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Chip Gaines Is Melting Hearts With His Latest Surprise For His Family

Danielle S




Chip and Joanna Gaines have a beautiful large family, but there was something missing. Chip decided that it was high time the family got a new surprise, in the form of an adorable English Mastiff puppy. The family is known for leading a simple life with lots of pets, farm animals, and 5 children, in addition to running a thriving business empire, known as Magnolia. 

Joanna shared the news with fans on Instagram, saying “Chip told me he hadn’t surprised us in a while with a new animal and that it was long overdue… we now have more dogs than children .” 


Incredible Growth and Gaines

Their success began with Fixer Upper on HGTV, where there love and work ethic charmed viewers just as much as their ability to salvage houses and turn them into beautiful homes. The couple has made several additions to their family over the past few years. 

The new pup, who is yet to be given a name, seems to have taken a particular liking to the family’s youngest child, one-year-old Crew. The golden Mastiff can be seen on Instagram following the toddling Crew around the farm.

Surprises Are No Surprise to Joanna

Joanna has likely learned to expect the unexpected given Chip’s affinity for surprise additions to the family. Chip’s love for surprising his family with animals goes back to at least 2017, when Joanna went out of town near Christmas time. When she returned home, she found a fluffy kitten under the tree, prompting her to post a photo of the kitty with the caption “I go out of town for one night…”. 


Last April Chip brought home the family’s first Mastiff puppy in a similar fashion, along with a kitten. These two joined the family shortly before Crew was born. They also got an adorable wakeup call last April as well.  Chip presented a baby goat that had been born the night before. A litter of piglets was also born that month, prompting Chip to proclaim “Errbody having babies round here” on his Instagram. 

Living the Simple Life

Despite their success as reality tv stars, Chip and Joanna have no TVs in the farmhouse. Farming is a family affair. They have five children. Drake is 14, Ella is 12, Duke is 11, Emmie Kay is 9, and Crew is 1. Helping out on the farm helps keep the children entertained as well as teaching them valuable life lessons. The children help with most of the farm chores, including feeding the animals and milking the cows. 

Their Newest Baby: Their Own Network

The network is set to launch Summer of 2020. In addition to Fixer Upper, the channel will feature design, wellness, food, and home and garden programming. The network gives the couple an opportunity to tell their story and share their strongly held beliefs on many aspects of life. They are also excellent role models in a landscape where people to look up to are few and far between. 

How Do They Achieve Balance?

How do they balance the farm, raising five children, and launching their own cable network? According to Joanna, balance isn’t something she’s interested in. She says “I’ve found that something miraculous happens when I make space for both: Each is made better by the other.” She explains that her work and family overlap, and each is influenced and inspired by the other. 

Chip and Joanna’s latest addition may be the newest, but it’s clear that they have boundless love for all their family members, both the two and four-legged varieties. They are living the American dream, and doing it on their own terms. 



Dismembering Dear Old Dad: Helping Ralph the Pug Deal with Age-Related Separation Anxiety

Danielle S



Welcoming Ralph the Pug

Ralph the Pug came to join us a bit over ten years ago. He was five, a rescue dog who had been turned in by his old owner and was looking for a forever home. We hit it off right away as he bounced into our arms, then our hearts, and we took him home the same day we met him. We bonded, Ralph and the rest of us, playing together in the back yard, getting muddy and barreling across the grass after sticks. We even took him on vacation.

Clearly Dad’s Doggie

Ralph was especially fond of dad, resting on the couch beside his lounge chair so dad could reach over and pet him while relaxing. Ralph sat under the dinner table by dad’s feet when we ate, and mom and dad indulged him with space on their bed at night, always close to dad. The years together were good for us all.

As Time Goes By

Aging was tough for Ralph. His body got to be more of a challenge for him, and he seemed a bit forgetful at times. We’d had him for over ten years, and we knew that aging pets need special care. We took care of his medical issues as they arose, but we weren’t sure how to help his state of mind. He was always a loopy lil’ guy, of course, so why worry?

The Veterinary Perspective on Ralph’s Mental Changes

Our vet recommended a veterinary behaviorist, suggesting that Ralph might be experiencing some canine dementia. Nothing serious, he said, but Ralph might seem lost at times, get clingy or upset by change. The behaviorist recommended ways to support Ralph, keeping his environment simple and stable. But Ralph threw us a curveball.

Once we set to work adapting his environment to his age, Ralph got much happier and more active. When dad went to work, though, Ralph was sometimes inconsolable. He would pace, moan, lose appetite and sleep all day. It was only when dad came home that he’d jump, run about, devour his dog food and be his old self. We puzzled over Ralph’s attachment issues until mom had an idea.

Mom’s Idea: The Dad-Doll Arrives

Mom found a place online which sold life-sized mannequins, ones which looked close enough to dad to maybe make her plan work. She ordered one, and we all waited to implement this crazy idea. Would Ralph be fooled?

