Say Hello: A Brand New Addition
Allow me to introduce....Butterscotch!
Copy: Serena Faber-Nelson
Photography: Ruthless Photos
Pet lifestyle expert Serena Faber-Nelson is the founder of Pretty Fluffy. A contributor to Everyday with Rachael Ray, Modern Dog Magazine, Cesars Way and more; her modern, stylized take on DIY dog treats has seen her recipes viewed millions of times over.
Serena is the author of the go-to dog mom bible, Dog Mama, and the popular dog treat recipe book, Healthy Homemade Dog Treats.
Today I’m sharing the journey that led to our wonderful new furry family member, Butterscotch.
It’s been over three years now since we said goodbye to our beloved Soda. For a long time, I couldn’t even imagine having another dog. Soda was truly one of a kind and my little furry soulmate. There was no way I could ‘replace’ her.
Then as time went on, having a newborn child to look after ruled out adding to our family (until we were reacquainted with that lovely thing called ‘sleep’), then we had home renovations and finally it wasn’t until around 6 months ago that I truly felt emotionally and physically ready to start looking.
The Search Begins
It was a no-brainer that our search started with looking for a rescue dog to welcome into our home. As I’ve written about before, I’m a huge believer in helping dogs in need of a loving home, so it was the obvious place for us to start.
We started keeping an eye on rescue websites, local pounds, shelters and put out a call to a contact at the RSPCA.
With a good amount of experience under our belts we knew exactly what sort of dog would thrive in our home. We settled on a Medium-Large sized dog (smaller dogs would not enjoy the layout of our home nor our stairs!), and knew dogs that had a herding or sporting element would be a perfect match for our lifestyle.
Our Learning Curve
After a few weeks of searching we began to realise that it wasn’t going to be as easy as we thought. In fact it was downright hard. While we were keen to rescue, our family was – to be blunt – not the most ideal rescuers.
With a small child (aged 3) in our home, many dog rescue profiles had us down for the count before applying. We got very used to seeing the words ‘Not suitable for homes with children under 7’.
And do you want to know what I thought about that? Well, the old me would have been all worked up saying giving a rescue dog a home is the be all and end all. But with a bit more maturity and wisdom under my belt I knew the carers of these dogs were doing them a favour saying no to us.
They cared enough to make sure these dogs were finding suitable, forever homes. Not mismatched, stressful homes where it may not work out. But real, steady, loving homes for the rest of their lives. Because that what these dogs deserve after all.
This was possibly a big aha moment for me. One little guy – an Aussie Shepherd you may remember from our Instagram stories was a case in point. While I thought we could provide him with the perfect home, he actually ending up going to another family with an older child AND another Aussie to play with.
I was disappointed, but understood we were just not the best choice for him. This was solidified when the family shared that once home, the little guy had a few issues left over from his previous owners. He struggled to be left at home alone, and showed small signs of aggression when panicked. All fixable, understandable stuff – but not suitable for a home with a toddler.
This was the ultimate lesson that taught me, while we thought we were the perfect home for him, we actually weren’t at all.
Our search stepped up at the start of this year when I reached out to friends who were experts in these fields to get some advice. It was time to bring in the big guns! One such friend was Dr Katrina Warren, who was kind enough to recommend us to Golden Retriever Rescue (GRR), where she had rescued her gorgeous boy Riley years before.
Another friend I reached out to was Sam from Just You Me & the Dogs – if you haven’t seen her beautiful creative work, you need to check it out. Sam has a wonderful menagerie of both pure bred and rescue pets that will make you instantly want to trade lives with her!
Golden Retriever Rescue got back to us advising that while we were put on their waitlist, a family with a young child wouldn’t be suitable for many rescues. They suggested with our situation we could try reaching out to ethical breeders to offer to re-home any senior dogs looking for a family home for their twilight years.
In a serendipitous moment, at the same time, Sam passed on the details of Kirilee from Akhiri Goldens, a wonderful ethical, small kennel for Golden Retrievers (seriously, I’ve met a lot of breeders in my time, and I can honestly say Kirilee is the best I’ve ever seen).
While Kirilee did not have a senior dog in need of a home, she did have a 7 week old boy…and as soon as we saw his little face, we were hooked. It was a long way from where our search originally started, but it felt like the perfect match we were looking for.
As Butters sleeps soundly at my feet while I work, or plays sweetly with my daughter, I can’t believe our good fortune in welcoming him into our home. It’s only been a few weeks and I’m already in love with my little Butterball (and the nicknames have already started…)
He is the biggest teddy bear, loves to play, but has a gentle, soft side I adore. He’s the perfect dog for us, and you know what? I think we’re the perfect home for him!
Finding him was a big learning curve for me. It was a journey that involved me releasing my grip on preconceived ideas and respecting that learning never stops when it comes to our relationships with our furry friends. Things have definitely changed in the last decade with pet ownership and I’ll definitely be touching on what I’ve learnt in coming posts.
I’ve already been in touch with GRR, and still hope to bring a rescue or foster pup into our family when Butters (and my beautiful daughter) get a bit older and, what-do-you-know, having another Golden makes us a great candidate for this!
I can’t thank Kirilee from Ahkiri Goldens, Sam, Katrina and everyone who helped us on this journey. I have no doubt Soda is smiling down on our family and her furry little brother.
Butters, we love you.
STAR ALONGSIDE BUTTERS
Your puppy can star alongside Butterscotch in the 2019 Adorable Puppies Diary by Ruthless Photos.
Butters was lucky enough to have these gorgeous photos taken by principal photographer Ruth (the best in the business) and will feature in the diary, with all proceeds going towards helping dogs in need.
Make your own pup a star and find out more HERE
Copy: Serena Faber-Nelson
Photography: Ruthless Photos