Tuesday, December 4, 2012

CLOSED // Puppy Love and a Giveaway from IAMS (5 $50 giftcards!)

This giveaway has ended.


1. Andrea // prajaline(at)gmail(dot)com)
2. Amber // amber(at)enigmatic(dot)org
3. Robyn // robynlbryce(at)gmail(dot)com
4. Lindsay // lindsaylineberry(at)gmail(dot)com
5. Alaina // talkelectric(at)yahoo(dot)com


Before Henry came along, the baby of the house was our Boston Terrier Madeline. Always pampered, always on someone's lap...she was really our #1 everything. From the time she was a puppy she we considered her our “child,” and so when I found out we were pregnant, one of the first things I thought about was Madeline. How would she react to the new addition to our family? What would it be like to have a baby, right along with a rambunctious pup?

I was nervous when we first brought Henry home from the hospital but we made sure to give Miss M. special attention, lots of extra hugs and kisses, and right away she became Henry's number one fan and biggest protector. And now, two years later our house is filled with the pitter-patter of toddler feet, mixed with the jingle of a certain little someone's pink collar, as Henry and Madeline run and jump and play together. They are the best of friends and the most hilarious pair.

It’s funny to think back to Madeline’s puppy days. We have so many memories of her as the tiniest little thing- chasing around bigger dogs fearlessly, her silly little bark ringing through the house, and the time she went exploring in the garage and we found her nestled into a container full of old sweaters. It amazes me to think back to that first taste of responsibility we had with Madeline. In many ways, it prepared us to become parents.

It's amazing to me that Henry is growing up knowing how wonderful it is to have an animal in your life. He's surrounded by her love every single day (and covered in her kisses every single moment), and I wouldn't have it any other way. Henry is learning responsibility too; he helps me get her food in the morning, fills up her water dish, and says "Sit, Maddie!" before giving her a treat. He's learning the importance of feeding her healthy food so she feels good, and he's realizing that she depends on us for everything she needs. We go on walks in the evenings, and as Henry has gotten older he loves holding her leash and "helping"...even though it's more like Maddie's walking him! But most of all, Madeline has taught him how to be gentle with animals and how to treat all living things with kindness and compassion.

Our little pup has brought so much love to his life already, and I can't imagine how much closer they will grow over the rest of Maddie's lifetime. 

And so along with IAMs I ask you, what are some things you do for your pet to keep them happy and healthy? 

Leave a comment below (including your name and email address) to get involved in the conversation, and I'll randomly choose five of you to win a $50 giftcard this Sunday!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of IAMS Proactive Health Puppy Formula. And as always with sponsored posts, the opinions expressed and text are all mine.


  1. We love to play with our cats after dinner - my daughter especially. It's hard for her to keep her hands off them, but I think they secretly love it. She gets out the brush and will brush them for a half hour until she gets bored. The cats eat it up and end up sleeping in her lap.

  2. Our dog thinks the best spot in the world is right next to me, so I give me and let him, even though he's not allowed on the couch. He's a rescue dog, adopted from the local shelter when we had to put my dachshund down last year. He had a tumor on the underside of his spine that fractured his vertebrae. It was inoperable, so we kept him confortable until he just wasn't happy any more. I had him for 9 years, bought him in Japan when he was 6 weeks old and flew him back to Texas with me. Titan (our rescue dog) was found wandering in a mall parking lot and was never claimed. He'll never replace Jasper, but he's become a very close second. :)

  3. We like to surprise them with toys once in a while... they love squeaky things. I feel bad because they sometimes get a big neglected now that there's a baby in the house so we probably spoil them now more than before :)

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  5. My dog will ONLY drink ice water. People make fun of me for giving it to him, but what can I say? He's got me whipped! One of his favorite things to do is to steal my socks and have me chase him all over the house to get it back. I don't have a lot of time to walk him anymore, so when he starts to play, I always play back--even if it's at 2 in the morning.

  6. Our dog Bella is our baby too.....and until we are blessed with a human baby, she is #1 in this household. I think the key to doggie happiness is exercise and socialization. Bella loves to run along my beach cruiser everyday, she sits at my bike and asks to go for a run around the same time everyday. All of my friends and neighbors also have dogs so she loves playing with her doggie friends.....she knows them all by name and will sit at the door and wait if we mention one.

