Today’s guest post comes from Sara of Life in These Times, a fantastic blog about being a mother, a DIY-er, a wife, and a pet parent. Sara has been a co-worker of mine at two different Atlanta agencies, and I always love hearing about her daughter, Keelin, and her two Boston Terriers. Now, you get to hear about them too!

I’ve always loved dogs. I’ve always wanted to be a mom. So, the likelihood that the titles of ‘pet owner’ and ‘mother’ would eventually cross paths was inevitable from the beginning.

Now to follow with the ‘normal’ chain of events, I did the expected. Met a guy, dated, got engaged, got married, had a slue of failed pet experiences (ok, maybe that’s not the norm), bought a house, and finally settled down with the title of ‘pet owner’ in 2010 when the hubs and I adopted two very rambunctious Boston Terrier puppies. They pooped, they ate, they slept, they snored, and eventually they learned the rules of the road and fit right in as members of the family. It may not have been the best idea to bring home two at once, and we’ve got photo documentation of their destruction around the house to prove it, but we really do love our little fart machines. Fast forward to the spring of 2011 when we learned we’d be adding another member to our family circus, this one only having two feet, and our concerns suddenly switched from whether or not we remembered to give them their Heartguard to “how are they going to do with a new baby in the house?”

baby introduced to boston terriers in atlanta

Baby Keelin is introduced to Sara and Zach’s Boston Terriers.

We weren’t worried about them being aggressive, but we knew that the high energy terrier in them may cause some trouble. It wasn’t uncommon for them to get each other riled up playing and run over everything in their path. So, of course, this terrified soon-to-be-new-mom had one too many images of them stampeding right over my fresh-out-of-the-oven bun during tummy time. While we did a little bit of training with them (i.e. buying a baby doll that I would hold to teach them not to rush me or jump up when I was holding it) for the most part we just crossed our fingers that they would have a good relationship from the start. And thankfully, they did.

mother with daughter and dog

Sara shares her time with baby Keelin and the pups.

The day we brought our daughter home the dogs were kind of the last things on our minds. Before we got home, we sent my parents back to the house with one of our daughter’s first hats so they could smell her before she arrived. I don’t know if any of our preemptive actions really mattered in the end, but for the most part they didn’t pay her much attention… until she started crying. Once that strange noise started ringing through the house they were on high alert and would follow me around as I tried to quiet my fussy babe. Gradually they became more curious and friendly and now, almost a year and a half later, they are best pals. Our daughter loves to pet, chase, and snuggle with them. And by snuggle I mean diving head-first on top of them. They are good sports about it and usually let her join them on the floor. On the off chance that they’re not in the mood for a snuggle session they’ll calmly get up and walk away, at which point she normally follows them to their new spot and starts the whole sequence over again.

boston terrier and toddler

The Bostons have adjusted to a growing and learning toddler quite well.

baby and boston terriers in atlanta

Keelin and the fart machines spend some time outside.

The relationship between animals and children is truly fascinating. As my daughter’s cognitive and motor skills have developed, so has her interaction with the dogs. It’s like they know what she’s capable of as she learns and grows and there is always an underlying sense that they need to protect her. They are alert when she cries, tolerant when she’s in their face, and over all they love being around her. I’m so thankful that they were not only able to watch her grow in my tummy, which they would snuggle up to whenever I would sit or lay down on the floor, but are now able to watch her, and our future children, grow. So, now that I’ve tackled the ‘pet owner’ and ‘mother’ titles… what next? We shall see.

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Wow. It’s almost August, which means that it has almost been five months since I published on Life with Arie. From the last year on this blog, you’ve seen me take a break for about a month or so here or there, but not like this; not a  complete and total blog siesta in No-Post Snoozeville. The truth is, over the past five months (almost 5 months…when you’re talking about not writing, the almost is important), I’ve spent a lot of time dealing with things in my own life, deciding whether to continue this dog blog, and growing as a person and as a professional.

Facing the demons

Since March I’ve been confronting a lot of things in my personal life. I turned 25 in February, and it was not an easy birthday. (For those of you who are older, yes I know that being 25 is basically still being a fetus, but try to remember what you felt like at 25. A quarter of a century is a daunting number when you’re facing it for the first time.) I went back and looked at a list of things I wanted to accomplish by this age, and realized how much I hadn’t done. After a few weeks of feeling like an utter failure, I had to set a new goal: Be happy.

Since then, I’ve started doing yoga, running a lot more (Arie is stupid happy about this life choice), and embracing my hobbies, my professional life, and my friends. One good/bad thing about being this age is that, while you’re not getting taller anymore, you do still grow in “spurts,” or so it seems to me. I feel like the past five months have changed me more as a person than I did last year, and all for the better.

While all of this has nothing to do with this blog, it has everything to do with the absence of this blog, as growing and hobbies and quarter-life reflection take time, and some of that time was blog writing time.

