Unlikely Friends: An Exciting Debut
Over the course of the last year or so, the popularity of Theo and Beau has brought a lot of unexpected attention our way. From seeing our faces on the covers of internet sites worldwide, to the cover of our local newspaper and now in the form of a beautiful children’s book, it’s been a whirlwind of mass proportion. It’s been exciting and scary, remarkable and humbling, but the focus brought to my children has probably been the one thing that I’ve had the hardest time managing, albeit mostly in positive ways.
Beau is still so young that he really doesn’t understand what has been going on whatsoever. My children aren’t very familiar with the internet or social networks, and while Jack and Zoe have some concept of this blog and how the internet works, they really don’t have access to it at all and therefore have been mostly shielded from the attention. The print media, magazines that have come in from all over the world, plus the newspapers have been fun for them to show their friends and teachers at school, and the excitement surrounding our book has been so cool for them.
In July of last year, we were given the opportunity to film an episode of Unlikely Animal Friends on Nat Geo Wild, a channel and program that they love to watch. A team of three guys came to our home and filmed us in a very normal, real “day in the life” setting including naptime with the boys. It’s been so long since we spent that day in production that I don’t think they even remember it, and I cannot wait to tell them that the episode finally airs tomorrow and we will all get to watch it together for the first time.
It’s taken me almost the full year and a half since our photos of Theo and Beau went viral for me to completely process what has transpired. Explaining this level of attention to my children and how it relates to them has been the most challenging process of all of this, but ultimately I am proud of what we have put out into the world and I want them to be, too. My goal as a parent and a human being is to be a good person, raise good people, and focus on putting out positivity into the world on any level. I am thrilled that our story has brought so much love into the lives of so many people, even for a moment or two during the day.
I couldn’t be more excited to see our episode of Unlikely Animal Friends debut on Nat Geo Wild: The Tale of the Cockatoo and the Kitty Kat airs tomorrow at 10PM Eastern/Pacific time. To celebrate tomorrow, I’ll be taking over the @natgeowild Instagram account, so definitely follow them. And on top of that, I’m giving away a signed copy of Naptime with Theo and Beau as well as a $100 gift certificate to the National Geographic site.
To Enter: Please leave a comment below; any comment will do but the focus is positivity! Sweepstakes run from today, March 12th, until next Friday, March 20th. Best of luck, and thank you for all of your support during this lovely journey of ours!
For more pictures, check out my article on The Huffington Post!
Your family always brings a smile to my face, thank you for sharing!
I love reading your posts and seeing pictures of your family. You have such amazing devotion and love for them and you’re an inspiration to me as a mom to my three children!
I just love seeing your photos and FB posts. The love they share would make anyone smile. It’s seriously the sweetest. I’m sure your heart melts with every nap 🙂 Precious and congrats on the episode.
I would love to watch this episode of Unlikely Animal Friends, but I live in France. Do you know if there is gonna be an online streaming of this episode ? Thanks you so much, your family is GORGEOUS.
Love your photos. Would love a copy of the book.
I love your pictures they are so uplifting.
Theo and Beau bring such bright sunshine to me everyday. This has been such a blessing to so many people.
Thank you so much for sharing your family with us, I just love seeing the connection you have with your rescue pup!
How exciting!I can’t wait to see that episode! Btw, I have wondered how the incredible popularity and attention have impacted your family. But you are so thoughtful about all things regarding your little ones, so I’m sure your managing very well. Congratulations, and Happy Spring!
How exciting!I can’t wait to see that episode! Btw, I have wondered how the incredible popularity and attention have impacted your family. But you are so thoughtful about all things regarding you’re little ones, so I’m sure your managing very well. Congratulations, and Happy Spring!
How exciting!I can’t wait to see that episode! Btw, I have wondered how the incredible popularity and attention have impacted your family. But you are so thoughtful about all things regarding your little ones, so I’m sure you’re managing very well. Congratulations, and Happy Spring!
Your naptime posts of Theo and Beau is something I look forward to everyday. It always brings a smile to my face. Now that it includes Evvie on some days, it’s become my trifecta of smiles!
Wow TV you have come a long way, I would love to win Naptime with Theo & Beau.
This is seriously the cutest series ever. Would love to win a copy of the book.
I just think Theo & Beau (& Lily) are the sweetest photos I have seen in a long time. Thank you for sharing!
Love your family, you guys brighten my day! 🙂
This could not happen to a sweeter family or pup. I am SO excited for this to air on NatGeo! Congratulations to the whole Shyba family…. This is such an honor to be able to share the sweetness of Theo’s relationship with Beau and in the life of your family!! Rescue pups are the best.