  7. Knowing that I will probably never have a child of my own is ok because I have Bodhi-my Greyhound/Catahoula mix. She is an amazing girl. Her name means knowledge or enlightenment and it is so appropriate. She is super smart and very loving. My friends joke that Bodhi eats better than I do. I feed her mostly an all raw diet-steak, chicken, eggs, yogurt, veggies. She absolutely loves it. Though when times are a bit tough financially, she has to suck it up and eat some healthy dog food like the rest of her friends at the doggy park. I spend a lot of time training her to be a great walker on and off the leash. We go to the park, downtown and off the beaten path. An amazing climber, swimmer, runner and bird dogger she never lets me down. I bought a dog trick book to teach her lots of fun tricks-though she definitely gets bored pretty easily learning some of them and decides that slobber over mommy and prance around the house is way more fun. I take her with me everywhere I can, and am working on getting her certified as a therapy dog so I can take her even more places. She is truly my little (not so little) bundle of joy.

    robyn bryce

  8. I would love to throw a dog into our mix of kids, but I fear we don't have the time to dedicate to a pup right now - your post makes me wish we could! Maybe Santa will be good to our kids this year :)

  9. That sounds so lovely. I think I need to get a dog before I start having children. hmmmm.

  10. There are a number of things but feeding them food that I'm confident will give them all the good stuff is top priority! And loads of play time! haha All my fur babies are very spoiled in the play time department :)

    Andrea (prajaline-at-gmail-dot-com)

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  12. My dog, Ally gets daily walks & daily cuddle sessions to keep her healthy and happy. She also gets a chew bone everyday! amcoffey32 -at-gmail

  13. Walks, petting and keeping a daily schedule are important for my Trey dog. :) They are such an important part of our lives. Thanks for this generous giveaway.

    Hillary- hillary.dillin@gmail.com

  14. our rambunctious, snuggle loving cat loves to play whenever she's not sleeping... we try to play with her as often as possible (she loves to play fetch - yes! fetch! i throw a crumpled up ball of paper and she plays with it for a while and brings it back for me to throw again!) as well as provide her with different toys for when we aren't home. currently she loves empty toilet paper rolls, bobby pins that she steals from my nightstand and empty boxes. :)

  15. We try to take our dogs to one of the nearby dog parks when we can. They LOVE it and start going crazy when we say dog park. On birthdays, we also spoil them with frosty paws which are little ice cream treats for dogs!


  16. I love this giveaway! I feed my pup Pete Iams and would love to win some money towards his food :) As for what I do to keep Pete happy and healthy - I make sure to make time every day for his favorite game of fetch in our dog park!

    xx, Kara

  17. We spend every day together. She loves to go to the local pet friendly farmers market and make friends and then head over to dog beach for a run in the waves.

  18. My dog is my son's world! They do everything together! I am so thankful for the bond they share. We walk my dog every day to keep those legs active and that belly trim.

  19. I like to get down on the floor with our dog Ruby for a little cuddle time. She'll usually lay down and nestle her little furry face in my neck, and I love to rub her tummy and see her happy!

  20. Right now my sweet Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Vera has an ear infection :( She had a rough day yesterday, but hopefully she will get better soon with her meds. She has been running with me lately which keeps her active and in shape. She's done two 5Ks with me before and loves it!

    1. I've been looking at the wheaten terriers to get a "brother/sister" for my beagle. How do you like them?

  21. Since we don't have kids yet, our little beagle Mya is our "child". One of the things we do to take care of her and keep her happy is to make sure she's around us when there's a thunderstorm. She's afraid of it and usually sleeps downstairs but when we know it's going to hit we'll put her little bed in our room so she can feel just a tad safer.

  22. Aw, Daisy... Gwen loves her so much! My husband walks her twice a day, and we give her green beans with her meals to make them healthier. We also use carrots or homemade dog treats instead of store bought ones.

    meegs1982online at yahoo dot com

  23. Our 2 pups were our first babies too:) Now they are our little girl's partners in crime. It is so much fun to watch them all play together.

  24. My "babies" are our two resuce pups, Penelope and Juno. P is a boxer/bassett hound mix and loves nothing more than following me around, being hugged and petted and going for walks. Juno is a little more independent, but loves to play and run around with her big sister, P. This giveaway would be a great treat for our girls!

  25. We have a beautiful three-legged Golden Retriever named Belle. She LOVES to be petted and touched - even if it is just with our foot. We also take her for rides in the car, we bring her to our friends' houses (she's very social), and to the park where she happily hops around sniffing everything in sight.

  26. My dog (12 year old German Shepherd named Rock), is obsessed with belly scratches! I spend at least 4 hours a day scratching his belly, just because he loves it so much. He will even sleep while I scratch, and wake up if I stop! I will even scratch him with my foot so I can get some work done! I don't mind, because he is the love of my life (my husband understands!), and it just makes him so happy, and I've been doing it for 12 years, so I'm not gonna stop now!

