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A few tips for choosing the right dog breed to suit your family

This post brought to you by American Kennel Club. All opinions are 100% mine.

When chosing a new pet, most families pick based on the love-at-first-sight method on sites like the AKC Rescue Network. It's probably the route I will take when chosing my next dog, but I also think that investing in a purebred dog has its advantages. Their behavior is much more predictable, enabling you a little more control  your dog's type of personality. You've met Cookie before, and for those of you that don't know – she's a hairless chinese crested. 

I had a brief encounter with a hairless chinese crested many years ago when I visited a local dog show, and I had never even known there was a such thing as a hairless dog. Depending on your opinion, some think they are ugly. I thought they were the most unique and majestic looking creatures I had ever seen – almost like a mini unicorn with no horn and I was completely smitten. Fast forward eight years, and I was searching through the local breeders that offered chinese cresteds.

I took alot of care to find the right breeder, because I wanted to make sure Cookie was coming from a good place.  If you're looking for a breeder, here's a few things to keep in mind.

1. Ask questions about the puppy and the pup's parents. A reputable breeder should be willing to answer all your questions.

2. Visit the breeder's home and note the living conditions of the dogs. They should be living in a clean environment. Also watch how the dogs interact with the breeder – they should not be fearful.

3. A pup should not be going home with you unless it is atleast 12 weeks of age. It is important that the pup gets ample time to socialize with his mom and littermates. 

4. Most importantly, be sure not to leave without the dog's AKC paperwork if it is a purebred dog. Be wary of a breeder who won't supply you with this paperwork, charges extra or says they will mail them to you. 

While the chinese crested is my personal favorite, there's plenty of other breeds to choose from, like these guys..

 

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Small gifts can sometimes inspire a lifetime of creativity

This post was sponsored by New York Life. Find out how New York Life can help you and your family Keep Good Going by visiting newyorklife.com/keepgoodgoing

When I was growing up, my long term interests for a career were all over the place. I didn't know if I wanted to be a vet or computer programmer or commercial pilot or a photographer – or… and the list goes on! Anyways, what I'm trying to say is that I really didn't know what I wanted to do until I received my very first computer loaded with graphic editing software. That gift really helped guide me into the right discipline to study and I enrolled in a local college to learn more. This is where I developed my passion for graphic design and soon after, my art prints were born.

It didn't happen overnight, there was alot of people along the way that helped guide and inspire me into what I'm doing today. Just like this kid in the video entitled "My Uncle’s Gift" depicting a boy who was inspired by a gift from his uncle, I too was inspired by receiving gifts that inspired my creativity from family members. 

"Keep Going…" and "Don't Give Up" were said plenty of times along the way, and inspired a whole line of inspirational art prints that I sold for some time on etsy. 

It pleases me to know that these were also a couple of my best sellers until I stopped simply to put more focus on my blog and my family. Perhaps these inspirational words will inspire back into doing art prints again.. Who knows, right?

Have you ever had anybody inspire you as a child? I definitely want to keep the tradition of this going, because when you keep good going in your community, eventually good will come back to you – just like karma. Learn more about how New York Life can help you and your family Keep Good Going

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Our plans to Gro Something Greater than ever with Miracle-Gro

This post brought to you by Miracle-Gro. All opinions are 100% mine.

Now with winter finally on its way out, we can actually start planning fun, summer events! Each spring, I get so excited for this time of year because we can put into action all the outdoor activites that we couldn’t do over the winter months. One of the ones we talked about alot was growing a garden.

 

We grew a garden a couple of summers ago, but our garden kinda went south midway through the season when the Texas heat got over 100F, and didn’t yield very much of anything after my little strawberry plants burnt up. This year, I plan to Gro Something Greater, and only bother growing 1 thing, and grow it well. Perhaps Miracle-Gro products be a good brand to start with because it is better at retaining moisture and has a perfectly balanced soil for new plants. I’ve always had the best luck using Miracle-Gro for any of my house plants, so I think it would make a wonderful garden soil as well.

This year, I’d really like to try again with our strawberry garden and make it work this time. I think it would be an extremely rewarding activity for JP to experience, especially when he actually gets to eat the strawberries. Not only that, but a great way to teach is by personal experiences –  I want him to see firsthand that fruits grow from the ground.

 

JP seemed fascinated by the idea of plants growing, so I think growing a garden of strawberries would be a fun project to get him involved in this summer. Since he loves to eat strawberries and they are easy to grow, I can’t think of a better fruit to look after. Share your stories about growing at Gro Something Greater!

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