a foster parent and dog mama to a rescue pup but I loved your explanation in this post and the education you provided. Dogs ARE a huge commitment and you shouldn't take it lightly. Nor should you just adopt from a rescue "because it's the right thing to do" without fully considering the long term impact of taking in a dog that may or may not work out thus ending up back in said rescue either way. Good for you guys for doing your research and finding the perfect pet!

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  39. so cute! when we first got my dog who is now 10, I used to freak out when he didn't eat!

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  40. She's adorable! You couldn't have made a better choice. We've had our Cavalier for 7 years, and she is delightful. They have the sweetest personalities and never grow out of that puppy face. I know you and your family will love having that sweet dog as a part of your family for many years to come!

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  41. Check out this blog http://cass-thatoldhouse.blogspot.com/. They have 2 pups like yours and have the best photos & stories about them. Your girls will love it!
    ♥'s
    Sherry

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  42. We have a rescue dog, but I can completely understand your family's need to have a puppy. We had both puppies and rescues when I was growing up and they each come with their own challenges. It's important to do what is right for your family, not what others think is right for you. I loved how you put it - "so we could grow and learn together". Congratulations to you and your family. I can only imagine that your girls are on cloud nine right now especially with as cute a puppy as Zaylee (love the name!). She is an absolutely darling.

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  43. Zaylee is adorable! My brother and his family have had 2 cavaliers and they say that is the only dog they will ever have.

    I have had 2 shelter dogs and have not had luck with either one. Both of them bit my children and we had to get rid of them. I know there are plenty of good rescues out there but the next dog we get will come from a breeder. We can be a little more sure of the personality and temperament of the dog. The breeder can give us a good idea of what we should expect. I agree with you-you have to pick the dog that is right for you and your family. It's sad that you have to defend your choice, though. Enjoy your little puppy! My brother is trying to convince me that I need a Cavalier but I have my heart set on another breed.

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  44. We also have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Tucker. We had heard that these dogs are calm, obedient, quiet, etc. . . . and I love him to death, but like you said, every dog has their own personality! He has soooooooo much energy and I wouldn't describe his personality as "calm" (except for at night when he's worn out). Cute as can be, but nothing at all like the other Cavaliers we've met except that he loves to cuddle. If he had his way, my sister would carry him around all day long. He loves being held like a baby and he's 5 now. :)

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  45. That is the curtest puppy ever, I wish I could have one but the husband doesn't want one, hopefully one day it will change hah!!!


    In the mean time I can puppysit hah!

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  46. Awww, I guess you got 100 cool points huh? She's an absolute doll though! Such a cutie pie! <---- But you really should have gotten a rescue . . . I kid, I kid. ;)

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  47. Zaylee has the cutest little puppy face ever. PS} I'm also one of those moms who swore up & down that I'd never have a dog in the house. But, I have a husband & 3 sons ... and they eventually wore me down. We got Cooper, a mini-Schnauzer, from a great breeder on Black Friday almost 8 yrs ago. He's been tons of fun & we can't imagine life w/o him.

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  48. Hi! I've been a follower for quite some time- like 2009! I can't believe you got the remarks you did! I think the decision you made for YOUR family is great! My Mom has that breed of dog and they are great for families with kids, they live to cuddle and play! We got a second dog, our first was rescued as a puppy, but our second dog we chose a golden doodle. I would get another one in a heart beat! Although very large, she is the sweetest dog ever, and perfect for OUR family! I think you guys are awesome. :)

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  49. Shelley,

    You are so right - you have to do what is best for your family. I have a Mini Schnauzer who we got from a breeder and I have a yorkie who joined our family as a rescue. Either way, they all need loving homes. Your sweet girl has a great home and will bring years of smiles to your family.

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  50. Oh my goodness, she is the cutest puppy I've ever seen! Really that one photo doesn't even look real -- are you sure you didn't post a really cute stuffed puppy instead?