    I also make him homemade peanut butter doggie treats from organic whole wheat flour, organic or natural peanut butter, and organic rolled oats! He goes crazy for them, and I love doing it because I know exactly what ingredients are in them!

    Jill Fenton

  27. My wonderful cat Jeffy just passed away in my husband's arms last Thursday after a 7-year battle with chronic renal failure. He was only 3 years old when he was diagnosed and 10 when he died. We did everything for this wonderful cat, as he required a great deal of extra care. Whether it was feeding him 20x per day and putting up with poor behavior (he would rip paper when he was hungry, which was basically every half an hour, so hey, don't leave anything important out, right? Whoops). He was THE BEST CAT EVER. During the last two weeks of his life, Scott and I were there for him 24/7. He eventually needed to be force-fed with a syringe to get any calories. We gave him sub-q fluids 2x per day to keep him hydrated. We wiped him up as he became unable to clean himself. We carried him around and put him on a heating pad when he became unable to walk well. And in those final moments, my husband held him and told him just how much he was loved -- as if there were any doubt.

    We miss him terribly. Thank goodness we have two other cats, but he will be missed forever. We love you Jeffy!

    amber at enigmatic dot org

  28. Being a dog mama has been great practice for when I eventually become a real mama. Sure there is LOTS of love involved but real love means doing what is healthy for the dog as well. I feed my pup grain free food, and never give her human food, and we make sure she gets a good hard run in almost every day (she is a german shepherd/golden retriever mix so she needs it!) She is only 9 months old so as a puppy we make sure to expose her to lots of experiences to curb any anxiety or social issues early on.

    Then of course, there are LOTS of snuggles. My favorite thing she does is put her nose right on your face to receive kisses. She doesn't even lick you, just sits there! Of course, I always oblige.

    Strive to Thrive,

  29. Oh, this is such a sweet post! Henry is very lucky to grow up with Madeline - it's so precious. My family always had dogs while I was growing up and I'm very thankful for that.

  30. Aww so sweet. I love your little dogs face :) My parents have two GIGANTIC newfoundlands and this would be a treat for them. They're so sweet and loving, can't wait to visit again to see their slobbery faces!

  31. I have a 5 year old pekingese chihuahua mix named Blacky and he is like my child. I love him. He enjoys going on very long walks and loves to cuddle :)

  32. Our puppy, Shento is the love of our life. We haven’t been able to have children so he is our number one priority, love, and happiness. I would like to say that he does more things on a daily basis to keep my husband and I happy than we do for him. We give him daily walks and bones to chew on, and a nice warm place to sleep right by our feet. But he gives us un-unconditional love. Every day when we get home, he is always so excited to see us. The day is instantly better when he come running over to greet us. He cuddles when we most need it and always finds something to do to make us laugh. He brings a sense of joy to our lives that sometimes we forget how to do on our own.
    Katrina Brooks

  33. I got my cat when I was in puberty and it hit me really hard. I was constantly alone in the house (I don't have siblings) and I felt really lonely. It sounds silly but my cat litterally got me through it. She's really affectionate, comes to lie on top of you all of the time. At night, she crawls under my blanket and pushes against my legs because she wants to lie at my feet, between my legs haha. We've always gave her lots of treats, her favorite is tunafish. But she got fat really quickly! But we found an alternative, she now gets low calorie snacks which she's crazy about. We can't let her go outside in the winter because she would freeze to death but she likes going outside so much in summer. But she doesn't leave your side. A few months ago, I moved to a dorm room for 5 days in the week and I miss her so so so much. My parents tell me she's kind of lost in the house at times when she knows I'm not there. Especially at night because she used to sleep with me. That makes me so sad! When I come home on fridaynight we cuddle like an hour straight haha. She means so much to me I even got a tattoo of her! :) Well, I guess this got a little long but I could go on forever. She truly is my best friend :) xo

  34. We rescued my 10 mo. pitbull, Thor, from a house that had been foreclosed on and he had been left in for 5 days (as a baby) without food or water. Considering the area we found him in, I wouldn't be surprised if he was meant to fight, but turned out to be a little smaller than they had hoped and was left behind. He is like my first child and I absolutely smother him. I live in the city of Chicago and pitbulls aren't taken kindly to, so I make it my mission that everyone sees how incredibly sweet he is and to do my part in changing the stigma that people have put on the poor breed. And this dog gets SO much attention and exercise from wrestling and running with myself, my brothers, and all of our friends. His muscle tone is ridiculous and I've never seen a healthier dog.

