Guide to Happy Pet Ownership: How to Make Your Puppy Love You.

Maya, aka Dumb Dog, aka Hairy Beast, aka SERIOUSLY-STOP-LICKING-YOUR-BUTT-AND-DRAGGING-IT-ACROSS-MY-CARPET-ALREADY-OR-SO-HELP-ME has been the lady of the house (entirely eclipsing me in that role) for a little over a year now.

I spend every day with her sitting around my chair waiting for me to drop a crumb and she actually does an amazing job of babysitting #3 all Nana-in-Peter-Pan style.

I can still happily recall what life was like before she came and, when I’m hiding something she ate from Dumb Dad, she’s nearly more trouble than she’s worth, but I can honestly say that life is certainly emotionally, if not logistically or financially, better now that she is a part of it.

If it weren’t for her car barfing, her crayon eating (seriously, it’s every day almost), her inability to meet another human without peeing from excitement on their feet, her desire to ride the backs of other dogs (not in the freaky way gutter minds!), her food allergies, her vet bills, and our love of resorts that don’t accept animals, we would count her as one of the best things we’ve ever done.

Don’t get me wrong, we love the hairy beast, I mean, how could we not…

dog nails painted

I just like to keep it real when it comes to pet ownership so families don’t think it’s all fun and games.

At 18 months of age Maya is:

  • A spoiled dog diva (who is always in the mood for a little pedicure)
  • Weighing in at about 70lbs
  • Completely uninterested in taking long walks on the beach, or anywhere.
  • A HUGE fan of anything edible, or anything that will fit in her mouth and go down her throat
  • Seriously against having a wet back and muddy paws, making going to the bathroom in the rain an impossibility.
  • Highly protective of her Dudes, her blanket, and this random piece of cloth that is all she has left of her very first toy.
  • So freaking in love with me us it’s not even funny.

Thinking of getting a pup for your family soon and want to make sure they love you?!  Here’s how we convinced our pooch…

Dumb Mom’s Guide to Making Your Pooch Love You

1.  Give them a safe haven.  We crated Maya from day one and she still sleeps in that thing.  She puts herself to bed most nights and I don’t even have to ask her to go to the crate to do it.  It’s her place, she keeps her blankie and her toy in there, and she hates it when The Dudes decide to use it as a cage and climb inside.

2.  Buy them healthy food stuff.  Maya has a, um, sensitive tummy (and a bunch of food and seasonal allergies that make her a little bit annoying, and WAY expensive, to care for) so for us, eating a high grade dog food isn’t even an option.  But, even dogs that do have iron bellies can benefit from a healthier diet.  Our local dog food seller put it like this, “Some dogs, just like some people, can eat a McDonald’s grade of food every day and not have a problem.  Some of us can’t handle that.”  Maya eats an all meat food (because she is allergic to grains) that keeps her in shape and happy.  We recently introduced her to ILY Pet

ily pet food

ILY is I and LOVE and YOU.  They make “naturally healthy food, yummy treats, vitamins + nutritional supplements, grooming care, and flea + tick protection.  Everything a well-rounded pet needs.  Minus a tummy rub.  We’re still trying to figure out how to put that in a package.”

Clearly they have thought of everything (right down to their witty and entertaining packaging and a super star Facebook page for pet parents) and from one allergy-ridden dog mama to another, it’s super good for dogs.

3.  Get them some exercise.  Maya gets all of hers from chasing The Dudes around the house.  She doesn’t really enjoy walking around the neighborhood at all (she actually refuses to do it), but she loves chasing squirrels in the yard (she still hasn’t figured out that she’ll probably never catch one) and annoying the heck outta my mom’s dog (he’s old, and crotchety).

4.  Get them pretty things.  You know, like tutus, and football jerseys, and personalized leashes…

dog in skirt

Okay, all of that stuff is for you, and maybe, your dog actually hates it (Maya loves her jersey, the tutu?  Not so much).

5.  Just love ‘em.  They are like babies, and once all of their basic needs are met, the really only want love.  In the form of belly rubs, ear scratches, and the occasional opportunity to snuggle up with you in bed when your husband is away (don’t tell Dumb Dad!).

*ILY Pet sponsored this post and sent Dumb Dog all of this edible awesome free of charge.  All opinions are Dumb Dog’s own and she told me she liked it.  By not barfing on my couch.



  1. says

    OMG I love the picture in the tutu and jersey and getting a pedicure. Too cute. I found that with my first dog we spent money on fancy food, and treats, and toys, and obedience class and then we got a second dog. And she didn’t get any of that. Doesn’t help that our first dog was before we had kids and our second dog was entering a family! Now that we only one dog I think we might do some dog spoiling. It was a little hard with two kids and two dogs!

  2. Jdt says

    Great post! My last dog had food/outdoor allergies and was on special food. Current dog has had surgery to help food pass into small intestine but he still colors 3 times a week. He also destroyed everything I own while we were working out anxiety meds. Apparently being out of our site for a minute was too much. And he can jump thd fence. Did I mention how MUCH we LOVE our dog? Ha ha
    You are right-we are not financially better off with a pet but we are better emotionally. And the kid loves him so…. ;-)

  3. says

    I love this post.

    I’m having a love/hate relationship with Murphy right now. He’s such a sweet dog, but dang it, we are having food and digestive issues like no other. We’ve tried several different foods and are currently on the grain-free diet, but even that isn’t really working. It’s not his fault, but there are days when I want to kick his butt to the curb so that I don’t have to deal with another “food mishap.” Ugh.

    • Dumb Mom says

      Totally feel your pain! Maya is such a mess sometimes. We found a food that works wonderfully on her when she was just a few weeks old (her mom got mastitis when she was a baby and she had to be weaned super early so I think this has something to do with her inability to eat like a regular human, I mean dog). The problem with this food? It’s $50 a bag! And, she’s a 70lb dog. Which means that bag doesn’t last all THAT long. It’s annoying, but we do it because it’s better than her hershey squirting all over and farting til we cry. Plus, her belly would get all swollen like she had a watermelon in it which was probably pretty uncomfortable for her. We do give her human allergy meds to help with all of her different allergies though, including food. Way cheaper than taking her to the vet for it all the time!


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