Co-authored by Sam Carell. Sam and Tinkerbelle are part of the Just Right® by Purina® blogger community. All experiences and honest opinions are their own.
"She chose me."
I remember our first day together. She was tiny and scared to come out of her cage or even eat. At only nine months old and weighing less than a pound, Tinkerbelle had been surrendered to the shelter by an elderly couple who decided that a larger dog would be a better fit.
I've never had a dog before I met Tinkerbelle. But from the second our eyes locked, I knew that she'd chosen me.
As we drove away from the shelter, adoption papers all squared away, she squirmed as close to me as she could and perched on my neck and shoulders. I swear you've never seen a happier pup. The first adventure in our new life together came immediately, as it was time for a shopping spree at the pet store. (Little did I know that this is the moment her famous fashionista personality would begin!) Since I'd never had a dog before Tinkerbelle, I had no clue where to start – I mean, how do you figure out what's the best dog food for a maltese-papillon puppy right off the bat? – but a full shopping cart of food, bowls, a crate, clothing, treats, toys, training pads, and multiple plush dog beds later that of course she tested out in the store aisles, we'd gotten the hang of shopping together. Tinkerbelle was already loving every second of her star treatment.
Tinkerbelle ended up falling asleep in one of my Ugg bedroom slippers rather than one of the beds we'd bought. In the middle of the night, she wanted to get up on the bed and jumped up and down like she was on a trampoline until I woke up. I picked her up, she curled up with me, and that's the way it's been every night since.
"At first, I was totally overwhelmed."
I figured out very quickly that Tinkerbelle is an extremely active dog. Whether she's doing photoshoots or getting stopped on the streets of New York City to talk to fans, Tinkerbelle needs her energy from well-balanced meals. But with so many brands to choose from at the pet store, I was completely overwhelmed. I didn't know whose advice to take or how to figure out what to keep her active. At first, I listened to the workers at the pet store, but I didn't feel like they could really know Tinkerbelle like I do.
Tinkerbelle often wouldn't eat the foods I'd buy for her. And if she did eat them, she'd often end up with an upset stomach and bad breath. Tinkerbelle can't tell me what she likes best, so it was really hard to find the best food for her. I must have gone through 4 different brands and flavors. It was a lot of wasted money, wasted time, and it was very frustrating.
"It's a relief to have Just Right."
Since being a Just Right pup, Tinkerbelle eats better. She maintains her 5-pound weight. She's active, playful, bright-eyed, and always has a bounce in her step. I love Tinkerbelle's Just Right blend because I get the power to tailor her food for her nutritional needs. If it's winter and her coat is getting dry, I can adjust her blend. If she's had lamb twice in a row, I can always switch it up and go with salmon or chicken. With every new bag of food, I know that she's getting what she needs and eating a blend that she loves. Honestly, it's a relief to have Just Right and end the years of trial and error. Tinkerbelle loves her blend and so do I.
It's been incredible to watch Tinkerbelle blossom from an insecure pup to the huge personality she is today. And by feeding Tinkerbelle the food that helps her live happy and healthy, I'm celebrating our bond of unconditional love that's made her transformation possible.