The bond you have with your Heart Dog is incredibly special. You have a unique connection that has perhaps, at times, made you wonder "What’s up with this?" This special bond you share is very normal - it simply means your fur baby is your canine soulmate (aka. "Heart Dog") Now you are ready to show your Heart Dog off to the world!
Here are 3 easy ways to let the world know you are a proud Heart Dog parent.
A few years ago Maverick was attacked by another dog while we were out for one of our usual walks. All he wanted to do was say hello - being his usual friendly self - and the dog went postal! This incident was a huge shocker to say the least! Luckily, Maverick was not physically harmed but he was shaken up, and so was I. Big time. That day made me realize I need to toughen up and make it clear that no one messes with my Heart Dog. So I found this sweater and wear it often in pride when we go out for walks. No further incidents have happened since then and I like to think the sweater definitely has something to do with it ;o)
Other than my awesome "Don't-Mess-With-Me" sweater, what I would really love to get is a Heart Dog specific t-shirt. Hmm...the ideas are beginning to formulate on how I can make this happen but if you know of a place that already makes them, I would love to hear about it!
We have all seen bumper stickers, signs, and various memorabilia from dog owners proudly displaying their beloved canine. My favourite signs are gifts from my brother – he tends to score an A+ in holiday gift giving. Anyone who knows me well knows any dog-related gift (specifically sheltie) is a surefire way to put a smile on my face and make my house feel even more like a home.
A newer option, thanks to my awesomely talented mom, Shirley, are cross-stitch tissue boxes. She has just started making them so they aren’t officially up for grabs yet but if you’d love one, please email me (email@example.com) or comment to this blog and I’ll put you on the wait list. She also makes full-size boxes with a full profile picture of many dog breeds. I love seeing the one of a sheltie that looks just like Maverick every time I walk past it in my hallway.
Write About It
As I’m sure you know, this is my favourite way to brag about my Heart Dog, Maverick. You can read all about him here. Writing a Tribute for your Heart Dog is very cathartic. Whether your Heart Dog has passed away recently, a long time ago, or fortunately is still with you, it feels great to share with the world all the things you love about him or her. You can read some recent Tribute stories to see what it’s all about – Pebbles, Oliver, and Wynston have been our most recent Tribute posts.
To make it as easy as pie, I created a form so you can easily fill out your responses, hit send, and I’ll take it from there. No need to worry about grammar or spelling or making it “sound good”. I love writing and editing and will spruce it up for you. All that matters is that you share your heart felt Heart Dog story and tell us what makes your canine soulmate so special. Then you can sit back and enjoy seeing your Heart Dog be a star!
How do you show off your Heart Dog? Am I missing some great ideas? Please comment and share below.
I have shared before that I started making homemade dog food when Maverick was first diagnosed with lymphoma last summer. I also suggested making homemade food as a long weekend activity to make your Heart Dog love you even more (not that it's possible, but you know what I mean :))
Just in case you're not yet convinced, I thought I'd share today the healthy food concoction I recently made for Marti (Maverick's sister).
Full disclosure: I am not an expert in canine nutrition. I am for humans though! As a registered dietitian, I have full confidence pointing you in the right direction for planning healthy, balanced meals but this skill set is not exactly transferable to dogs. They have different anatomy which affects their nutritional needs. Learning more about canine nutrition is definitely on my "to-do" list but please simply take my advice as inspiration and first consult with your veterinarian prior to changing your Heart Dog's diet (especially if they have a medical condition or other unique health needs).
Ready for the 5 simple steps? Good! :o)
Step 1: Prepare ingredients
Step 2: Add dark green veggies such as spinach or kale (you can add them to the frying pan or pot of orange vegetables). Use lots because they contain loads of water and significantly wilt down in size.
Step 3: Mix ingredients together (ratio of 1:1:1 rice/meat or fish/vegetables)
Tip: Keep some of the water from the boiled vegetables to make it easier to mix your canine creation together.
As a bonus, you can add the following:
Once your lick-worthy concoction is made (warning: you may be tempted to try it yourself!), store in glass containers. Keep one in your fridge and the rest in your freezer until you need it (to prevent food spoilage). As soon as your batch has cooled, spoon some up in your Heart Dog's favourite dish and watch them indulge (second warning: piranha like feeding may ensue so please keep all fingers and toes away from your Heart Dog's bowl ;))
Do you feed your Heart Dog homemade food? Why or why not? Are there any additional ingredients you'd like to suggest?
1. Go for a Long Car Ride
I'm not sure about you, but joining me for car rides, whether to a quick trip to the store, or even better - to the park - are a common activity my dogs love to do. Maverick especially would get SO excited about car rides. He could go from being fast asleep to a full onslaught of energy in 5 seconds if he heard the rustling of car keys and the cue from me "Car ride!" Of course, this is weather permitting (never leave your dogs in a hot car!). Depending on where you live, Labour Day weekend is often a time when the temperature starts to cool allowing for more car rides with pit stops so this could be the perfect opportunity to run errands and spend quality time with your Heart Dog - a complete win-win!
So why not pack a bag of goodies (human and dog edible) and choose a scenic route to go for an extended trip. You can stop at various places (parks, hiking trails, dog parks, monuments) and take pictures, have snacks, and relish in the laziness and relaxation of the long weekend. Don't forget to take lots of selfies with your Heart Dog and share them with your friends on social media.
2. Make a Big Batch of Homemade Food for your Heart Dog
When my Heart Dog Maverick got sick, I was firmly told by a holistic veterinarian to make him homemade food. As a dietitian, this piqued my interest and I started to learn more about proper nutrition for dogs. Maverick (and Marti, my other loveable sheltie), gobbled it up like a kid in a candy store and their digestive activities (aka poop!) seemed to improve so I was immediately sold of the benefits. To this day, even with Maverick's passing in July, I continue to make homemade food for Marti. Each time I make a batch it's an adventure as I experiment with different concoctions but essentially you're looking to make 1/3 protein (ground chicken, turkey, beef, fish), 1/3 carbohydrate (rice, potato, or other grain), and 1/3 vegetables (aim for two colours like spinach and carrots). Homemade food is especially effective if you need to give your Heart Dog medicine. Marti needs to take a pill twice each day for her thyroid and 100% of the time it will be consumed along with her homemade foods compared to about 50% of the time when it's given with dry kibble.
3. Visit a new Dog Park
Making new friends is a favourite pastime for most dogs. For Maverick, this was definitely a top five all-time favourite activity, which is uncharacteristically sheltie-like (Marti on the other hand is a true introvert and prefers to make friends with her favourite pillows :)). Most fellow dog owners I know, have one (maybe two) dog parks in their community that they frequently visit, which is great because you run into people and dogs you know. For a new adventure, why not Google a new dog park to visit and make it a special outing with your Heart Dog?! It's a great chance for you both to meet new friends and explore new sites and smells. As a bonus, make a pit stop on the way home to your local pet store and let your Heart Dog sniff out their favourite treat while soaking up attention from the pet store staff.
What are your favourite Labour Day long weekend adventures with your Heart Dog? Please share and inspire us with your ideas.
How can this blog help you?
This website and blog originated from the experience of learning to let go of my beloved Heart Dog, Maverick. By sharing my story and offering the opportunity for you to share yours, I hope we can all truly celebrate their lives. pay tribute, and heal from the loss of our one true canine companion. I hope this website will also raise awareness of the meaning of a Heart Dog because it is a concept that is not largely understood.