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  51. Your new pup is adorable. You have to do what is right for your situation not what others think is the right thing to do. We adopted a rescue lab mix who was only 16 weeks old when we got her but already had some issues we realized after we had her home. She is very skittish and afraid of most people other than our family and very close friends. She barks at everyone when we are out on walks and although we did training classes nothing has changed this behavior. We love her to death and will continue to work with her but it is a challenge not to have the friendly, happy go lucky dog. A rescue pet is not always the right choice for everyone. I'm sure I'll get some negative comments but that is just my opinion. I hope your family has many happy years with Zaylee!

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  52. We are in the same boat... my kids are begging for a pug dog... I know what a commitment it takes (having tried the puppy thing right after getting married and talking to friends), not to mention time, money, patience... etc.. I just dont know if I can handle a puppy right now.. so we may research the rescue option... thanks for confirming it is NOT a decision to make hastily ...

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  53. She is absolutely adorable - looks like a stuffed animal!!! LOVE those eyes...so soulful. And bravo to you and hubby on approaching this regardless of others opinions of where and how you 'should' look for a pet for your family. That is such a personal thing, as they become members of your family; and you, NOT THEM, will be raising and providing for this dog. A lovely addition to a lovely family! Congratulations!!!

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  54. You will be so happy with your choice! Our Cavalier, Gracie, is 8 and once looked just like your puppy. Our daughters convinced us our empty nest needed a puppy and we are so much in love with her. She is great with our 4 grandchildren, all under 6 years of age. She gets along well with other dogs too. Best of all is when she puts her paws around our neck and just snuggles in. So full of love. I know your Miss Zaylee will bring you many happy moments.

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  55. Hi Shelley,
    This is a great post, thanks for sharing. We too have a similar story, I never considered myself to be a "pet person" and had no intention of ever owning a dog. My husband and boys had different thoughts on the matter. After doing months of secret research I had my choices narrowed down to two breeds. Boston Terrier and Welsh Corgi. We visited one pet store to play with each breed in person. After that visit I knew in my heart the perfect one for us. We too wanted to purchase a puppy to grow with our family. We found a litter, 3 hours away, across state lines, but there was no hesitation to make that trip. We came home with our very own tri-colored Corgi. She came into our family on Easter weekend 2011. In honor of that, we named her Reese. She's loved dearly, and I couldn't imagine our home without her. Check out my instagram page @ http://instagram.com/jennifer_sizemore to see pictures of her. Congratulations on your new addition.

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  56. Congratulations on your new Puppy. She is adorable. Enjoy every second ofthe Puppy stage...sharp little puppy teeth and all... :)

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  57. Great article! We too have been considering a king George cavalier. We are thinking the kids might get an EXTRA special gift from Santa this Christmas! ;)

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  58. She really is adorable! I'm glad everyone is loving her. If I ever get a dog, it'll probably be a CKCS!

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  59. Cute puppy and super cute name!! Since of course that is my little Zailee's name :)

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  60. Congratulations to all if you ! She looks like she fits in perfectly. Such a pretty little thing. Big hugs.

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  61. I agree with you wholeheartedly, I too am not a pet person, but after 6 years of hearing the answer "a puppy" to the questions What would you like for your birthday/christmas/lunch/dinner..? it finally took its toll on me and I caved in. I did exactly what you did, researched, and researched and we choose a Bichon Frise who came to us as a 10 week old puppy, I cannot imagine life without him, I became attached to him immediately. Enjoy the new addition to your family.

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  62. How precious is she?!!! Congrats on the new member :)

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  63. Congratulations! She is so adorable and a perfect addition to your already beautiful family;)

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  64. This is such a wonderful post about how to find a dog that's right for you and your family. You certainly did your homework and didn't make an impulse decision. I wish more people would do that! Everyone loves a puppy, but don't think of the responsibility it brings. I'm glad you adopted from a responsible breeder instead of a backyard breeder. Congratulations on your new addition! She'll bring your family lots of love!

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  65. I am DYING over how sweet that little pup is! I immediately made my husband come over and look at her cute face on the computer and asked, "Can we have one?!" :) I might have to work on him a little bit. She is perfect and is the cutest addition to your darling fam!