Very sweet! We have loved following your family and sweet photos.
I just think that the photos of Theo & Beau (& Evvie) are the cutest things I’ve seen in a long time. Thanks for sharing! (I got Evvie’s name wrong in my previous post…please forgive me)
I happen to LOVE the Unlikely Animal Friends segment on NGW…i’ve always thought that if animals can put their differences aside, couldn’t we? Theo’s love for Beau and Beau’s love for Theo typify how wonderful it is to experience unconditional love….no matter its source.
To warm a heart for just a moment goes a long way.
You and your family warm my heart. Your daily photos are a bright spot in my work day. Thank you.
The pictures that are posted are some of the sweetest pictures I’ve ever seen. They are just adorable! You have such a beautiful family. Thank you for sharing glimpses of them with the world!
i love the attention you are being to adopting an dog rather than purchasing one – adopt don’t shop!
Thank you Jessica, for sharing your family with us! You have not only generated funds and awareness for animals in need…but you have also generated happiness in a world that needs it every time you post one of your beautiful photos!
you have a beautiful family! Love swing the pics of nap time!
I can’t wait to see the episode!! Your honest thoughts and beautiful pictures are such a refreshing part of my day. Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us!!
How wonderful for you and your family!
Your Facebook posts are the highlight of my day and make me smile!
This is sooo great! I can not wait to watch this. I love seeing things about your family your children are so beautiful and Beau such a great dog.
I absolutely LOVE Theo and Beau! The human-animal bonds is so precious.
I delight in watching this lovely friendship grow between ur family and ur puppy. I have three dogs, all rescues, and after living most of my childhood in foster care I love that family and positivity is the goal of ur blog and posts. Our animals sleep in our bed, and when we start our own family soon, i hope our puppies can enrich out childs life, as they enrich ours daily! Looking forward to winning a copy of the book! Fingers crossed!
I love this!!
Thank you for brightening my week with your sweet family!
Your pictures brighten my day every day!
Love your pictures! They bring a smile to my face everyday – even on a gloomy day! Thank you for sharing your family.
Today was my sweet Stella doggie’s last day on earth. Theo and Beau gave my heart hugs even bigger than usual today! Thanks for sharing innocence and love personified (and canineified?)
So much love to you Amanda, I am so sorry to hear about your sweet Stella baby <3
I love it!
How exciting! We will be certain to DVR this.
It’s all just about feeling the love
I’m not sure what first brought theo and beau to my attention but I remember once I started following your facebook page how wonderful it was to have a daily dose of their serene faces. Watching Evie get in on the action has been lovely and gives me hope that once Beau grows out of naps we will all still get photos for a few more years of naps. Xo
I have loved watching Theo and Beau grow up!
I love seeing photos of your family. I hope that my pup is able to join in on nap time with my LO soon! Any advice on getting them to lay nicely together for a whole nap?
This is fabulous news! I so happy for y’all!
What an exciting time. You are inspiring in so many ways. Most of all in a way that reminds mothers all around the world to smile and marvel in each moment. Thanks!
I look forward to seeing your photos every day. They always put a smile on my face. Thank you, all the way from Australia! 🙂
Two of my favorite things, dogs and children. Combined, happiness forever! Thank you for your site. I adore it.
Your family is a blessing in todays world! Your family has brought so many smiles and laughter to our family! Keep up the great work and we wish you all the best throughout your journey!
I’m thankful for the stories and photos of your sweet family, they always bring a smile to my face!
How exciting for you guys! I will set my DVR to record!
I love all the pictures. The kids and Theo are so cute. They always look very sweet and loving, as well as, genuine. And I have to admit, I am also very jealous of the beautiful place you love.
Congratulations. Best wishes for continued success and happiness. You sent out much happiness into the world with your pictures and blog.
your photos remind me of a strong bond my baby daughter had with our dog. I appreciate how you have captured that unconditional love and your photography is very inspriational.
We are planing to get a dog soon and I hope that my children have the same relationship with it as theo and beau do, a truly beautiful friendship.
When I’m sad or tired I just look at your pictures and a smile appears on my face. You bring me hope 😉 I discovered the Ig account when I was going through chemotherapy . I feel you are my friends. You all (7) do not know how much you have helped me. I wish you all the best.
I grew up around dogs and have been fostering for the local humane society for a good 2-3 years now. Seeing the photos of Theo and Beau, and now Evvie, brighten my day. They remind me of the special bond a child and a dog can have and why I plan on getting a rescue for my children when I have them. Keep posting the pictures, I love seeing them!
This is so exciting! Can’t wait to watch.
Love, love your pictures! They just make my day!
