The Backstory: When Jack and I moved in together, we discussed getting a puppy down the road. There was no timeline attached to that. In my head, I guess I assumed it would be another 2-4+ years out…Well that timeline was quickly cut. When the pandemic hit, Jack was no longer traveling every week for work…he realized it was the ‘perfect’ time to get our first puppy. It took me a few weeks to agree. I wasn’t against buying a dog, I just did not grow up with one and wasn’t really sure what to expect honestly.
Jack really took the lead on the dog hunt. He had spreadsheets and charts that documented and compared dog breeds personality, compatibility of cuddling, ability to run with humans (my requirement), and a few other items on our ‘list’. From what I remember, we were analyzing a few different breeds. They were all fineeee - they just weren’t IT. Quite literally one morning, Jack turned to me and said, I want a mini goldendoodle - maybe apricot coat. Something a little different. We pulled up a picture and were sold. We would find one.
Why a Mini Golden Doodle?
In our minds, a mini golden doodle checked the most important boxes for us. It was mid April 2020 and the dog demand was, well, similar to the toilet paper demand: basically there were NONE available immediately. Waitlists were 6 months out and every breeder required a LARGE initial deposit. Between those two things, I was ready to wait a few more years. Jack on the other hand, thought that at one point we might SHIP a puppy from Philadelphia since it felt like the only one left on the market at that point. *you can probably imagine my reaction*
We continued to research breeders in and near Georgia - hunting for any available mini Goldendoodles. One of the first breeders we discovered on Google, Mustard Seed Goldendoodles, was appealing, yet we were still hesitant on the initial deposit. I guess we could thank the never-ending virtual zoom or teams calls for leading us back to Mustard Seed Goldendoodles.
On a lunch & learn call one day, a client was presenting her product to my team. In the midsts of the convo, her very friendly golden doodle popped up on her lap. She quickly shrugged him away. At the end of the call, I casually mentioned our interest in adding a golden doodle to our little family. She couldn’t recommend Mustard Seed Goldendoodles more. It confirmed our interest in the breeder. Wendi, the breeder, had 5-star reviews and consistently scheduled litters. We confirmed our spot for an apricot coated mini golden doodle - expected to arrive in middle of July 2020. We weren’t sure if Jack would be back to work by then - but with the deposit in, it was locked in and would find a way to make it work. Fast forward to today (June 2021), almost a year later, and Jack is still remote working 🙂 We love to see it.
Picking up our puppy
We were first on the litter list and met ‘Miami’ (Georgia’s original name from the breeder - the whole litter was named after cities in Florida) on a virtual call - very 2020 if you ask me. She was the most outgoing puppy out of the 3 and had an adorable white patch on her chest.
A week later, we drove about 1.5 hours outside of Atlanta to pick her up. We picked her up curbside due to COVID, Wendi had everything we needed in a bag. We had her within 10 minutes of arriving. Then we drove home in awe (and a little throw up from G...)
Quick antidote about how Georgia got her name: Jack and I really wanted to name our puppy after this chapter of our life. Recently graduated from college, moving to a new city together and started post-grad life, we were debating on a few names. The top three were Georgia (could be called G, GiGi, Peach or Georgie), Rosie (after the street we live off), and Irby (the other crossroad we live on). Because of her peachy color (and Jack’s persistency), we picked Georgia. It is SO fitting.
The first few months of puppy training
This is where I have to hand it to Jack. Other than teaching her how to shake (which she does immaculately well), Jack taught her almost everything. He stayed up late watching youtube videos on training (prior to getting her as well), researched toys, food, vets, etc. He grew up with dogs and knew what he was getting into….I on the other hand, manifested this immediate love and affection that a dog would give me. I wasn’t prepared for the whining in the crate, peeing on my nice rugs, or missing socks. Not that I didn’t like Georgia, there was just a learning curve for raising a puppy without coexisting one before.
Jack still tells me: this is the best behaved dog ever, most dogs aren’t like this, or we got REALLY lucky. She doesn’t beg, she loves to cuddle, seldom barks, *aside from puppy training* doesn’t destroy anything in the apartment, and LOVES being by us. (I think he says this so I can realize that if we ever get another dog in the future, I’m “prepared” for much worse). She’s incredibly energetic and loves to go on long walks with her paw-rents.
Potty training in an apartment complex
Okay, so it isn't ideal. But we knew what we were signing up for. For the first 6 months, we had a biweekly subscription to Doggie Lawn which was the best thing we could have done. We used this for late nights or when she would pee in the apartment and we redirected her there. The disposable pads that you just keep in the apartment did not work for Georgia. It taught her that she could pee in that spot even without the mat. So we nixed those right away.
