Did you know instantly that your dog was for you as soon as you saw them? When I first met Buddy at Pima Animal Care Center, I knew we were meant for each other! We went outside into the play yard, where I figured he would sniff and maybe play with a toy or two. Instead he sat right next to me and put his sweet chin on my knee, gazing at me with his beautiful brown eyes as if to say “I’ve been waiting for you.”
Our first few months together flew by. Just like all new dog parents, those early puppy-love days with Buddy were a rush to make lots of sweet memories and set the stage for our life together.
Here are some of the things I did (and some I wish I did) to celebrate those first few months and develop our lifelong bond. Here are a few quick tips for preserving that
When I first got Buddy phones didn’t have cameras and digital cameras were expensive and kinda crappy. I wish I had more photos of Buddy when he first came home with me.
Monthly milestone pics of important moments will be precious to you as your dog grows. Puppy faces change to gray muzzles so quickly. Make sure to get plenty of photos of the firsts, like “gotcha day,” first toy, first visitor, first romp in the yard, first puppy class, and even first vet visit. My biggest tip is to pick out your favs and back up the rest of your puppy pics each month, so they don’t get lost or deleted. Afterward, you can safely remove outtakes from your camera roll so you have plenty of room for new photos and can avoid the dreaded “out of space” message.
Professional photos are a MUST because I can get the best angles and have lighting designed to make your pup look their best. I can capture the love between you and your pup. Even if you are camera shy, I will make you and your pup look great, and you’ll have a record of the beginning of your and your dog’s journey together.
I didn’t have professional photos done until about a year before Buddy died. Those are my prize possessions now. If my house were on fire, those are the things I would be trying to save before running out the door. No other photos I have show us together, let alone in such a sweet way. If pet photography were a thing when I brought buddy home we would have so many more professional photos together, but I am grateful for the ones I do have.
If you are interested in getting more info on a puppy package to capture your pups first year reach out here
Get out there and enjoy life! Buddy and I used to go hiking and camping together all of the time. He was my adventure buddy. Our early adventures set him to trust me after he went blind. We still adventured together because he knew I would keep him safe. Weekly adventures help your puppy grow into a happy, comfortable adult and build your own lifelong habit of seeking out new experiences together.
Have fun, but don’t overwhelm your puppy with too much stimulation or with frightening situations. Pay attention to how your dog responds to new sights and sounds, and take a break if you see any signs of fear or stress.
My pup’s first playdate was with my Mom’s dog Poppy. They became fast friends. He would get so excited when I told him we were going to Poppy’s. Supervised puppy play dates can be a win-win! Pups get to socialize, and you get to hang out with another dog person.
Who knows… Maybe the next person you see walking their dog while you’re walking yours will be your new BFF!
Buddy is gone now, and I still think about our first months with all the snuggles and bonding. I’m so glad I took the time to fall in love and build a deep connection with Buddy. Most importantly, I’m glad I saved the times we shared in words, pictures, and traditions. I wish I’d saved even more of them!
Did you do something else meaningful in the early days that you think more puppy parents should try? How did you capture those puppy moments? Shoot me an email and let me know, or tag me on Capturing EveryBuddy Pet Photography.