Pets · Puppy hood Series · tips

A Puppyhood Series: What I wish I had known before getting a puppy.

Getting a dog is a huge decision, and not to be taken lightly. Once you bring that new fur-baby home, your life is going to be completely different. I knew all of this before getting my puppy, Bear. However, there are some things I didn’t know about having a new pet that I wish I had.

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You wont sleep ( for a bit )

Being taken away from their litter and mother is very traumatic for a puppy, and being taken to a new place with all of its unfamiliar smells can be very scary. The first night is going to be TOUGH. Your pup is going to be scared and confused. Do your best to comfort him and try not to get frustrated with his whimpers. With Bear, when we picked him up, we brought a stuffed animal and rubbed it on his mother, litter mates, and whelping pen. The familiar smells might help calm your new family member. Our personal experience was, Bear was very difficult at night. He hated being alone in his crate. I slept on the floor next to his crate, played soothing music for him, with my hand on him through the bars, and talked to him through the night while he cried. I barely slept for weeks. I was only able to sleep when Bear slept during the day.

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Get them on a schedule.

Having a puppy on a schedule is really important for the first week or so, especially with potty training. Regular potty trips will let your puppy know when they are supposed to go outside and that they are NOT supposed to being going inside. The more reliable you are with doing things at the same time everyday, the better behaved your puppy will be. Here’s a schedule I found really helpful when we first got Bear.

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A dog is expensive!

I’m not going to go into the nitty-gritty of how much Bear has cost us, but Petfinder says that within the first year of life a dog cost from $766-$10,350! With all the vet visits, medications, neutering/spaying and just things they need in the first year alone, you are paying out a lot of money. Always be sure to have something set up in case of an emergency even if it means having a care card set up for your pet, you never want to have to rush your your dog to the vet and not be able to pay.

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Training is hard, have patience.

Training a new puppy can be really hard, especially when you are trying to train them to stop a bad habit. Some tactics can backfire. When Bear was younger he was quite mouthy while he was teething. This is very common for his breed. To get him to stop, we would hold his muzzle shut for 3 seconds after a nip. This backfired on us because Bear started to hate having his nose touched at all. Stay away from negative training techniques. It may seem easier and quicker but the consequences outweigh the benefits. Positive reinforcement is the best way to train a new pup, so load up on those training treats!

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You have to register your pet

This one may seem simple, but I was unaware that you have to register your dog with your county and re-register them every year. An unregistered dog can land you a hefty fine so make sure you get that tag and put it on their collar.

Cherish this time.

Moms say it all the time about their children, the time flies. Our puppies are small for an even shorter amount of time. Cherish it, document it and soak it up as much as you can. Bear was so small when we first got him, just 14 pounds, now he is a whopping 72. He is only 8 months old and he is already a big dog! I wish I could go back to the days where I could actually pick him up and hold him, carry him in my arms. So, cherish your fur-babies while they are still small and sleep all day.

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Having a new puppy is a bumpy road, but I am glad I chose this path. I wouldn’t trade Bear for anything. This was a big task to take on and I’m really proud I was able to handle it. If you are thinking of getting a dog or puppy, check your local rescues. An older dog might be better for you if you have a busier schedule. If you do get a puppy feel free to email me with any questions, at agoode41@aol.com and good luck!

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Bipolar Disorder · Depression · Life · Mental Health · Uncategorized

Well… this is awkward, My Awkward Life.

January 16th was the last time I posted here.

A lot has happened since then. Some good some bad. My previous post about my New Year detailed my transition to eating healthier.

Obviously my New Year has not gone as planned.

I had put so many labels on who I identified myself as that I felt boxed in, overwhelmed, and at my breaking point trying to figure out “Who am I?”.

“Vegan”

“Beachbody Coach”

“Blogger”

I am none of these things.

I am, simply, Me.

I roll with the tides. I can’t fight it. I am bipolar. This disorder is a cruel mistress. The depressive side can take me to the darkest of places and fill me with a sadness that is difficult to define, but on the other hand I am capable of feeling such joy over the smallest of things that I know others cannot. It is truly a double edged sword.

