I always dreamed of waking up Christmas morning, walking down the stairs to my living room to see a brand new pup emerge out of a little box, and run straight toward me. Sound familiar? I don’t think I’m alone in this wish. In the spring of 2015, one of my dogs passed away, and having always had two dogs; I knew we needed another (my parents didn’t agree). After harassing my mom with daily pictures of Goldendoodle puppies for the whole month of December, I thought that 2015 would surely be the year my dream would come true.

As a senior in high school, I still got just as excited for Christmas each year as when I was just a little girl. Not necessarily for the same reasons, but I love the spirit of Christmas and the way the holiday season brings everyone back together.

December 25th, 2015 started just like every other Christmas. I woke long before anyone else in my family and waited about 10 minutes before I interrupted my two sisters sleeping so they could keep me company while we waited to head downstairs. They kept telling me, “Brynn, we are not getting a puppy. Mom and Dad don’t want another dog.” In my mind I was thinking, “Yeah, right. Mom and Dad are just making you say this, so it is a surprise.”

Finally, the time came to go downstairs and begin the process of giving and receiving gifts. My sisters weren’t lying…


While we shared our gifts and enjoyed time with each other, I still had hope. I had a new theory that my mom and dad left the puppy with my godfather, Drew, who always came after gifts for my mom’s homemade Egg’s Benedict. Drew arrived…


In my persistent nature, I kept thinking there has got to be a way. As a senior in high school, there were two reasons I wanted a puppy. One, who doesn’t want a puppy when one of their dogs die? Two, I truly believed the house would be too quiet when I left for college, and my parents would benefit from having the liveliness of a new dog at home.

After we finished Christmas breakfast, with puppy dog eyes, I begged my mom if we could just look at puppies the next day so that I could get my puppy fix in, and then I would be done asking for one. It worked, she was all in, and we would look at puppies on December 26th. My dad quickly intervened, “you don’t just go look at puppies. If you are really going, I am coming.”

The plot thickens!

On the morning of December 26th, my parents, my two sisters, and I got in the car and headed to “look” at one of the puppies I had been eyeing. All along, I thought I was the one who wanted the puppy the most. It only took about one minute before my dad asked the breeder, “how much will she cost?”


With a smirk on my face and a beautiful new puppy in my arms, I walked out of the breeder’s house, saying to my sisters, “I am so naughty.” So began my adventure with my new sidekick.

I’ve heard it said many time that a “dog is a man’s best friend.” It never fully resonated with me until my new pup, Brandi, came into my life. She is now five years old and in those years has taught me so much. Here are the five biggest lessons that I have learned from her…

#1 Puppies aren’t all glamor but are well worth it!

It was clear that all the puppy duties were on me. When asking for a puppy, I didn’t foresee the lack of sleep, cleaning up her mess all over the house and training her to listen to my commands. At moments I thought, “what have I gotten myself into,” but I later found that just like most things in life, the best rewards don’t come easy.

#2 Follow your heart and chase your dream.

It might seem silly, but having Brandi was a dream come true. In the back of my mind, I did fear the burden it would place on my parents when I left and whether a puppy was a necessity. But, my heart pushed me to keep begging. I think both my parents would agree, Brandi has been one of the best gifts to our family.

#3 Life is better with someone by your side.

Brandi’s been my caddy, my catch partner, TV watching buddy, the best company on a long walk, and many more. The title of my blog is “Walk through the journey together.” Brandi has been walking by my side since that December day in 2015.

#4 Loyalty.

Despite leaving for college, Brandi has stuck by my side. Every time I come home, she gets so excited, she can’t contain herself. When she realizes I’m home, every morning, she breaks into my room and tries her best to wake me up with kisses all over my face.

#5 Love.

The most unconditional love I’ve ever experienced.

For all the dog people out there, I’m sure you’ve had a similar experience. If you have, I would love to hear about how your pup has made your journey all that more special.