  35. I got my 2 kitties when I moved out of my parents house at 19. Now at 31, married, with a 10 month old it is truely amazing how much we have been through together. I can't wait for my daughter to grow to love them as much as I do. She already loves to chase them around the house, and pat their little heads. We turn the faucets on for them and they both love to jump up and have a drink, and I sneak them pieces of tortilla chips which they oddly love :)

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  37. oh my goodness, what WOULDN'T i do to keep my baby girl, Lilly Mae, happy and healthy? lil is the apple of my eye. she sleeps in our bed (between me and my fiance, who haven't cuddled in 3 and a half years), takes car rides with us, gets toys and treats for no reason, and is one of the most loved animals i have ever seen! we also take her on long walks so that we all get some exercise, and she is kept up to date on her shots and regularly visits the vet for check-ups. i don't know what i would do without my "stinky baby", and i love her to pieces <3

    thank you for this awesome giveaway!

  38. tons of snugs, runs through the dogpark, and healthy food :D

  39. I give them a nice bed to sleep in, their favorite treats and lots of exercise.

  40. My husband and I also have a Boston Terrier, and your description is perfect, oh, the fearlessness and the endless cuddling! Her name is Gertrude, and she pretty much the love of our lives - ha! We love to play with her, mostly rope tug-o-war, fetch, and chase; her favorite toy is a red frisbee; she goes nuts for it! She loves cooking with us in the kitchen too, cause she'll often get chopping causalities, like veggies, but her absolutely favorite is walking to the park and sniffing every little thing along the way.


  41. I make sure that we take her on lots of long walks! This seems to make her the happiest (as well as letting her lounge by the fire when it is cold outside!)


  42. My two dogs are my whole world. My boyfriend and I adopted both of them and we are always trying to include them in as many things as possible. We go camping, on walks, to the dog park, and we even try to eat at places that we can take our dogs with us. Our family isn't healthy and happy unless we are all together!

    Allena Hurwitz- ahurw001@odu.edu

  43. To keep my pup happy and healthy, I give her good food and exercise her regularly. She is my lovely best friend and I spoil her rotten!

    Karen A

  44. I actually just adopted my dog Daphne! She's 10, a shih tzu/bichon mix, and probably the best dog on the planet. ;) Because she's older, my goal is to keep her healthy and active and make sure she has several good years with me. We go for 2-3 walks a day, which is impressive for someone with 4-inch legs! She needs to have some teeth pulled soon, so I'll need to consult the doggy dentist on what to feed her to keep her remaining teeth healthy.

    Adopting an older dog is a little bit of a challenge, and I worry about how long we'll have together, but her weird, stocky little body wriggling around when I come home and sleeping on my feet at night makes it worthwhile.

  45. we have three dogs (a scottie, a coon hound and a puppy miniature weiner)- lets just say they eat just as well, if not better than we do. they are spoiled completely rotten. it helps that their mama (aka me) used to own my own organic dog treat company - i made treats, sewed collars, leashes and bedding. as you can imagine they all have adorable handmade collars and leashes and beds..and even while they have all those fabulous things- all three of them sleep with us each night. but their absolute favorite thing we do with them is take them on long adventures in the pine forest that is near our home. they all pile into the car and get so excited as we travel to the forest for our walks. you can check out some of their adventures (even birthday cakes I've made for them on my blog)


  46. Baloo is absolutely a family member. And for a 75lb pit bull he is a giant baby. He walks around the house like James Brown with faux chinchillas or crocheted blankets wrapped around his shoulders and he won't sleep until he's tucked in. He is my protector, if I cry out at all (damn coffee table wheels) he runs out to get the "bad guy". He loves going for coffee runs, sharing an avocado of Pink Lady apple & meeting new people. Baloo loves us with all of his heart and we love him right back (we must because he takes up a lot of room on the bed).

  47. We take our dog, Molly, to the dog park so that she can play with other dogs and people. We've also started fostering dogs, so she has made a lot of new friends. We currently have two foster dogs along with her. So, it's a lot of work, but worth it.

    Sara B.
    snbadgett AT gmail DOT com

  48. We have three dogs and they all have such different personalities. One runs right up to us when we get home and demands attention, and one sits quietly on the couch. We always love to go to her and give her kisses, she LOVES the attention!

    smith.d.brittany at gmail.com

  49. I have two pups of my own, one being a pug named Zoey and the other an italian greyhound named Stella. They are both young pups still so I let them play in our backyard that was put in specifically for my pups to run around freely! They get their exercise and of course playtime with all their toys, the stuffed cat being the favorite :x Along with that they cuddle up with me and my boyfriend every night and get all warm and snuggled under the covers until it's their bedtime when we put them in their warm beds :) There is also many other pups and family in the house for them to interact with, I'd have to say they are absolutely spoiled and happy pups.