Hands-down one of the highlights of the day for me and my family is getting a chance to see your beautiful family displayed in so many different outings or simply nap time. You truly have a great job not only as a mother, but an inspiration to all bloggers who believe in putting a positive spin in our world!
I look forward everyday to the pictures…They are priceless~precious~and fabulous..I would love to win..Thanks for sharing..
Thank you the inspiration to adopt our sweet pup from a local rescue! We look forward to many lovely naps with our girl.
Pictures of Theo and Beau and your entire family always make me so happy! Thank you for sharing!
Thank you for sharing your blessings with us.
Congratulations, what an exciting time for you and your family!
Love the napping pics. 🙂
i love seeing your pics! I only wish my kids and fur baby snuggled this often!
Awwww I can’t wait to see it. This is such great news, and I’m so happy for you all!
Your sweet pics always bring a smile to my face no matter what kind of day I’m having! ☺️
I love the bond they have! It’s uplifting to see such a sweet and simple photo.
I love the pics and their sweet relationship.
It warms my heart to see the love that Theo and Beau share. The connection with a pet is a special one 🙂
I love seeing your photos each day and seeing your wonderfully happy family. Who could predict that getting a rescue dog would have brought such happiness (and fame) to you and your family.
I am wondering when this episode will air here in South Africa?
I love following your Facebook and blog. How wonderful the unexpected blessings the blog has brought to you and your family!
oh i love this so much. since i’ve been following you, jess, that is exactly what you have done–brought so much light to motherhood. looking forward to watching the episode, you guys have a beautiful location to film such a segment!
my goal in life is to just love well. teach my children to love others as Jesus loves us.
Your pictures of Theo and Beau napping and your other beautiful children always put a smile on my face. Theo is a great embassador for rescue dogs everywhere. I can’t wait to see the episode:)
Thanks so much for sharing your family with the world. I hope your ‘Canadian’ fans are eligible for your contest! Keep snapping away – your pictures are wonderful.
What a cute family! I would love a copy of your book 🙂
Nothing makes me warm and fuzzy more than seeing the love and bond that a dog can bring. Theo and Beau have something special and I love viewing them on Instagram. The triple nap is the sweetest. 🙂 Thank you for sharing these precious moments with us.
I just want to say how much your sweet family inspires me! The love that you all have for each other is something that I can only hope my daughter feels from me. Looking forward to watching the show tomorrow!
Such a lovely family, thank you for sharing. 🙂
I have felt and always will feel like children thrive when there is a pet in the family and I am partial to dogs! Including my 3 grown children (each have one of their own) and my 2 little ones, there are as many as 5 dogs at our family gatherings, since they treat their dogs like true family – it’s a little crazy, but I love the memories and I love our zoo! Love seeing your memories and I am sure you will cherish them!
We are so excited to see your episode. I look forward to your pictures every day. Thank you for sharing your family with us.
What a fun journey for your entire family.. and what a fantastic way to be able to document your kid’s lives. Thanks for letting all of us be a part of it!
It is lovely to see each family member moving through stages of their individual growth and development as parents and little humans.
Thank you for your documentation through beautiful photography.
Didn’t know about this til I saw Beau and Theo’s adorable photo on natgeo’s ig.. I then checked ur ig and found out their photos were already viral for a long time.. Checked the film too, twas very touching esp I grew up too with a dog named Jackie but he already left us years ago.. More pics to love!
I love the pictures! It makes my day when I see them snuggled uo together! Thank you for sharing 🙂
Very excited to watch
I will be watching this episode for sure. Love your little ones!
Love the IG account – so adorable!
Love these pictures. They make my heart happy. 🙂
Hi Jessica – I can’t wait to watch the show, absolutely love the pictures of Theo and Beau (and now baby Evangeline as well!). The new episode that Nat Geo is promoting for tonight is different however (a kitty and a cockatoo), just wanted to see if you will be part of this episode as I don’t want to miss it!
Love this whole story! So heartwarming and happy!
Hi Jessica! I’ve been a fan since your early NYC days. Thank you for this great giveaway.
So I have to admit your takeover of the NatGeo Instagram feed was really the first time I’d heard of Beau or Theo (did I see pics before? Maybe/probably). As a school librarian I have a feeling this book will be a fun one to encourage families to look at together.
I smile with every photo…lovely reminder that everyone can be together peacefully….
Now THAT’S what I call TGIF
DVR is set!
The relationship between Beau and Theo never fails to make me believe in soul mates! Such a gorgeous bond!
There is nothing sweeter than the bond between a child and their dog. I love following your family’s journey. Xo
Look forward to watching the show!!