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  66. Congrats! We had a few comments too about the breeder vs shelter. But like you, if you do your research and choose a reputable breeder........not a puppy mill.....THAT is being a GREAT dog "chooser". Finding a dog that suits your family is something that many people don't consider beyond how cute the dog is. We looked into the king breed too.......so dang cute! Congrats! I remember having newborn flash backs that first week at home. :)

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  67. We have had a cavalier king charles - Harlowe - for nine years and I will never purchase another breed. As I type this she is sleeping right next to me. They are the sweetest (although neediest) dogs on the planet, are amazing with kids, and while hubby travels, she keeps the other side of the bed warm. When my hubby had knee surgery, she never left his side as he recovered. And when I was pregnant with my children, she cuddled with me when I fell asleep on the couch at 6 PM and would lick my my belly. Congrats on your new puppy...cavaliers are the best!

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  68. We have had three Cavaliers, each one the sweetest dogs ever. We lived in England and the Republic of Ireland and brought them home with us to the States. They have passed away since then. We miss them so much. Please pay especial attention to their teeth and not to feed them too many treats. Where was your breeder from? We now have an Australian terrier and a rescue Jack Russell and Dachsund mix. Temperment totally different, and lots of barking! Love them too!
    Mary Anne

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  69. Thank you for sharing. Your husband looks so happy with Zaylee. Look you I am not a pet person, and neither is my husband for that matter, but my son keeps asking for a puppy when we move into our house. Zaylee is so cute, I may consider her breed or a mini pinscher. Do you mind sharing the breeders info?

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  70. My dog who passed away a few years ago was a Cavalier, he was an amazing dog, your girls are very lucky =]

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  71. Oh my how cute is she! I didn't see the instagram drama you mention but wow some people are rude! I wouldn't get a pet from a shelter either and that certainly doesn't make us bad people, lol!

    We had to give our much loved Golden Retriever away when we moved from NZ to Australia 2 years ago (we were lucky, some good friends adopted her so we still get to keep in touch). We'd had her for 10 years so she was very much part of our family - we got her even before we had our kids. We'd LOVE another dog and a Cavoodle is at the top of our list...BUT we know the time isn't right for us right now, and we will patiently wait until it is... :)

    xx Karen

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  72. It's so sad that people are unkind to you about decisions you make for your family. He who hasn't sinned should cast the first stone. Zaylee is adorable and I'm pretty sure you scored more than 1000 cmp! My aunt had this kind of dog when I was growing up and I have very fond memories. Congrats & enjoy!

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  73. That is an adorable little dog! The pictures are great too, especially love the one of Zaylee sleeping with Cason and the family pic is priceless!
    We recently got a new puppy too! We are labrador retriever people as my husband loves big dogs and they are great family dogs!
    Good luck with little Zaylee and Congratulations!

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  74. Zaylee is one of the cutest puppies I've ever seen. Congrats!

    When I decided to get a small dog the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was on my list but I decided on a Boston Terrier. My Zuzu is probably not as calm as Zaylee but she's perfect for me. :)

    I always rescue but you have to do what is right for your family & the dog. I'm glad you didn't get her from a backyard breeder or a pet store. Maybe you'll consider rescue the next time when you have some dog experience under your belt. Happy training!

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  75. I was not a dog person at all until we got our little Malti-Poo Lulu - now I am such a dog person it isn't even funny!

    You were smart to do your research and find the dog that was right for you - and if that meant getting a dog from a breeder, then so be it. You made the right decision for your family and that's what counts! Congratulations on your new puppy, she is just gorgeous and I know she will bring you years of happiness and love :)

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  76. That is one adorable puppy!! That picture of Cason sleeping with Zaylee is so cute. Sorry people gave you a hard time about not rescuing a dog. So sad that there are so many animals in shelters but it is not always the right choice. Love your comment about you being a family that had never had a pup and her being a pup who had never had a family. We have a 17 year old long haired dacshund that has been with us since 8 week old....truly a part of our family. My kids are now 25 and 22!