This past winter, I was suffering from a period of depression, and grasping at straws to feel anything else. In this desperation I reached out to my parents with an idea.

“Can I have a dog?”

“Yes.”

I was shocked. I believe, out of their own desperation, my parents agreed. I can only imagine that seeing your only child suffer when you’ve tried everything you can, with no end in sight, can make any parent desperate. We agreed that I would get a puppy and train it to be a therapy dog for me. We began to prepare for the responsibility that is a puppy.

On February 24th, we welcomed Bear Lee Goodenough to our family.

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Bear’s first night home!

I could write a whole book on the ways Bear has changed my life these past 5 months. Living a life in service of another changes your perspective. I still have bad days, but because of Bear, I don’t lay around and dwell on it. Bear HAS to be let out, fed, and walked. He NEEDS on me. If I choose to spend the day in bed, he suffers, so it is no longer an option for me. I now have a purpose. I have my own little family of three with my long-term boyfriend Geoffrey. Having them has flushed some of the darkness from my days.

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I can’t promise that I will never feel the way I did this past winter again;that would be naive. I’m trying to embrace what this disorder rains down on me, which includes labeling myself. I’m not going to be boxed in by my emotions. I’m not going to label myself vegan anymore. I may eat a vegan diet because I believe that it is a healthier option, or I may not. The same goes for this blog. I originally started it to keep my family and friends informed on my hiking and my life. It got away from me when I got caught up in the world of “blogging”. For now, I’m going to write about what I’m passionate about, and that changes almost daily. I have a very diverse amount of and I look forward to sharing them with everyone. I also want to share more about what it’s like living with Bipolar disorder and the daily struggles and hardships I have to face.

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Geoffrey and I, at my cousin’s wedding!

I hope you will stick with me on my journey here.

Always Awkward,

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Life · Monthly Health Check In · Seasonal

2016, That’s a Wrap!

Today we celebrate and ring in the New Year. Today is also a time of reflect on the year that has passed and what it has brought us. The ups and the downs, the good and the bad. My 2016 was filled with both. I laughed a lot and cried a lot. I tried new things and had new experiences. Today, I want to share some highlights from my year.

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This year I got to spend a large amount of time with family. I am so grateful for that. I got the opportunity to travel to visit my “sister-in-law” in Massachusetts and my aunt in New Hampshire. Along with many other fun visits with other members of my family, I’m so grateful for all the time this year I got to spend bonding with the people that mean so much to me.

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This year, in March, Geoffrey had the final surgery on his left ankle, trying to fix complications from previous surgeries due to the original diagnosis of Osteochondritis dissecans. After a long overnight stay in the hospital, post op, we returned home where he needed constant care, requiring me to stay with him for eight weeks through his recovery.

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Also, this year, Geoffrey’s family adopted a new dog named Beau! I went with them to pick him up and he was mats and dirt, but we could already tell that he was a sweetheart. On the long ride home from the pick up spot, he nuzzled both Geoffrey and I and actually crawled up into Geoffrey’s lap! We got him home and immediately brushed him to get out as many knots as we could and the amount of hair that came off could have made a whole other dog. After that he was ready to come inside and was instantly at home. We are so happy to welcome this big furry ball of love into the family and so happy that Mr. and Mrs.L have finally found the dog for them!

 

We added another member to the family this year. My Aunt Pam and Uncle Dan welcomed baby Tobias Connor Goodenough on September 5th at 10:54pm, at 6.77lb, 49cm. He is a beautiful baby boy and is getting so big so fast! I’m so excited to have baby cousins in the family and to get to be a big cousin. I so grateful to have Toby and his sisters in my life.

 

As I mentioned before, this year I got the amazing opportunity to do some traveling! I wrote about it previously here and here. It was a wonderful trip and the first time I’ve gotton to travel with my boyfriend, Geoffrey. We had so much fun!

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This year also held a lot of personal opportunities for me. In September, I started this blog to chronicle my weight loss and the ups and downs of that and my battle with mental health. I also became vegan this year around August. In late November, I became a Beachbody Coach. Beachbody has helped me lose 30 plus pounds and becoming a coach grants me the opportunity to help others achieve their own health goals and dreams. I am so excited to get out there and help others!