When the huge box arrived, we unpacked it in secret and set the mannequin on the bed. When dad went off to work, while Ralph was dancing anxiously around, then curling up and whimpering, we put it in dad’s easy chair. We got Ralph’s attention and led him around the corner to the living room. He stopped and stared at the figure in the chair: dad! He spun around in a circle and jumped up and down, four legs in the air at once. He made a sort of airy ruff-ruff sound and he charged dad-puppet’s leg. He nipped at his fingers, and – wait a moment – he tugged on them and bit them and pulled off dad-puppet’s hand! Whoops!

Ruff Love and Peace at Home

After loving on the doll in his way, Ralph laid down on the rug, content. Each day as dad left he’d turn to the doll and jump on it, then play with it. He stayed playful but proper with the real dad, and we were just glad that mom’s idea had helped dear Ralph.

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Neglected Puppy Loses Vision, Saved By New Owner in Wholesome Story!





There is just about nothing worse than seeing an animal suffer, especially when that animal is an adorable puppy. When Puddin was first adopted, she was neglected and abused by her owners at their home in Texas. The poor little dog soon had an infection develop behind her eyes. Unfortunately, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in of Texas would not get to the puppy in time to save her vision. As a result, Puddin ended up losing her vision after veterinarians were forced to remove her eyes. Had the vets not acted in time, the infection could have cost Puddin her life! This story doesn’t end here, however, as there is a happier ending on the horizon!

After animal doctors saved Puddin’s life by removing her eyes and sewing her sockets safely shut, the future for the animal was in question. After all, it can be hard for new owners to be found when a dog is so clearly handicapped, even if that handicap came as a result of the heinous behavior of their prior owners.  The team at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals remained hopeful that they would find the perfect new home for Puddin to go to and that is where Cory Gonzales comes into the story.

Cory Gonzales was a young student when he first saw Puddin on the internet. Gonzales said, “When I saw Puddin online, I immediately fell in love with her ears, of all things.” Gonzales, just 22-years-old, would quickly schedule an adoption meeting with Puddin so that he could get the chance to meet the dog to see if they were a match. Gonzales said, “The day after I met her, I came back in and adopted her.” After meeting Puddin, Gonzales was quick to fall in love with the adorable puppy and the adoption paperwork would soon be filled out.

Despite losing her vision to the vile behavior of her former owners, Puddin soon found herself in a home where she was loved and revered. Gonzales was recently contacted concerning an update on Puddin. Gonzales said of his new puppy, “She is five months old now, and the way she has adapted to her new life is incredible.” Gonzales went on to explain that Puddin had managed to learn how to live in relative comfort without her sight. Gonzales explained that Puddin has begun to embrace her other senses to find toys, run around, play, and even stop herself from walking into things. Gonzales said, “It’s really amazing to watch.”

While Puddin was fortunate enough to find a happy ending, not all animals are so lucky. If you or someone you know suspects that an animal is being abused, do not hesitate to reach out to your local animal advocacy group. All animals deserve to be treated properly with love and respect!

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Mom’s Expression Captures Essence of Back-to-School Experience





Back-to-School is billed as a fun-and-exciting time. There’s the anticipatory glow in kids’ eyes in ads from Target and Wal-Mart. It sounds great. After all, who wouldn’t love all the deals, the smell of antiseptic wipes, and squeak of brand-new sneakers and glittery sandals? Don’t believe it. It’s all a sham. Honestly, the real deal is perfectly captured by that picture… and here’s why.  

First, The Lists 

It’s great that schools post those great school lists online, and they’re even in the stores for easy reference. They always outline the 10 million supplies and materials that the kids need. It all sounds great until you really start looking at the list, and see that there’s no way that your kid will ever use all the supplies. The mega list supplies are destined to become part of the teacher’s barter system, a clever solution to the chronic school-wide shortage of supplies. But, all of that really doesn’t matter at this moment, because when you venture to the school supply bins at any store, they’re bare. You tried online outlets, and they’re out too. So, now, you’re just grabbing a basket-full of stuff, hoping that some of it will apply to the needed items on the list. It’s like Black Friday, only for school supplies.  

But, That’s Not All… No, That’s Not All… 

We venture to the clothing aisles next, but those are just scary. It quickly becomes clear that the kids have all grown two inches, but the size they’ve managed to achieve appears to be absent from the clothing racks. It’s clear that every other child in the multiverse has grown to the precise size(s) you need, so you’re left trying to find something that’s too big or too small. (Too big is usually preferable, since it means you may not have to buy clothes for a while, at least you’d like to think that, if it wasn’t so obvious that the boys will wear holes in their knees before the week is out, and the girls will refuse to wear it after the first time.)  