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  77. I'm not soap boxing just educating. Puppy Mills! If you don't know about them google it. I have a friend that rescues Cairn Terriers And 90% of her work is puppy mill related. These dogs are miss treated and the only way to stop it is to not buy from pet stores or brokers. We bought our dog from a broker because we did not know the horrors of puppy mills. But we are educated now and that's what's important. Backyard Pet breeders as long as they are responsible and professional breeders are better but rescuing and shelters should always come first if possible. Picking a dog that is right for your family is important and doing research is very smart. I hope this helps to educate you and your readers.
    Your Cav. is adorable. Did you know the reasons they are such snugglers and so gentle. They were breed to sleep with the kings and queens of old so that the bed bugs would go to the dog instead of the royals!
    Have fun with her. She'll be your families best friend!
    Karen

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    1. I agree with you 100% Karen. And would like to add that just as I agree it is wrong to judge people for getting a dog from a reputable breeder- it is also wrong to lump shelter dogs into a "broken" category. Growing up the best dogs we had were from shelters. I was bit twice as a child- once by a Lhasa apso while in my baby swing and once by a Shetland sheep dog (when I was 3. Completely destroyed my lip and thankfully a good ER doc reconstructed it so 30 years later it isn't noticible). Those dogs were from breeders- which goes to show you a dog can have a bad personality regardless of where it came from. In fact one of our dogs when i was a child was a border collie who had been abused by his prior family - he was the sweetest most gentle dog. As a small child i thought he was my pony and he used to tolerate me with such patience and love. Fast forward to today- Now my husband and I have an Australian shepherd/lab mix we got from the shelter and we were just blessed with our first child a few months ago. I cannot say enough positive things about how well our dog (who we got as a 4 month old and is now almost 4 years old) has adapted to his new forever friend. He continues to be extremely gentle and protective of the baby- following us around when carrying him and laying right by him to make sure he's ok. We could see a little bit of this in his personality (he licked all over our faces when we first met him) when we adopted him. So long story short- yes unfortunately there are dogs at shelters who have been abused. But there are also dogs who come from "clean" backgrounds that are broken too. And even if the dog has been abused they can still be a good pet for children if they have the right personality- and that is what should be vetted out before you bring any animal home. Congratulations on your new addition- she is beautiful and I am happy that you are going to experience the unconditional love a dog can provide!!

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  78. Congrats to you all! She is so cute. We have a German Shepherd puppy, Obi, and he has taken up a wonderful spot in my heart. By the way, I have never been a pet person and didn't even want to feed fish so this is a HUGE leap for me and my heart.

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  79. This dog is seriously the cutest thing I have ever seen! I'm in the same boat as you with not being a pet person, but this cute thing could change my mind. Glad you got the dog that worked for YOUR family and that it's going so well!

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  80. I can totally understand where you are coming from! I grew up with pets and knew how much work was involved with them. I never wanted to own a pet again. That is until my seven year old daughter and my husband talked me into it. We did a lot of research and one of the key components was a non-shedding dog due to allergies and house cleaning. We ended up getting a Yorkipoo at the end of April and she has been a lot of fun. She has become part of the family with her own little personality. Yes, it can be frustrating with the potty training, teething, etc. Also, it has changed our lifestyle as to when/where we go and for how long since we have a pup to get home to. That has been a big adjustment for us but we take her with us as much as we can. Most of my friends could not believe that I got a puppy, they thought the end of the world was coming, LOL! I just love my daughter so much that I wanted her to experience the joy of having a constant companion that loves us unconditionally. She will grow up with this dog and make many memories that I am sure she will cherish.

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  81. She is so cute! We grew up with Cocker Spaniels and just brought home a new dachshund this week. I am right there with you on the 'is she breathing/drinking enough' thing!

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  82. Thank you for addressing the adopting/rescue issue!!! I agree!! It's not for everyone!! Especially families with young children. You never know what dogs were put in shelters for and why take that chance with your kiddos? My mother just lost our golden of 13 years to old age and now that she is ready for another to love she's looking into rescuing. The puppy stage is just not for her at this point in her life. So I'm glad you shared Zaylee's story with us. I hope people become more patient and understanding of why you researched and prayed for so long and inevitably made the decision that you did. Congrats on the new addition!!!! She is adorable!