 

I also started a new hobby this year. Hiking the Pennypack Trail! I love being outside and getting some alone time to think on the trails. I get to take beautiful pictures and see amazing things all while getting in some great exercise!

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2016 wasn’t all wonderful, however. This year we lost a dear family friend, Sharon Lyew. This February, she succumbed to complications of diabetes and heart disease. Sharon was someone who was always a part of my life. She taught me to love crafting at a young age when she would come over and teach me how to make jewelry and other things. She babysat me when I was a baby and we have so many funny stories to tell of her. We think of her often and hold her close in our hearts.

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Sharon and I.

 

So much has come together to make up 2016. So much joy, sadness and triumph. 2016 was a jam packed year. I worked hard, accomplished much, and grew as a person. I hope 2017 holds just as much opportunity for growth and change as 2016, just as much joy, and if it brings sadness, that I may learn from it.

 

What are your favorite memories from 2016? What are your hopes for 2017?

 

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Life · Monthly Health Check In · Uncategorized · Weightloss

September, That’s a Wrap!

I’m not going to lie, September was a difficult month for me. I lost a drastic amount of weight in the beginning of the month, seven pounds in just over a week. Then I started to feel sluggish and my weight started going back up and continued to yo-yo for the rest of the month. I later realized that a new protein powder I had started using was causing some nasty side effects after a few weeks. I dumped the new powder just in time for my New Hampshire vacation. I left weighing 228 pounds. I tried my best to stay on track while I was away and was able to stay vegan and drink my Shakeology every morning. However, I didn’t stick to my allotted portions and gained 2 pounds, ending the month at 230 and losing a total of 5 pounds. Even though it’s not what I had hoped for, it’s a start!

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My planner, showing my dramatic weight loss in the beginning of the month.

Progress:

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Milestones:

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This month I hit 30 pounds lost!

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Goals:

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September Goals –

I tried my best with the goals I set at the beginning of the month, but I didn’t do as much as I intended. As far as eating more fruits and veggies go, I really stepped it up to incorporate them into at least one meal a day. Moving forward I hope to take further strides in accomplishing more.

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October Goals-

For October I plan to work out more. I’m going to focus more on Beachbody On-Demand workouts because as the weather gets colder I will work on transitioning into a winter workout routine. I’m going to make more of an effort to stick to my dinner plan with my family as there have been a lot of nights in September where I haven’t eaten at home or I just casually threw something together. This month I really want to stay on track with healthy family meals. Lastly, I really need to drink more water! It’s my worst habit, but from now on I will drink 8 glasses a day.

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A New Addition to the LaManna Family-

My boyfriend’s family has been fostering dogs for a while now, and they recently brought home a loving Aussie named Blaze. He was heavily matted and in some serious need of TLC, but everyone pitched in and quickly fell in love. Their family has been searching for a new furry friend since the passing of their beloved Rocky. Blaze has gone above and beyond everyone’s expectations and was officially adopted before the end of the month, and was given a more fitting name, Beau. Welcome to the family Beau!

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My niece Millie’s 2nd Birthday-

I love my boyfriend’s family and how they have accepted me as one of their own. Especially his nieces and nephews! September 19th was his youngest niece, Camille’s , 2nd birthday. We celebrated with a small brunch over the weekend before her big birthday party back home in Massachusetts. Millie’s mom, Chel, has a great blog over at A is for Adelaide , please go check it out!

Meeting my new baby cousin-

My cousin, Tobias Connor Goodenough, was born on September 5th at 10:54 pm to my Aunt Pam and Uncle Dan! I finally got to go meet him and spend some time with his adorable sisters on the 21st! We are so blessed to have this new addition to the family, congratulations Dan and Pam!

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And finally, my trip to New Hampshire-

My family has had a Colon Cancer fundraising team, called Pooper for Pat, since 2011. My family and I attend a big event in Philadelphia in March and a smaller one in New Hampshire every September. It’s a great reason to get together with family and go sight seeing in a beautiful state. Of course, always in the loving memory of my late Uncle Pat, who our team is named for, our Pooper. You can go online and register for our team or donate at Get Your Rear in Gear. I really hope to see some of you there, someday!

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