How exciting! Your family shows such great beauty in everyday acts!
These photos always put a smile on my face!
Love these photos
I love seeing your nap time posts on Instagram, it brings a small nostalgic smile of when my daughter would snuggle with our dog.
Your photos always bring a smile. Would love to win your book!
Can’t wait to see you guys “live”! I so love the relationship between dogs and people. Theo and Beau’s relationship epitomizes it! Best wishes to you and your lovely family.
So exciting. I love seeing all the photos of the and beau. Thanks for sharing.
I’m so sad we don’t get this channel! Best wishes to your beautiful family. I look forward to your daily posts on instagram!
I love following your feed on IG. I have a son around Beau’s age and we look forward to the photos everyday! He wakes up in the morning requesting them! <3
Your lovely family, and especially the photos of Theo and Beau, always bring a smile to my face!
Thank you for sharing.
Puppy snuggles are the best! Our lab is 4, and our bed (and lives) wouldn’t be compete without him.
Thank you for sharing your life! Every day I pop onto Instagram to soak up my daily dose of sunshine from your sweet pictures!
Thank you for sharing your family with us. It seems like a very easy thing to do, but I’m sure it’s not. I can’t tell you how many times your pictures have brought a smile to my face and a sense of peace to the crazy world. What an awesome gift for your children to document such a wonderful bond between dog and humans. All family. So thank you, you sure have a gift of photography!
Can’t wait to watch the episode! I love all your photos of Theo and your kids!
I love seeing your photos of Theo and Beau. Plus Evvie. Completely melts my heart and brightens my day. Thank you for generously sharing a peek into your lives.
I love following your family. It’s my favorite time of day.
Love seeing your pictures on Instagram! I’ve set my DVR to record your episode tonight..
I love the calm that I see in those nap pictures. So lovely to see the bed they sleep in with that great light you always have!! Congrats!
I share your photos with my 81 year old mother daily and you always make us smile! Such a gift you have shared…..
I’ve been following you on Instagram and I think I’ve lived every one of your posts. I look forward to seeing your adorable kids every day! Keep them coming 🙂
I’ve been following you on Instagram and I think I’ve liked every one of your posts. I look forward to seeing your adorable kids every day! Keep them coming 🙂
adore you, adore your children, adore theo. every night I check your IG feed to get a dose of happiness for my day. just to know that there exists a family where love is the center core makes the world seem alright with me.
I love following your photos! Can’t wait to see the episode. Thanks for sharing with us all.
I look for your posts everyday- I absolutely love them. They always put a smile on my face and bring a sense of peace and serenity; the calm amidst daily chaos.
THANK YOU for sharing these special moments with all of us.
One of my favorite things every day is seeing Beau and Theo’s napping shots. It has been so fun to see your family over the last couple years grow, and all the wonderful things you do! And your heart for helping animals is so wonderful!
Can’t wait to see the episode!!
your love for your family shines through everything you do. thank you for allowing us to be a part of it.
-making the world a brighter place, one post at a time-
My daughter and I always make sure to notify each other when there’s a new pic or blog… You make us smile daily !
Faithful follower on Instagram and I love how you share your life moments with us. You truly do bring happiness & positivity to people. You do a wonderful job of showing the bright spots without masking the messy parts of life which makes you and your family incredibly relatable. Thanks for all you do!
This is the sweetest most beautiful story! I just saw the episode & had to find out more…thank you for sharing their story through your heart warming, amazing photos!
Absolutely beautiful! What wonderful memories you will have!
Thanks so much for sharing sweet photos of your children and Theo. They’re beautiful and always bring a smile to my face.
I love the way these photos make me smile and warm my heart. I’ll be so sad when the time comes that they must come to an end (as all good things do eventually).
Dog is really man’s best friend! Thanks for brightening my days with your sweet sweet pictures. xo
I love watching your kids and Theo grow up! I have taken a nap with my yellow Lab, Abby, (almost) everyday for the 12 years I have had her after I get home.
i can’t wait n I can’t wait for my girls to see it sooo fun we love u all
I love your pictures and my 4 year old son does, too 🙂
congratulations on the show! I have a little one and she also has a 4-legged brother. I loved seeing pics of beau and theo, and hope my baby and pup can form a loving relationship just the same. best of luck with everything!
My youngest and our dog Ted have a great relationship too! I love seeing Theo & Beau together! I can’t help but smile!
I love this dynamic duo! Thank you for sharing them with the world.
I just watched the episode and loved everything about it! It was great to see Beau and Theo in action. Every part of it, including Theo tumbling over Beau (and Beau taking it in stride) made me smile. As a rescue owner and former volunteer at the Michigan Humane Society, I thank you for showing the world that rescue pups are awesome!