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  83. I am so happy for you and your family! Pups are so wonderful, but so much work! I was so sad to read that people gave you grief over choosing a breeder. I think you made an excellent choice for your family (and I foster shelter dogs and cats). Check out your local Petco for free puppy socializion, and kikopup and Victoria Stilwell on YouTube have some excellent training videos! Good luck and continue posting beautiful pics of your new little girl!

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  84. We picked ours up on Monday. Saylor is a 9 week old Yorkie Cava Poo. Moms a King Charles Cavalier and dads a Yorkie Poo. We love him too!

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  85. She is so cute!! Good for you by doing what worked for your family and not listening to others. Some people just liked to find something to criticize others for instead of focusing on themselves.

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  86. I do consider myself a pet person, having grown up with so many. However, in my own home it was a huge no for me! With 3 kids and a clean floor obsession I just didn't want to take care of a dog. But my youngest just turned 5 and she asked for a puppy, well daddy put it on me, I hate that. So I agreed. We, too are looking into a breeder. All of my dogs and cats growing up were shelter dogs and there were some issues of abuse and neglect from previous owners. Although,we were lucky that with our love and attention they turned out to be amazing pets, I just am not sure we want to take that risk nowadays. But we are looking into a couple different options. I think you have to do what's best for your family and hopefully those with negative comments can look into their own lives and not project their opinions on everyone else. Unfortunately, I am out voted on the smaller ish dog and we are looking into some big guys! Oh lord, I hope my new vacuum can keep up! Love your blog and your dog!

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  87. I love the post and Zaylee is so cute! I agree with Cara and have a one year old Golden Retriever (from a breeder). We had a Golden Retriever (from a breeder) years ago and my husband wanted another, but we adopted a Black Lab puppy (being given away) a few years ago and it did not work out for our family so we had to give her up. After waiting for a few years we went back to wanting a Golden Retriever mostly due to the breed traits (family dog, loves water, etc). Pepper is so different than our first Golden in looks and personality, but we love her. And, yes I tell people I feel like I will always have a 2 to 3 year old in the house. Enjoy!

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  88. The thing is....and this is from a dog mom of three rescues and one raised from a puppy German Shepherd....that puppy was going to need a home whether you gave her one or not. All dogs on the earth today need a good home, and your dog needed one as much as another. It would be great if everyone stopped breeding their dogs for a few years to let the ones wandering and in shelters have a chance at a home, but reality is...the dog is here, let's get her/him a forever family!

    Dogs are the best. You'll find you like them better than most people.:)

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  89. Oh my goodness! She is adorable! I have been wanting a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel for a long time - just have to wait until my youngest (2 yrs) is a little older. I have researched and read all about them though so I can be ready! Glad to hear your experience has been a good one.

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  90. Congrats! I am in the EXACT same boat. I finally agreed to get a dog. Unfortunately our daughter is allergic to dogs with fur, but we finally got a brand new puppy from a breeder. We decided against a rescue for the same reasons.

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  91. I mean, do dogs get any cuter than this? Ok, my golden doodle is just a littttle more adorable :) hahaha. Seriously tho, negative comments on this subject piss me off. We got our doggy from some Amish breeders. We wanted a puppy to grow up with us and adjust to OUR family! Do what's right for you.

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  92. She is adorable the picture of her big brown eyes looking up at you is gorgeous. It is amazing how much they are like little kids, they need you, they want to be with you, and they love you automatically. It was a hard decision for us to go the same route but again WE knew what was best for our family. Unfortunately there are people in the world that will always think that you want their opinion. Anyway what I REALLY wanted to say is congratulations on your new little bundle of joy and many many years of cute pictures and happy memories.