    <3 Sarah Danley

  50. I feed my cats, Penelope + Puar, as natural as possible. They eat better than us! All natural foods (Natural Balance + Nutro Natural Choice) + freeze dried shrimp treats, but they get the junk food at grandma's (Meow Mix, ugh). They have a plethora of toys from Petco, but they love cardboard boxes, which we are in no shortage of, as I have been holiday shopping from the 'net. When we had to evacuate for the hurricane, we grabbed their big crate used to transport them to the vet + tossed a blanket from home in there, to make their stay in an unfamiliar place more comfortable. Once we cleaned out our flooded apartment + refurnished, we made room for their crate indoors. Puar sleeps inside the crate + Penny sleeps on top of the crate, on pillows Erich put there for the girls. When I'm doing schoolwork on the bed, Puar nuzzles up next to me + passes out. As soon as I get into bed, Penny jumps on the bed + looks at me. I tap my chest three times and she nuzzles, proceeding to claw me as she kneads + gnaws. She purrs so loud that I can't help but smile + return her little kisses. In the middle of the night/early morning, she will come up to me and meow a long, monotone meow, which means she wants me to lift up the covers so she can sleep between my legs. Again, not totally comfortable, but I do it because it makes her happy.

    Here is a picture of them when they were kittens. Erich captured this while they were playing - they unintentionally formed a heart! One of my favorites of my little boobahs. <3 https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/251670_10150625522830304_6991368_n.jpg

    michele at shortgirllongisland dot com

  51. Our dog Leif is our baby. He waits at the window for us to come home, sleeps with us, and is truly apart of our family. He really seems to have human qualities in his personalities and that is what I love the most.

  52. We love taking our sweet pup shelly for walks and she is our 8 month old noahs protector for sure :)

    laceyekrueger AT gmail.com

  53. Gosh, what don't we do to make sure Lewis is happy?! He made us feel like a little family, he is the reason we come home on our lunch breaks and don't venture out too far on the weekends. He taught us how to take care of someone else, and put their needs above our own and for that I am forever grateful to this little 20 lb fluff ball! I could write a paragraph on how he is the love of our lives! He regularly eats IAMS food so this would be a great little bonus around the holidays!


  54. I have a toy poodle and a basset hound that own my heart! My husband and I love to take them out for walks in the evening, they really enjoy the exercise as well as socializing. We also make sure that any treats we give them are healthy and do regular check up's at the vet.



  55. I have two sweet pups: Clementine and Winston. I brush their teeth a few times a week and feed them plenty healthy snacks. They hate the former but don't complain about the latter. :)


  56. I have a Pomeranian(Shady.) I try and play with her a lot, make sure she's brushed and feed her right. We also do lots of tricks, she's super smart! :)

  57. we've got 2 pups...one is a rescue (greyhound & australian shep. mix??) and the other is a french bulldog...they are goofy little creatures, but sweet as can be. they tolerate our almost 2 year old very well, mostly because she makes lots of crumbs & gives lots of head pats & hugs. during the holidays we try to keep the toys a plenty & the table scraps a few! also, when we travel, we take their crates with us so they have a little piece of home & somewhere to feel safe...things can get pretty hectic :)


  58. Our golden Ginger lived to almost 15 and we mostly attribute that to daily walks, keeping her at a healthy weight but still sharing cheese and of course lots and lots of love :) Miss her every day!
    meme.chose at hotmail.com

  59. I have two pugs Gus and Caesar and like Maddie they are my babies especially before my boyfriend and I have our own babies. Our boys are spoiled with trips to the park every day and special trips to the beach and hiking on weekends. we buy the most healthy grain free food and yummy treats!

  60. I have a pit bull named Bella. She's 8. I got her when my son was younger, he's now 14. We make sure there's lots of playtime, belly rubs, and long walks outside. Trying to sit on you is her favorite activity, but she sure loves all the time she can get with my son.

    Sara C.

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  62. We walk my poodle Stella every other night and keep her active. I also keep her weight in a healthy range and don't let her eat people food at all

  63. My husband and I have two beagles, Jimmy and Ruby. I've never had a dog before, and I have absolutely loved becoming a mama to those two! We live in the country so they are primarily outside, but we give them time every day for their favorite activity: to run the pasture and explore in the woods. It's something my husband and I enjoy doing with them as well!

  64. My doxie is on a special diet to keep his colitis from flaring up. For my fiance's lab, it's important to keep her physically fit to avoid hip problems (she's already shown signs) with long walks, runs, or games of fetch.

  65. Brittney brittneykraus@gmail.com I have a boston terrier too :)

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