The Story of Sam.

Friends, I have received quite a few emails requesting more information on our new puppy, Sam. You've wanted to know how we decided to get him, how we chose his name, who loves him most, and how we introduced him to the children. Here is the Story of Sam:

How we decided to get a dog: The children (and Ryan) have been asking for a dog for a couple of years. I've resisted. I grew up in a home with a dog and I knew how much attention pets need and deserve. I was starting to show signs of weakness on the subject (humoring the family by looking at puppies here + there on the web, in pet shops and at animal shelters) but nothing serious. Just looking.

A couple of months ago on a fateful morning Ryan made a promise to Easton. After a few goal-less soccer games my oldest boy was feeling discouraged. He needed a good pep talk. Ryan thought a good bribe would help too. So, he promised Easton if he made a goal at that morning's game we would get a dog. And guess what? 10 minutes into the game Easton scored his first goal during game play ever. Ryan and I were so proud. And when we realized what was next, a little scared. Our search for Sam began almost immediately. It took a couple months, but when we came across this sweet golden lab pup we knew he was our guy.

His name + introduction to the children: After the children were snug in bed Christmas Eve, Ryan snuck out to pick up our dog. We decided to have him named before the children had a chance to pick something obnoxious and thought Sam was a simple + sweet choice.

Christmas morning when the children made their way into the living room they were greeted by Sam. He had spent the night sleeping under the tree in his crate and was wearing a bright red collar. You can imagine the scene. To say they were happy + excited would be an understatement. He is our favorite Christmas gift. Ever.

Who loves him most: Sam has now been with us for a month and a half and we can't imagine life without him. Ryan has been training him diligently and I may be a bit biased, but I'm sure Sam is the smartest pup out there. He has managed to turn my skeptical heart into complete mush. But who loves him most? That would be our youngest babe. The second I pull Oliver from his crib every morning he asks, "Where's Sam?" with his adorable Boston accent. The two are pretty much inseparable from dawn until dusk.

What about you? Do you have a family dog? I would love to hear any tips you'd like to share!


  1. He's gorgeous. What a fun time for your family.

  2. Loved reading the story of Sam. His eyes are precious.

    We have a little white maltese, Zoe, who we keep cut short {hair length}. So cute. I caved too, like you, and Zoe arrived Christmas Morning under the tree having slept the whole night so quietly in her crate five years ago. Each year the kids tell Zoe on Christmas eve that she will see Santa again. And they tell everyone else how lucky Zoe was that she got to ride on Santa's sleigh.

    Besides still peeing on my carpets from time to time *scream* she is the perfect addition to our family. She weighs only 6 pounds and loves to go on car rides!

  3. I have a pup named Bella. She is a mini French Bulldog...and full of energy and love. Puppy potty training is tough, so I took her to Petco for a training class. I think that, along with me working with her helped her get potty well as stopping that pesky chewing habbit.

  4. What a cute dog! Thanks for sharing his sweet story of how he came to be!

  5. My tip would be to have your dog bell trained. You hang a jingle bell contraption near the door where you let the dog out to go to the bathroom, and train them to paw it and make it ring when they need to go out. This minimizes accidents and keeps you from having to "remember" to let the dog out. It also keeps the dog from pawing at the actual door and damaging it. I think it's brilliant.

  6. Sam is just adorable! His sweet face makes me want to get another dog. We have a giant mutt, Brick, that we adore.

    My only advise would be to make sure you do a training class and include the kids. It's easy to remember to teach dogs that we grownups are boss, but sometimes we forget that the dog needs to obey the kids too. When in doubt, check out Cesar Millan, a.k.a. the Dog Whisperer ( We've implemented many of his practices, and I am proud to say that our 90 lb. dog is always well behaved.

  7. Thank you all for your kind notes!

    Em, we have used the bell method for Sam and it has worked wonders. He's completely house trained. Yay!

    Shoutforha, we love Caesar! Ryan has read his book, "How To Raise The Perfect Dog" twice. So many good tips in there.

  8. We have two Yellow Labs, and we did a complete training with them all the way to their canine good citizen. They get so big and labs are so active, it really helps to have them well trained. Also a gentle leader is great as they get bigger. Ours are both 90lbs.

  9. What an adorable puppy. I can just imagine your childrens response on Christmas morning, how fun!
    I love the idea of taking a dog on a walk, it would be such an incentive for me.
    Let me know if Sam ever needs a walk :)

  10. Um. I sort of love him. That sweet puppy face and those big eyes...

    I have to stop looking, or you'll see a new puppy at our house soon, and I'm not ready for that ;)

  11. he is so precious. i love the fact that you & ryan chose his name before your children had time to choose something "obnoxious". best line to a post...ever! i love labs...i grew up with a black lab that i named callie & trained by myself...she was so sweet & i cannot wait to have another one. my tip is to have sam go in only one portion of the yard everytime...saves the grass!

    unfortunately, there are a lot of little people here with allergies, but since seth will be out of town so often now i have started looking for a dog that will suit our nose needs & that will keep me company late at night.

    other favorite part? oliver's "boston accent"! love it.

  12. What a lovely story.. thank you for sharing! :D Sam is adorable! I've no dog stories, just lots of cats, ha!

  13. I was looking through your blog which I have been following since Dec. 2011. I was just wondering how the puppy has been with your littlest one. We have a one year old and I would love to get a dog, but we don't have much of a yard and I kind of like the idea of an indoor dog. I am not sure how well puppies do with little ones who are on the floor and have their toys everywhere.


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