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  93. I'm so happy for you and the family. I know people can be harsh when you decided to get a puppy vs adopting from a shelter. You are exactly right, you have to do what is best for you and the family. We adopted our Yorkie on her 1st birthday from a family off of craigslist who was holding on to her to find her a forever home. Her original owners had moved to Europe and couldn't bring her with them--after searching high and low and meeting our yorkie (Lola) we knew she was the one for us. She wasn't the exact coloring I had in mind, but had a heart of gold and melted in our arms (and hearts)! I can not wait to see more puppy pictures from you! Congratulations again!

    p.s. I too was not a dog person and swore I would never get one... now I can't imagine my life without one!

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  94. I always laugh at people that are so judgmental of others that don't get dogs from shelters. Do they have children? Are those children adopted? I bet not.

    Your puppy is adorable. King Cavs are some of the sweetest dogs out there.

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  95. What a cutie! Your story reminds me of my daughter, also not a pet person, and her husband. He wanted a indoor dog, she didn't. But they researched breeds that wouldn't shed or cause as many allergy problems, and got a maltese. Now she is crazy about Tali and can't imagine living without her.

    I applaud you for researching and getting the right dog for your family. We've had pets that were from a shelter, mixed breeds, and pedigreed from a well known breeder. And I guess we were breeders too as that dog had 2 litters in her life and we sold several of the puppies. Anyone who would look down on you because you didn't make the same choice they would make isn't worth worrying about. You do what is right for you at the time. Sometime down the line, you may make a different choice, but it will still be the right choice for you at that time.

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  96. So good to hear you researched before you chose. We have a 15 month old black Lab, Tucker. People think that Labs are easy going, lovable dogs...which they absolutely are...but for the first two years...they can be terrors. It takes a certain type of person to handle the kind of crazy a Lab puppy can be. If people would do the research, as you did, they would know that. When we talk to people who are thinking about getting a puppy, the first thing we tell them is make sure it's the right fit for you and your family, and sign them up for puppy school!! An absolute MUST!! Tucker is our third Lab, and he had about 6 months of puppy school...and training at home. We started him with the "Clicker" and it is a great training tool. Just search "Clicker Training" and you will find countless articles and videos about it. Amazing how quickly it works. Looking forward to hearing all of your stories about Zaylee...the first year is the most fun...and can be the most trying!

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  97. Oh my gosh she is adorable! I think yall made a great choice! These are great dogs!

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  98. Too bad some people are judgmental. It's sad to say that is one thing that is stopping me from starting my own blog. Anyway, You did your homework and picked out a cute puppy for your family. Enjoy!

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  99. I love your new family member and I'm SO glad you posted your story of finding her! It took my husband and I over a year to find the perfect dog for us. We, too, looked at different breeds and adoption options and talked with lots of other dog owners before finding the perfect dog. The result? Our dog matches our personality and little family perfectly! Becoming a pet owner is defiantly something to think seriously about so you can make sure they find their forever homes.

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  100. Thanks for your honest post. We are one of those families on the fence, and I get a lot of feedback from other people about the same issues you did. So thank you for your courage in posting this!

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  101. It almost seems silly that you had explain your reason's for adopting a puppy from a breeder. She is adorable. Of course you have 10,000 plus mom points for sure. Sometimes adopting a dog from the shelter just isn't for everyone. Glad you did your researched and did what was best for your family.

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  102. She is the cutest. Don't let other peoples opinions get you down. It's funny how often people believe they must tell you what they believe to be true without thinking of others.

    We decided to buy a dog from a breeder too. We researched for 6+ months and finally found a breed we could agree on, a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. He is an awesome dog for us, but I know all about that look and feeling from people you have got after they hear you purchased her from a breeder. But WHO CARES! I just recently sewed a dog hammock for the guy because we like to take him on hiking adventures and he can get a little dirty...lol

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  103. What a cutie! I'm envious! My doggie of 14 years just passed away last night. A fluffy black chow/terrier mix, Eleanor was my buddy. We had so many wonderful, wonderful memories with her. I know your sweet little pup will be happy with a family full of littles who will love her!