I adore the pictures of your cute family and your sweet, loving dog Theo. My next dog will be a rescue dog. I need to get your book for my grandson and his mom who also follows you on IG. Your pictures always makes me smile.
I have the book! So sweet, would love an autographed copy for my grandson!
What am amazing, memorable opportunity for your family! You are doing a great job managing all the craziness, it shows in your writing and your pictures. I am sure there is still craziness (we all have it!) but I am glad you are making the best of this fun, but overwhelming, experience. Good luck!
Such a neat story! I have loved your photos of your sweet family for the last year. They make our whole family smile! It’s been so fun to watch this journey… 🙂 Keep it up! My girls love it!
Love seeing new photos of theo and the family
what a wonderful book!
Watching the episode on NatGeo with my 8 month old son whom I hope grows up to cherish animals especially dogs as much as I do!
I love all the pics of Beau and Theo. My son loves sleeping with his doggy also
I loved reading this post; your kid is so cute & is very lucky to have a dog as his best friend. I truly believe kids should grow up with dogs and/or cats in their lives. Thank you so much for sharing your story!
Thank you for sharing your sweet family with us! Your photos are beautiful, and you have certainly brought happiness to me. Particularly on difficult work days, I know I’ll look up Theo and Beau on my lunch hour and find a little calmness and softening of my heart. Thank you!
This episode was so adorable! To see the love those two share is breathtaking! And of course your family couldn’t be any more precious if they tried!
All my love ,
Your beautiful pictures brings a smile to my face every time.
Loved the episode! Love your photos!
Has it been 1 1/2 years since I noticed your pictures of Beau and Theo??!!– where does the time fly! CONGRATULATIONS on the success of your beautiful book, your choice to choose a rescue pup and your growing family. Happy wishes to you~
Love your pooch and your kids interact with him….it’s the sweetest thing!
What a blessing for your whole family to witness the power of the bond between animal and human, especially the wee ones. Lovely for Theo and Beau but just as sweet for all of us to see, albeit vicariously. Can’t wait to see this episode on Nat Geo, our favorite channel to watch as a family.
Love and adore your sweet, beautiful family. Your posts and photos are an inspiration to me. Keep them coming!
I absolutely adore your photos. They forever remind me of when I was 8 months pregnant and my husband brought home our first puppy. She was adorable, a german shepherd sharpe mix. We called her lady. She was a wonderful companion for our children. Thank you for bringing up happy memories everytime I see one of your photos.
How fun! I need to find this on TV and watch it. Thank you for sharing your beautiful family with the world
Every time I see photos of nap time with your son and puppy, I can’t help feeling happy and peaceful. Thank you for sharing your amazing photos and family. We can’t wait to watch the show. I hope your story and that Theo is a rescue dog will encourage others to adopt a rescue animal and support the facilities that do so much for unwanted, abused, neglected and homeless animals.
What a beautiful friendship! I love how Beau and Theo have really grown up together. Your family is precious!
This is great! Congrats on the episode.
Theo and Beau always make my heart smile 🙂 Thank you for sharing your beautiful family!
Love your story! And you have a beautiful family.
Your children are the sweetest. I love seeing the photos every day.
The bond between a dog and it’s human family is priceless!
Love your stories and sweet family photos. Keep up the good work.
Hmm. It is still March 20 in my time zone.
How beautiful. It reminds me of my collie and I. I use to use him as a pillow. May The Lord bless your family.
I totally love your posts, books, and pictures. I saw pictures of your adorable children and a dog by accident, and I fell in love dramatically. Now, I’m living far away from your country, but I hope that you can see this comment and realize how much I love your photographs, posts and children too. Have a nice day!
Love your nap time photos
I’m a pet lover and saw the episode on Unlikely Animal Friends!
I hope Theo & Beau will have that long-lasting friendship!
I’m writing from Kenya and I watched the episode sometime back on Nat Geo Wild and it was amazing. Its a blessing that you’ve shared this wonderful relationship with the whole world. Thanks.
Saw it, loved it, saved it!
I just love your photos! Can’t wait to get your book for my first grand baby born yesterday!
I love happy tails and making movies that matter! Thanks for sharing your pictures!
I live in Nairobi, Kenya and just wanted to let you know I watched Unlikely Animal Friends on Nat Geo Wild a few days ago. I have just finished watching a music video by the artiste Avicii entitled Waiting for love. It reminded me of Theo and Beau. It is a cartoon that depicts the story of a man and his childhood best friend, a pup now grown. I love both your stories.