Can we talk about this adorable girl for a sec?
It’s hard to believe she was ever this small and honestly if I didn’t have proof (I realize it’s grainy but this is one of my favorite photos of us – it was a complete afterthought snapped on a simple, happy day right after moving to Boston) I probably wouldn’t. In fact, our now 64lb beast was so itty-bitty when this was taken that we actually had to pick her up whenever we were entering or leaving our apartment. Let’s just say this, stairs weren’t her strongpoint. Fast forward six years and it would probably make more sense for her to carry us around. Alright, so there’s a chance that’s not entirely accurate (I mean, I’m pretty sure she’d have trouble lifting the hubby – love you really, Ted!) but oh what a difference time makes . . .
It’s funny because writing this feels therapeutic (I’m not entirely convinced that’s the word I’m looking for) in a way. I suppose what I really mean is that somehow putting all of this into words has been an eye opener for me. Typically, I’m not a huge fan of change so naturally I’m not the first to embrace it. Thinking about it now however, I realize a lot has changed for our little family over the years. Big, small or in-between I’m extremely fortunate and extremely grateful to genuinely be able to say each and every change has been for the better – even if it didn’t feel that way at the time.
When this photo was taken, we were renting a tiny (and slightly depressing) apartment in the city. Today, we have a little home of our own and Maddie might just love it even more than we do – mainly because there’s a lot more space for fetch. At the time, we were also settling into life as parents (exhausting enough all by itself – don’t let anyone tell you differently, having a puppy is like having a baby) and frantically trying to figure out why our girl was getting sick. Today, we know exactly what Maddie needs (as you know, we switched her to a Prescription Diet from Hill’s very early on – she’s been her happiest and healthiest ever since) and somehow love her even more than we did before.
Naturally, time was a huge factor in our growing closer over the years but if you ask me it was also a matter of figuring out what food worked for Maddie and what didn’t. The correct nutrition allowed her sweet, silly and sometimes sassy (she’s lucky Ted and I generally find that hilarious – girl has some incredible timing) personality to really shine and how can you not fall more in love with that? Because of all the health concerns Maddie had as a pup I’m almost hyper aware of the role proper nutrition can play when it comes to making sure your pet is living their best life (something you both deserve) which leads me to one very important subject – making sure you’re feeding your adult dog the correct food for their life stage.
Feeding your adult dog the correct food for their life-stage
Why it matters: Much like us, the nutritional needs of our pets change over time. Eating a food tailored to their lifestage is important for them to enjoy and maintain a healthy, happy life. Sadly however, nearly half of pet parents aren’t feeding their age 7+ pets the right kind of food. Simply by switching their pet’s nutrition, fur-parents can actually help support the ongoing vitality of their dog or cat through increased activity, interaction and mobility.
The science-y stuff: Through 10+ years of research, Hill’s has learned a lot about the complexity of the aging process in pets, and how they may slow down both mentally and physically. Older dogs and cats have different gene expressions than younger pets, which affects how their bodies function in ways such as inflammatory processes, oxidative stress, immunity, DNA repair, energy production and protein metabolism.
The solution – Hill’s Science Diet Youthful Vitality: Armed with the results of their extensive research the team at Hill’s worked to scientifically develop a food to help support pets and their cells as they age. Hill’s Science Diet Youthful Vitality boasts a proprietary blend of ingredients that not only supports brain function but interaction, energy and vitality too.
- Omega-3 & -6 fatty acids for luxurious coat or fur
- Easy-to-digest ingredients for healthy digestion
- Clinically proven antioxidants, vitamins C+E, for a healthy immune system
Oh, and just in case that wasn’t enough motivation for ya I asked a few of my favorite fellow fur parents to chime in on what makes older doggos so awesome . . .
“Dogs are like fine wine; they truly get better with age. Oskar is now 4 and every year (and even every month!) he gets more incredible. Every day we grow together and the more he learns, the more I learn. We had so many limitations with him as a puppy (puppies are lucky they’re cute!), but now he goes with me everywhere as he’s really chilled out. I just can’t imagine my life without him!” Ashley Timms, worlds best dog photographer – she has the mug to prove it!
“Everyone loves puppies, and for good reason! Raising and training puppies, meanwhile, is hard, frustrating work. But when your dog gets older? That’s when their personality really starts to shine. You’re not just the caregiver or the trainer, you’re their person, and their your dog. There is nothing like the bond you can develop with an older dog (they understand you, and you understand them. It’s a real connection) true companionship and undeniable love.” Ted Burke – world’s okayest (read: most patient) husband!
“Dolly is truly a gift – she is gentle, loving, sweet, grateful, adorable, and a little bit sassy. We weren’t looking for a senior dog, but when we saw her picture (Dolly was rescued a few months ago) it was love at first sight. She is mostly deaf and a bit blind, but that makes her so quiet and sweet and careful – I can bring her anywhere (office, subway, concert) and know that she will be mellow and content. The opportunity to share our home and our hearts with Dolly has filled me with joy. I’m so grateful to give this amazing pup a new life filled with love and lots of treats!” Caitlin Burke – world’s sweetest sister in law!