Believe it or not Bruce, our puppy, is two months shy of his first birthday!

We have settled in so well as a family with two dogs. It is amazing to see the similarities as well as differences between our boys. Max is Bruce’s great great uncle and they are both sweet, calm and gentle. Clearly it runs in the family. Everything I taught Max when he was a puppy he has passed on to Bruce. Honestly, we never spend time training Bruce because he just follows his lead. What a ham he is too! Bruce is cheeky but so was Max at that age. Funny kind of cheeky and so delightfully awkward too. Makes us laugh all the time.

Now there is one huge difference between the boys though. Food! It is on Bruce’s mind all the time. If I was to draw a speech bubble over his head it would have a treat in it for sure. Max has never been one to perk up for treats or sniff the counters to see what’s for dinner. But Bruce! I have caught him eating pineapple slices of Julian’s snack plate. He could eat all day every day.

I get asked a lot about what our dogs eat, where they sleep, how much grooming they take and how we trained them to be so obedient. Giving advice for me has always been hard because I am shy and feel like I am coming across as know-it-all. Everything that we do has worked for us. There is no right or wrong way to pet ownership much like parenthood. There are things that are widely considered sensible and there are gray areas that it would be foolish to say that people should be ashamed for choosing the shade off. One of many things that worked for us is that we only feed our dogs daily meals and occasional treats that are served as deserts after a meal. I have never given either of them a treat as a reward for their behavior. My dogs work for love and love alone. That is not to say I wouldn’t accept payment in chocolate for my services!

Because we never really give them treats we seem to buy the same ‘desserts’ for them at the local country store all the time. That is why I was so excited to get our first PetBox earlier this month! Max and Bruce were finally going to try some new treats and be rewarded for all the picture posing they do every day.

The box itself is fab.
( I have since reused it and it holds all the grooming items on the shelf in the garage ).

Love the detailing once you open the package. Very fancy!

And now onto the goodies:

There was a selection of treats and a packet of vitamins. I have never seen any of them. Looking at ingredients they are all natural which was such a pleasant surprise. Clearly PetBox scouts the market for healthy food options for pets. As I mentioned Bruce loves his food but Max is very picky so I made him chief food tester. He loved all but the doggie vitamins which as you may suspect Bruce ate with joy. That is huge because believe it or not Max spits out all the treats from the pet stores. So treats = two thumbs up.

There was a cute duck toy that boys have been playing tug of war with for days. I must say this is the first chew toy my Newfoundlands are yet to destroy. Stuffed toys and balls usually last maximum of 7.3 minutes around here. But the duck is still in one piece! Toy = two thumbs up.

In the box was also a lavender anti itch spray that smells lovely. I am yet to use it. Probably on myself during mosquito season ūüėČ

So this is my honest review of the PetBox: I like it. A LOT! I think the fact that it is empty says my dogs like it too. And if you are like me and hate shopping in the stores you might find this monthly service a great way to spoil your pet. I like that each item featured in the box came with a coupon and suggestion where you can buy more of the product in the future. The best bit to me was that PetBox supports pet shelters by feeding a rescued animal with each box they ship. Win win. I love when someone else does all the hard work for me so I can spend my time doing what I want.

For all you eager to give PetBox a go make sure you use “NORTHWESTMOMMY” at the checkout for a 20% OFF your first order.

Disclaimer: This is not a paid review. We were kindly sent a box of goodies from PetBox in exchange for an honest review of the product. I tried my best to speak for my dogs based on the fact they ate everything with what seemed like great pleasure. I did not taste any of the products myself. Although cranberry smooches looked mighty fine.

Hello, we are famous

On Monday I made waffles for breakfast and my husband text me he took my minivan because his car wouldn’t start.

Then by dinner time we became famous.

Alice wrote a lovely article on her website My Modern Met about Instagram photos I post of my boys. Then Design Taxi picked up the story. After that my husband’s car was towed to a garage. By Tuesday morning we were featured on Buzzfeed and the spring soccer season started.

As you can imagine our lives have changed tremendously. I can hardly keep up with responding to requests about press releases and Little J had to cope with cereal for breakfast two days in a row now. At the drive through my barista was so excited that she saw my name on MSN this morning when she signed in to check her emails, she could not stop talking about it and forgot to pour my usual pack of sugar in the raw into the latte. And you all know how long it took for her to finally get my daily lattes right ( tall soy latte with one sugar in my own cup-in case you were wondering )…

The best part about all this newfound fame is the amazing response I have been receiving from everyone. From lovely comments on the articles to wonderful emails that have filled up my inbox people from all over have been saying that my photos made them smile and think about the good in life, about their pets, relationship with their children and taking photos to celebrate it all. Surprisingly nobody mentioned garage doors, but I would like to take this opportunity to thank ours for being the perfect background for my pictures.

This morning I was reading a heartwarming email from a fellow newfoundland owner and I got all teary. I grabbed Bengay cream from the drawer instead of toothpaste and put it on my toothbrush. Please don’t try this at home. It was the most uncomfortable 7 seconds of my life. As you can see all this exposure is overwhelming. In the best possible way of course, but it is a big deal and demands a lot of attention and work. I am in the middle of editing three photo sessions and struggling to decide which black running tights to wear for my first 5k this Saturday. Not to mention Little J’s dentist appointment, soccer practice and checkers tournament he is hosting. Also my husband’s car is still in the shop.

So to all new friends: welcome. This is my good life. It is just like everyone else’s except I like to take a lot of pictures of it. To all my old and dear friends I promise you this instant fame has not changed me one bit and once I restock my pantry with chocolate and respond to all my emails I will be back to my regular scheduling. And to all the media who featured us, thank you. I knew all along that people like happy news. And we love being happy.

As for the boys, they have no idea what is going on. They just keep indulging me in my quest to document our good life.