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  104. I am definitely a person who advocates adopting from a shelter, and I definitely push people to consider it- BUT like you said, getting a dog is a HUGE commitment to make, and you know what? In the end what REALLY matters is being a responsible pet owner and keeping that pet for it's life so it doesn't end up in a shelter, bouncing from family to family. Especially since so many adopt shelter pets not realizing what they are getting into and then returning them. More people should stop and realize that that is the most important lesson of all. Considering how you took your families needs into consideration and got a dog you thought would be perfect for you- I think you're already one of those responsible pet owners. Love your new addition and love that you took the time to find the exact right fit for you. Rock on girl! :)

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  105. Way to go choosing a pup that is right for your family! My kids would just LOOOOOOVe a dog but I've been holding my feet to the ground! Its fun to hear your story. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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  106. Getting from a responsible breeder is a perfectly good thing to do. Rescue and adoption is too. Thank you for not buying from a mill or a pet store.

    I have both a purebred from a breeder and a mixed mutt from my local SPCA. Both were puppies when I got them, and my local shelters and rescue organization do have lots of puppies and young dogs waiting for a home.

    I'm kind of really put off by all the commenters, who I assume had the best intentions in mind when writing, saying how awful/unpredictable the dogs they adopted were and so that buying from a breeder is better assurance of a good dog, or something like that. I think that's really reprehensible and unfortunate to say. One is not better than the other, it's just what you want and what works best. Anecdotal stories like that do nothing to help anyone and especially not those poor dogs waiting for homes. You can't go into a shelter and pick a dog that day and expect them to forget everything that's happened to them, or expect them to allow children's hands in orn ear their face. A lot of rescues I looked at while looking for my second dog would absolutely not even adopt out to people with young kids and the dogs were kept in foster homes to be evaluated around other dogs and situations for at least a month until they were made adoptable. So really, you have to do a lot of homework when you adopt a dog OR buy one. And both come with their own challenges.

    IF we want to get real anecdotal, my shelter dog who was 6 months when I got her was already potty trained, is obedient, loves her crate, not a picky eater, is affectionate, absolutely loves kids and was a stray. My bulldog whom I got from a reputable breeder at 4 months has seasonal allergies, picky about food, hates crates, and has compulsion issues and is afraid of kids. It goes both ways, it really all depends on personality.

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  107. Love love love this post and your journey to choosing little Zaylee! She will without question bring many many years of love and happiness! Congrats to your entire family! Woof! ❤

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  108. AW CONGRATULATIONS. Zaylee is absolutely adorable. I was ooooing and awwwwing reading your post. I understand that it is better to get a dog from a shelter because they need love but sometimes that isn't the best for everyone. People shouldn't judge because everyone is different. It's so good for kids to have pets. We wanted to get a smaller dog for our son but ended up with a boxer because a friend had one left and when we went to look at him we couldn't leave without him. We got Tyson at 10 wks. old and have loved raising him. The beginning was hard because of the training but that didn't last long. He will be 3 in August and is the joy of our family. He is such a good boy. We took him to a training class and he passed and got his certificate. We also have an almost 6 yr. old cat. We've had parakeets, turtles, and a hamster. Having a dog is expensive and a lot of work but it is worth it. I'm with you Shelley, I really didn't want pets because I just didn't want more work to do but things changed :) I wish you all the best with your new addition and I'm sure you will have much joy together.

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  109. Oh my goodness! Zaylee is so cute! This makes me want to go get a little puppy. Thank you for sharing.

    www.basicallybrandy.com

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  110. What a lovely pup... Would love to know how you chose her name? :-) We've always had dogs, and when the children were little we too wanted to know exactly what their background was... even that isn't fool-proof though. We had a dog once that used to hide under chairs and tables and jump out and nip my crawling baby... We tried for a month before finally returning it to the breeder; and yet the next one that we were told about a year later, came from Rescue and was the most perfect dog in the world; used to sleep with my (now/then!) toddler, followed him everywhere, never needed a lead, loved everyone and everything, but was a perfect guard dog too. This dogs only fault was that if he saw a car door open, he'd jump in!!!! :-D lol - that was embarrassing...
    I'm looking forward to seeing more photographs and adventures as your girls grow up together. Jude.x

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  111. Zaylee is soooo cute! I bet she is the best snuggle buddy! I hate that you were criticized for how you got your pet. The same exact thing happened to me this week on my own blog. I posted about our brand new fur baby Daisy, and a follower of my blog BLASTED me for buying her instead of adopting a shelter pet. I deleted the lady's comment to keep drama away from my blog, and she came back and BLASTED me even worse than before, said she'd lost all respect for me, and unfollowed my blog. Luckily, my blog friends and husband came to my rescue, but it's so crazy that people will criticize us for doing what's best for our families. Enjoy Zaylee! Hugs!