We wanted to get her on a schedule as much as possible so we're taking her about 20 minutes after she would eat and drink. As a puppy, their bladders are really small. She was on a 2-3 hour increment schedule even between eatings. So, for the first 2 months, we were running up and down the elevator and outside between 7-10 times a day. It was less than ideal, but we made it work. The night time shifts we resorted to the Doggie Lawn. We always carried her out of the building in efforts to avoid her pooping in the corridors or peeing in the elevator. We also carried paper towel on us on the off chance we put her down and something would happen.
Again, we got really lucky as G caught on pretty quickly. We kept the schedule consistent until she was no longer needing to go as frequently (as she got bigger and smarter).
Dog Products and Recommendations
I always get questions on what we use / order for Georgia so here are some resourceful links..
- Dog Crate - Though G doesn't sleep in her crate anymore, she travels in the car best when she's in her crate.
- Dog Bed - great to have for puppies to sleep in around your home, movable
- Basic Treats: milk & bone, home goods little bites
- Leash / Harness - perfect so her fur doesn’t rip and great for walking when she’s chasing squirrels. 2 types of leashes - nylon for puppy. expandable for 4+ months older (when they start to enjoy and actually walk)
- Dog Poop bags - the essentials
- Dog Bowls for feeding. Traveling? We love this On-The-Go container for her.
- Rachel Ray’s Puppy Food - the breeder used this and we continued with it. We will ween her off to dog food in about a month (per the vet’s recommendation)
- Hygiene: toe nail clippers / shaver, brush, shampoo, smoothie mint bones
- Cute bandana - loose threads by lily OR customized Etsy order
- Fleece blanket exclusively for the dog
Any of these items have helped us in raising Georgia in some way or another! For all other favorites, check out my Amazon Dog Page here! I've also got a Dog Mom Gift Guide with ton's of puppy favorites you can check out here.
12/10 recommend going to a Vet hospital that completes Spays & Neuters instead of going through your overpriced veterinarian. Not sure if its similar to where you live, but our vet wanted to charge us $900 opposed to the vet hospital’s $125….just do your research prior to agreeing to it. Our breeder assured us it’s the same procedure so no need to spend a fortune on it. We are really grateful that she mentioned that to us beforehand!
Great Amazon finds after a spay: cloud collar (instead of the cone - oh G LOATHED the cone), dog onesie (to protect the scar), and extra treats for being a GREAT girl <3 Extra loving and low intensity walks. Lucky for us, it rained basically the whole week in the state of Georgia while our G was laying low.
Georgia gets motion sick in the car
For how great Georgia is, she is not good in the car. In fact, her track record is a consistent yack. We road trip often from Atlanta to Detroit or Naples, so we needed a solution for her motion-sickness and anxiety in the car. We received a prescription through her vet that we fill through Chewy.com. It's called 'Cerenia' and it has worked wonders. We also crate her when we're in the car. We put the backseats down and put her crate near our seats so she can see us. She sleeps just about the whole time and we stop every 3-5 hours on our long drives for her to stretch and go to the bathroom.
Our life with our first puppy, Georgia
To put simply: She’s the dog I didn’t know we needed, especially in this time of our lives. She’s the best little girl and makes me smile daily. Sure, there are times that we are lazy and don’t want to take her out at night, or have to make sure that her needs are met before ours. It’s wild how quickly Jack and I transitioned into parenting a puppy together. I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love her (cue the ‘I told you so’ for everyone and anyone who ever told me I would love her and she would change my world) - she did. And I’m 100% okay with it.
G came into our lives in a time when we needed her most. We were grieving - and in a time I could barely take care of myself, and Jack took care of both of us - she loved, snuggled, and cradled us whenever. G quickly learned to like walks and was intelligent with training. Shortly, we realized we would get 3+ more hours of sleep if Peach slept with us instead of her crate...
I SAID I WOUDLN’T DO IT
*I did it - only took me 6 weeks to cave*. Now she like to sleep right in the middle of us and cuddle all night long. She is an angel in the apartment when we leave her alone (better than when we had her in the crate) and she loves to go on walks, find big sticks outside, and naturally chase squirrels. It’s so comforting to sit down on the couch and have your fur baby hop up next to you just to snuggle (or with a toy in her mouth ready to play - never sure which one you’re going to get heh)
I have to add, EVEN MY FAMILY LOVES HER. Specifically my mom, who is allergic to any and all dogs. Within the first 2 hours of G in my parents’ house, my mom was singing ‘Dogs on the bus go woof, woof, woof’ to Georgia. I really adore how much my family loves her.
We feel so lucky to have a dog who made us a little family and all the years we have to come with her. Happy 1st birthday, Georgia Peach!!