If you have ever met me in person or have followed me along on social media, it is pretty clear that I am THAT mom. The crazy Dog Mom. My kids are fuzzy, slobbery, playful balls of love, and I am openly obsessed with them. Since my kiddos are such a big part of my life, I wanted to give them their own puppy profile pieces for the whole world to enjoy (or it may be just an excuse for me to show them off…either way).

I am SO proud to introduce the first dog featured on my blog, Gracie.

Gracie is the first dog that my husband and I got together, and is actually our first born baby. She goes by many, many names (Gracie Lou, Bubbles, Baby, Piggy, and sometimes even Brat..), and she will happily respond to all of them.

When Mike and I first decided that we wanted to bring a dog into our family, we searched high and low to find a dog that would be the perfect match. We went to multiple shelters, meeting and greeting so many wonderful fluffers…but still could not find a perfect match. That is, until September 11, 2014.

On this fateful day, I just so happened to be in a town that we never get out to very often (Parsons, Kansas), taking a test to receive my Certified Medication Aide license (yep, I was a Med Aide in a different life). When I finished taking my test, I decided to head over to the local Proud Animal Lovers Shelter (PALS) in Parsons to see if any dogs caught my eye.

When I arrived, the manager of the shelter showed me around to all of their beautiful pups and kitties waiting for their person to come find them. As we were concluding the rounds around the shelter, she opened a side door to some outdoor kennels, to lead me outside one more time…and then I saw them. There was an outdoor kennel full of teeny, tiny, skinny little puppies. I felt my heart lump into my throat as soon as I laid eyes on them- they were so cute, yet so dang helpless. The manager explained to me how this sweet litter of pups was brought into the shelter the day before, and were found in a ditch along a county road with their dad overlooking them. No sign of a momma, and they were obviously too small to be weened already. She opened the kennel door for me, and I sat down on the floor with the puppies pulling themselves all over my lap. One in particular caught my eye- she was bright red just like the rest of her sisters, but would not get off of my lap, and she had a cute white blaze going down the center of her nose.

I told the manager that I was smitten, but had to send a photo to my BOYFRIEND (yep, we were still just dating back in those days). I snapped a photo of her holding all the puppies in her arms, and sent it off to Mike. Within a minute he called me, and said he is on his way. He drove the 50 minutes from our house to the shelter to meet the little loves, and he instantly fell in love with the cutie I was already taken by.

We signed the adoption papers, and she was ours. Her shelter name was ‘Caroline”, and they said she was a boxer mix. Although at the time, she looked more like a chihuahua puppy she was so tiny!

Instantly, we were head over heels for this sweet little puppy. We named her Gracie, and she changed our lives forever.

Growing up, my family always had dogs. Shih-tzus, husky mixes, rottweilers, you name it. But Mike had never had a family dog, so this was a whole new ball game for him! We potty trained her, worked through her chewing up everything we love, and even taught her some adorable tricks. We all became so bonded, and such a tight little family. We are still not sure exactly what kind of mix Gracie is, but all we know is she is a perfect little mutt!

Gracie has grown up through her puppy antics (even though she still acts like a puppy!), and has grown and evolved as we have. She is the mother hen to all the other dogs in our house, and loves to care for them by cleaning their ears and cuddling. She is to tuned into emotion, she gets upset if I shed even the slightest tear or alter my mood at all - she is instantly climbing all over me and trying to cheer me up again!

Gracie LOVES to play ball, and is obsessed with her Chuck-It toy. She has a Kong Wobbler that keeps her occupied indoors, and she loves anything that keeps her mind busy. She has also been known to watch a lot of TV (her favorite is nature shows, and Alaska the Last Frontier…go figure). Riding in the car is her FAVORITE thing in the world, and she loves to be anywhere we are! She is already 4.5 years old, but you would never know she is a day over 6 months…she has more energy than all of our other dogs combined!

Our family has grown up around Gracie, and she has become such a central point in our lives. She was included on our wedding day, in our engagement photos, and will forever hold such a tight spot in our hearts.

Gracie Lou is the OG Preston Pup, and is the dog that started it all. Thanks to the love we feel for her and the love she has given us, our family is 5 dogs strong!

Here are some of my favorite shots of Gracie over the years - but lets be honest, I have hundreds of photos of her! If you would like to see more of Gracie in my everyday life, be sure to follow along on my Instagram pages!



Engagement Photos: The Mitchells Photography

Wedding Photos: The Mitchells Photography

Family Portrait: Tazmin Sorrels Photography