Love At First Bark

I’ve always been a sideline believer in hocus-pocus, that the moon and the stars can determine our destiny, that our horoscope is a clear recipe for all of our underlying traits. I’ve had my palm read and I have wished on stars since as far back as I can remember, but If someone would have told me way back when that I would have gone on my first date with my future husband to a dog show, I would have thought they were absolutely mistaken. It’s true though. Justin and I met at a mutual friend’s Christmas party, and he took me to the Golden Gate Kennel Club Dog Show a couple weeks later. We spent hours perusing the different breeds and spending time hanging out talking with different handlers. It was more of a fun adventure getting to know each other rather than a specific destination, as neither of us is incredibly passionate about breeds of dogs, as much as we love them.

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Of course, as the story of our lives goes, we were married by that same time the following year and expecting our first child. It would be many years before we brought home our first family pet, and a couple more years after that when we adopted Theo, but we were always destined to be a family full of children and pets. Justin and I were raised around animals, learning to care for various different pets from hamsters to pot-bellied pigs to cats and dogs. Raising our children to respect and care for our pets has always been top of our list, as we believe in the life lessons that come with learning to treat animals with love and compassion while growing up. Our journey began with a fish named Bob that we hauled out to New York City in the passenger seat of a moving van. Bob lived with us for a few years before he went to goldfish heaven and we adopted Charlie from a shelter in the Bronx and eventually welcomed Theo into our home two years ago. Raising a puppy like Theo, who is incredibly emotional, soulful, connected and completely in-tune with the dynamics and needs of each of us individually, has been a far more intense process than I ever expected, and more than I could have ever hoped for. The kids treat him like a sibling and he is easily regarded as member of our family. Given the deep importance we place in raising our pets, it’s critical that I partner with brands whose values and ideals parallel my own. The EUKANUBA brand of dog food is dedicated to healthier, more astounding lives for dogs that provides the best nutrition for dogs based on their breeds and size while being backed by more than 45 years of scientific research. It’s a trusted brand of the Mars Global family, and one that I’m comfortable partnering with for all of those reasons.

On December 12th and 13th, 2015, the 15th annual AKC/EUKANUBA National Championship Show – the largest dog show in North America – is taking place at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. The event, which is the biggest show to date, features 185 dog breeds competing for “Best in Show” and a $50,000 prize.

EUKANUBA brand is making it easy for viewers across the country to join in the fun by live-streaming the finals at from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST on Saturday, December 12th and Sunday, December 13th. While watching the live stream, viewers can participate in the EUKANUBA brand’s first-ever “You Be the Judge” program, judging and voting alongside the experts to choose their canine winners in each category all the way up to “Best in Show.” You can also watch on-demand videos offering behind-the-scenes content while participating in ongoing social chatter with @Eukanuba using #EukanubaChamps and #TheBigDogShow, as well as tune in for all things dog, AKC MEET THE BREEDS® discussions for dog lovers to learn about breeds from the experts and more – all highlighting the astounding lives that dogs live.


We often tell the kids our story about spending our first date at a dog show, so we think the kids will get a kick out of watching the AKC/EUKANUBA National Championship Show and picking out the breeds that they like the most or think has the best stories. There are all kinds of conversations that happen around events with dogs in them, but the best always comes around to how mommy and daddy met and visited a dog show, and how our life wouldn’t be complete without our Theo and Charlie in them. I am certainly a believer in destiny and I wouldn’t mind another dog in our life in the future (neither would the rest of the family)!

Photos by Julie Cahill Photography

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