Contemplating new beginnings

If you look over the last, oh, say six posts on here, the don’t have the same joy and passion behind them as my older posts (or at least I hope you found the joy and passion in my older posts!). The truth is, my heart wasn’t here. I love my pets–They are the best companions I could ask for, and better people than some of the people I know. But. I was itching for a place to write about my life as well, about all of the changes and growth and passion coming from those two paragraphs before this one. I work full-time in online content creation and strategy, so the thought of handling two blogs at once + a full day of writing and editing just seemed like a recipe for burnout. I had to decide: Am  I keeping “Life with Arie,” or am I going to let this chapter of my writing die?

After a few months away, I’ve done nothing but miss this dog blog and my readers, and the great community we have here, so the answer is a resounding YES: Life with Arie is here to stay. I’ve also created my own little spot on the web over on Tumblr (hooray, microblogging!).

Let’s sexy-fy all of this rebirth and newness.

Now that we’ve gotten the ya-yas out in the sisterhood, swapped the proverbial traveling pants and what-not that happens when we pour out about our feelings on the web, it’s time to take all of that sharing and growth and make it better.

Let’s be honest: This site looks like 1998 and 2002 decided to make a love-child and call it a blog. Don’t get me wrong–This baby was a labor of love from a writer with zero design experience, no access to Photoshop, and, at the time, no knowledge of HTML (or JAVA, or CSS, or any computer language). That header? Confession: Built that sucker in PowerPoint…and it shows. All of this being admitted, a lovely friend and graphic designer is taking time out of his busy schedule to help me bring the sexy back to Life with Arie, so expect an online face lift in the coming months as we redesign the site.

Beyond just looks, Arie is getting her own social channels. While I will continue to write from my point of view, it was clear that Life with Arie needed its own voice in certain areas of the web. For now, I’m starting with our very own Instagram account so the animals no longer have to share their photo space with flowers, my friends, or me. They get to be true divas @lifewitharie on IG. Coming Soon: A separate Twitter account for Life With Arie as well, so that the doggie and kitty goodness can be kept separate from the manic musings of a caffeinated Content Specialist. I’ll let you know as soon as the tweets will be starting, but for now, go ahead and follow @lifewitharie on Twitter. You’ll feel good about it, as well as the karmic kickback that comes with following a tweet-less Twitter. I’ve also put a renewed effort into the Life with Arie Facebook Page, so if you’re not looking there, you’re missing out.

Lend me your ears!

Now that we’ve gotten all the goodness out, I want to hear from YOU. What have you missed from Life with Arie? What do you want to see more of? Rip it to shreds or build it up in the commentary–All of your input is welcome as we prep for all of the changes!

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The 7 Sides of a Sleepy White German Shepherd

March 11, 2013

This morning, I woke up at 5:30 AM and could not get back to sleep. After a few minutes of tossing and turning, I finally gave up and surrendered myself to the mercy of the Macbook and the coffee pot and positioned myself near the window so as to enjoy the pending Atlanta sunrise. As […]

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The Rules to Having a Dog

March 7, 2013

Have you liked Life with Arie on Facebook yet? If not, you should, and if you have, you may have noticed our new rule series. Lately I’ve had several conversations with friends about the “rules” to having a dog. One is about to start pet sitting a dog, and is nervous about caring for a […]

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Monday Mischief: Cats in furniture

March 4, 2013

I’ve recently started a new job, and with it, I get to work from home in my Atlanta home with my cats and dog all day. (Happy dance around the room!) I did forget one minor detail, however, in the newly homebound arrangement: The programmable thermostat. I realized it was freezing about halfway through my […]

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Piper, the Atlanta Beltline cat

March 3, 2013

If you’re one of my human friends, chances are you know that I’ve recently taken up running. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, but needed a few pushes in the right direction to get started. Luckily for me, those little nudges have already happened, and, from my new running adventures, […]

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Do the Harlem Shake with your dog!

February 26, 2013

Have you been watching the latest dance-craze on the web? The Harlem Shake phenomena has spread across the internet with videos featuring everyone from random high school students to entire squads from the US Army shakin’ it out (See Buzz Feed’s collection of Harlem Shake Videos for fun). Like any great internet trend, the Harlem […]

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A Valentine so special, I have to tell the world.

February 12, 2013

Life with Arie is all about pets, life with the beautiful White German Shepherd, Arie, and her siblings, two black domestic shorthairs, Jasper and Briseis, including celebrating Valentine’s Day with your pets. Sometimes though, I have to tell you a bit about myself. Many people know me as Katie Moore or Katherine Moore, an Online […]

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Life with Arie featured in the “Top 100 Pet Blogs to Follow in 2013″

February 11, 2013

As many of my regular followers/friends/other pet crazies know, Life with Arie has had to take a few breaks this year to deal with a few new aspects of daily life. I’m starting to get back to the blogging groove and reconnecting to old pet blogs I love, new friends, and more; what a better […]

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Testing, testing, one two three…

February 11, 2013

Sorry followers! Need to verify a blog claim. RK3523HURFEU

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