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  112. Congrats! We had one growing up and now my brother has one. We were introduced by my uncle who just bought another puppy (their 4th)! They are so friendly and just nice dogs.

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  113. I totally get needing to do the research first! I AM a dog person, but we had made poor choices in adopting long ago. Finally, after facing the truth about our family, we decided upon a big, ole, lazy, English Mastiff. We love her and her slobbery ways. And we got her as a pup from a breeder. She's almost 6 now and still our big baby.

    We did, however, just adopt what we affectionately call call our "parking lot pup". He is a lab/golden/german shepard/collie/???. We are ready for a more active dog. (I litetally got him off the back of a pickup in Walmart parking lot!)

    The most important thing to us is that we got them at very young ages so that they can grow with our family and kids.

    Congrats on your new addition!

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  114. I totally get needing to do the research first! I AM a dog person, but we had made poor choices in adopting long ago. Finally, after facing the truth about our family, we decided upon a big, ole, lazy, English Mastiff. We love her and her slobbery ways. And we got her as a pup from a breeder. She's almost 6 now and still our big baby.

    We did, however, just adopt what we affectionately call call our "parking lot pup". He is a lab/golden/german shepard/collie/???. We are ready for a more active dog. (I litetally got him off the back of a pickup in Walmart parking lot!)

    The most important thing to us is that we got them at very young ages so that they can grow with our family and kids.

    Congrats on your new addition!

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  115. so glad you found the perfect dog for you! And I am also glad you looked into it similar to buying a house, I wish more folks would!!! As far as buying from breeder vs rescue.. you do what is right for you! I actually have one of both! My german shorthair was from a reputable breeder, and my pit mix was left for dead as a 8 week old puppy. They are both great for their own reasons. I can't imagine my life without them! Enjoy your new family member, or should I say 4 legged toddler with fur?

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  116. Love that cute pup! I love your blog so much I shared it with my followers on my teaching blog (I hope that’s okay). Here’s a link so you can check it out. Thanks so much for sharing with us. I love getting inspiration from you!
    http://ateaspoonofteaching.blogspot.com/2013/07/check-out-these-amazing-blogs.html

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  117. Seriously don't let the negativity get you guys down. There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting a pet from a responsible breeder as long as you are a responsible pet owner. Better to get an animal that suits your family than pick out a shelter dog from what could be a limited selection only to have to find a new family or take it back because it didn't fit into your lifestyle.

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  118. I work with a small rescue. Almost any breed can be found in rescue. With that said, as long as you love and care for her, have her spayed, and didn't buy her from a pet store, you have done our part. Don't let people think they know your family enough to make decisions for you! I have had Danes and have researched and bought from a breeder that breeds from a specific lineage.

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  119. Oh my your dog is the cutiest little dog around! I'd love to squeeze on her myself, This is the kind of dog that I have always wanted, but where we live they range for $1,000 to $1,500. Something we could never afford.And yet this is the kind of dog I grew up with when they only cost $200. I wish I could afford one for my kids to play with and love!

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  120. I hope you don't mind me weighing in a month late. Your little pup is SO CUTE! I think you made the right decision for your family. If you hadn't done all that research, you probably wouldn't have agreed to even get a dog. This way, you've been converted to a pet owner and your kids will grow up with a love for animals. I'd say that is a smart and educated way to get a pet!

    By the way, the picture of Zaylee sleeping under the piano bench while your husband plays is so cute! She is showing your husband that he is her alpha which is a really good sign, especially so early. I hope you have many, many good years with her!

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