Kathleen is part of the Just Right® by Purina® blogger community. All experiences and honest opinions are her own. We asked Kathleen about the unique relationship she shares with her Chinook dogs, Minnow, The Beej, and her newest addition to the family, Fluffy the Vampire the Labrador retriever. The result is a post that celebrates the positive impact our dogs have on our lives in countless ways.
The Early Years
I’ve been crazy about dogs for as long as I remember! In my formative years, my father was a headhunter’s dream, which meant we moved around the country a lot. This is where animals became a constant in my world, and that has never waned. Many dogs have been part of my life and all of those led up to my current housemates – Minnow, The Beej and now Fluffy the Vampire.
Chinook Dogs as Matchmakers
My first Chinook was Banshee, a black and tan Chinook (they’re a rare breed dog) and adding him to the mix also ended up with me getting married! Banshee’s breeder had a single brother-in-law that she thought would be a great match because of our shared passion for dogs and the outdoors. Now 20 years later, I’ve got a husband, two Chinooks, and now a wee Labrador retriever puppy. Some days I love that Banshee brought me a husband and (like all married people) some days I’m not so sure! But there isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not grateful for our dogs.
Minnow and The Beej are my constant Chinook companions! The Beej came from Rain Mountain Chinooks in Washington state and arrived in the autumn after my father died. On the red-eye flight with her tucked under the seat in her soft sided carrier somewhere over the Rocky Mountains, I could have sworn that I heard my father’s mellifluous voice asking “Is this the new pooch?” I glanced down and saw The Beej’s green – yes, green – eyes glancing up and wagging her tail. She must have heard him too. Minnow came later from Hurricane Chinooks in South Carolina when his breeder was battling cancer – sadly she lost that battle - and was only supposed to stay at our house for a “short time.” To this day, I’m not sure how to define a short time, but Minnow is now seven years old, so I guess we’re keeping him!
Motivating Each Other to Live Happy & Healthy
I’m not a native Minnesotan, so having “personal trainers” to encourage me to get out and walk every day is a huge perk! If you’ve never been here, Minnesota combines the heat and humidity of the Amazon rainforest with frigid Siberian winters. Does that make it the Siberian Amazon? Do you want to pack up all your belongings and hit the road?
The dogs and I keep each other going with constant reminders that it’s time to walk at one of the many beautiful parks near our small house (I’m getting one of those reminder noses poking me right now). Keeping the Chinooks and one wee Labrador in shape is fun, but takes some work! We have a great team assembled to keep everyone happy and healthy.
Our goal is for the dogs to live long, healthy lives and our plan includes regular exercise, regularly visiting the veterinarian and feeding some of the best food to our dogs. I love keeping things simple, and the personalized Just Right by Purina blends offer nutritious, great-tasting food for each of my dogs; I’ve seen their coats become glossier and thicker and their energy levels are higher with longer stamina on our walks. Added bonus, it comes right to my front door, so now all the dogs adore the UPS driver too.
Like Kathleen, you too can help your dog live happy and healthy.
Create your dog’s ideal dog food with Just Right by Purina.
Kathleen Riley was voted one of the top dog trainers in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. area and has over 25 years of professional canine experience. Check out her expert advice for dog ownership, and keep up with her adventures on her photography website, personal blog, and Instagram (#MinnowandTheBeej).