Cesar Milan’s Fifth Natural Dog Law says, “Dogs are social pack animals with a leader and followers.” He adds that they are at their happiest under a pack structure because the followers want to be told what to do and know what the leaders expect of them.
To learn more about domestic dog packs, Texas Dog Magazine reached out to the Fur Amigos pack mom Amanda Shaw.
- The Adoption:
Teddy (3): Goldendoodle
Adopting Teddy was not your typical adoption day. Being a Doodle puppy, and a big one at that, Teddy was sent to a trainer up near Dallas and needed a new family. We drove over four hours to meet this lovable, big guy, and of course, brought him right down to Houston with us! All he needed was a little TLC (Teddy, Lola, Cooper) in his life! We’re grateful to give him his forever home!
Lola (8): Collie Mix (shelter pup)
Lola was in a local shelter in Rockport, Texas. She was covered in fleas and ticks, but as happy as could be! When I asked the lady to open her kennel she ran straight out to me and jumped into my arms. Right then I knew she was my sweet princess, my Lola Mae! May 14, 2010 was the best day, the day she began living the life she was always supposed to, adopted and adored!
Cooper (7): Boxer
Cooper was the runt of the litter all the way in Arkansas. He had a huge lump on his head and what looked to be cigarette burns. The minute Trey laid eyes on him he knew he was taking him home, no questions asked! He wouldn’t walk anywhere and made me carry him for the first week. Cooper soon turned into the goofy, lovable boxer everyone knows and loves!
Sooie: (4) Labradoodle (rescued)
Sooie was in Dallas with Doodle Rock Rescue. She had been adopted and unfortunately, it wasn’t the best fit. We came across her profile on Facebook and decided to ask if she was still available. The next weekend we were traveling to Dallas for my birthday and picked this sweet girl up! She made the journey down to Houston to live forever with her fur-siblings!
- What is it like being a “pack mom” versus a “dog mom”?
Being a pack mom is my greatest gift! It definitely has its challenges but it’s all worth it! Teddy, Lola, Cooper & Sooie each have their very own unique, silly and sometimes sassy personalities that most definitely keep this pack momma on her toes! I’d say the biggest difference in being a pack mom verses a dog mom is understanding each dogs needs and being able to take care/guide the pack. It can definitely get a little crazy around our house, but they all get along and have created their own fur-sibling pack! Advice for dog moms looking to add to their pack and become a pack mom: always keep your current dog(s) needs in mind when adding a new pup, and remember to have lots of patience and love!
- Were there any notable growing pains when adding a pup to the pack?
Yes, there were a few bumps in the road when growing our family! Lola had always been the only dog, the princess, and when we brought her not so little little brother home she was not so sure about him. It took her some time to adjust, but she now loves to play fetch with him and even lets him lick her once and a while! Bringing Cooper into the mix wasn’t a bad transition. Teddy and Cooper had one small squabble and they both quickly realized who was in charge … Lola! They’re the best of friends now! Sooie was our largest bump. She was scared, timid and not sure of it all. She’d been through a lot recently, so it was definitely a process to get her comfortable with our lifestyle and her fur-siblings. It took about four months until all was calm again, and now it feels like she has been here forever! These four get along like no other and are seriously the best pack we could have ever asked for!
- What is your favorite thing about each dog?
Well, this is a hard one! Each dog has so many amazing qualities and things I absolutely love about them! One of my favorite things about Lola is how smart she is. She will do anything you ask of her, sometimes we joke that she’s a little furry human! With Cooper, it’s his laid-back attitude! He is so easy going and wants to chill with his humans. My favorite thing about Teddy is how loveable he is! He definitely doesn’t understand how big he is. Every night it’s like we have a 78-pound child in our bed, he’s the sweetest boy! Miss Sooie is a sleepy little dog! This may sound silly but I love that she loves to sleep! She cuddles up with her soft curly hair and will never leave. There are a million things about each dog that are our favorites, but these are a few of their unique traits.
- What is it like having an “Instafamous” pack?
Having an Instafamous pack is a dream come true! Every dog mom thinks their dog is the cutest fluff ball around town, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when we started their Instagram journey last December. They somehow stole the show and have made some amazing fur-iends! They’ve had the chance to model and represent some amazing brands such as Kiwi’s Pet Co. and Bubs’ & Betty’s! It’s not all play, but it sure seems like it with these four! They are so good and patient with our many photoshoots! Always giving their “dadographer” the shot we’re looking for! They really are good sports and deserve all the fame and fortune!!!
- What is your top tip for people looking to be pack owners?
The biggest tip we can give is to always have patience and make sure it’s the right fit for all members of the pack! Bringing in a new dog can cause a lot of stress on certain dogs. Others, like Cooper, are easy going and much less dominant. Only you know your dog and only you can decide if this new fur-sibling is the right fit for them and the entire pack! Doing a trial run before you commit is always a great idea! It gives you time to see how your current dog(s) reacts to ensure it’ll be a good fit. Like Lola, she is a very sassy and dominant dog. It took her a while to get used to the change, but she never showed signs of aggression or that she was suffering from the addition of Teddy and then Cooper. Making sure everyone in the pack is taken care is key, that’s what pack moms are for!
- Is there anything else you’d like to add?
For those interested in a pack mom’s day to day life, keep an eye out for The Fur Amigo’s blog coming soon! It’ll be all about the daily life of a pack mom! Plus, DIY tips and tricks for all dog moms out there.