You’ve got clothes for the kids. It’s an accomplishment, and you breathe a deep sigh of relief, until you remember that the lunchboxes are all in tatters after last year and you still need to figure out lunch eatables that your kids will actually eat. It’s no small feat, since each of the kids have dietary restrictions. You vaguely remember those bygone days when your own school lunch consisted of a PB&J sandwich, with an apple thrown in. Oh, how far we’ve come from those days.  

So, The First Day of School?  

When you get to the first day of school, you’ve already spent days, hours, and frantic minutes scrambling to get everything your kid needs and wants for their return to school. Where does that leave you, the mom (or dad), who has frantically scrambled to pull all the disparate parts together into a mangled mess. Florida Photographer Shawna Genua depicts the calm after the storm. It focuses on moms in their bathrobes, with glasses of wine aloft. They all look tired, exhausted even, and they appear to be celebrating the kids’ return to school. The implication is that the moms have time to sit around and relax, since the kids are all out of the house for a few hours. There’s even the celebratory cupcake in one mom’s hand. It’s relief that the moms are relaying in their faces… if only just for a few moments. Since three-quarters of all American mothers with children at home also work, three of those moms in the pictures will probably be headed off to work in a bit. It’s the fun, frenetic, wonderful life of a mom. Gotta love it!  

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My Doggo Got Some New Digs & a New Friend, Thanks to Wild Ones

Danielle S



My little doggo, Maggy recently turned 80 (in dog years), that’s 11 and a half roughly in human years. And I wanted to pamper my little four legged octogenarian with some winsome goodies.

Now, Maggy is a bit of a princess, but she’s not high maintenance. So I thought she deserved something special, not just the usual rubber bones and polyester dog beds you get at most pet shops.


So I was shopping around on the Inter-webs when I found just the place. It’s called Wild One, and it’s amazing! They have these adorable Walk Kits, super cute bowl sets, really nice harnesses, and exciting little toy kits that dogs really go for. At least Maggy did, anyway. She’s got lots of energy for an old lady!

The walk kit is made of really durable material and gives you everything you need for a stroll with puppers. The bowl set is really snazzy and has a heavy rubber base that’s non-skid- IE; perfect for avoiding messes. The toy kit is really high end stuff, with rope and rubber jambos that Maggy loves to tear into- and they’re so tough she can’t even get close to wrecking them. 

Finally, there’s the harness. I think it’s my favorite because it’s super tough, really cute, and the design is just great. I love it because it holds Maggy really securely and doesn’t choke her or pinch her anywhere. If there was an emergency, I feel like I could snatch her up by the harness without hurting her- though I still wouldn’t if I didn’t really have to. 

That’s really only the beginning. There’s so much more on Wild One that I can’t wait to get for Maggy. Really, she has no idea how big her Christmas is going to be.

But now, it’s time to come clean- because there is one problem with decking out Maggy in all these goodies from Wild One. When I took her to the dog park with her new walking kit and harness, EVERYONE wanted to know where I got them! The first time I took Mags to the dog park with her new gear I really didn’t feel like answering questions. But now I realize the only way out of this situation is to finally answer everyone who wants the same groovy doggy digs for their dogs.

It’s been a few months now, and now all the regulars at the dog park have their puppers totally decked out in Wild One swag. Not only that, but we started a dog and tea club and we meet at the gazebo outside the city library every week on our way to the dog park.

Yeah, it’s a pretty silly story, but I’m not the only one who’s made new friends. Maggy met a distinguished looking Great Dane and they are very fond of each other. Every time we go to the park she looks for Clide, (it’s short Clydesdale because he’s so huge!). And when they find each other they just play and play just like she did when she was a puppy!

So, that’s our Wild One story. It’s silly, I know. But apparently, even dogs can benefit from being a little fashion forward.

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This Lab Loves Greeting the Mailman

Amanda J



Chuckie is a chocolate lab who waits excitedly each day for his favorite visitor, the mailman, Rene. Chuckie is a rescue dog, and shares his owner, known as Dad, with an older sister named Nestle. Dad videoed the daily greeting and posted it on Youtube. It was posted in 2015, and has received over half a million views. 

It’s heartwarming to watch. The mailman pulls up and Chuckie starts barking asking to be let outside. As soon as Dad opens the door, he runs out and greets the mailman with his tail wagging happily. He even jumps in the mail truck and seems a little disappointed he doesn’t get to go for a ride with his best friend.


Not Your Typical Mailman

Rene is far from typical. He’s the local mailman in Bridgewater, New Jersey.  He seems to genuinely enjoy the time he spends with Chuckie and Nestle. Not only does he take a few minutes out of his busy day to pet them, he even brings them treats! It’s nice to see someone go a little out of their way to brighten someone else’s day. Watching the mailman interact with the dogs is truly heartwarming. 

Not Just the Mailman

While the mailman may be Chuckie’s favorite, he seems to love anyone who brings mail or packages, including UPS and Peapod (a grocery delivery service). Of course, it may have something to do with the treats, since the UPS man has been known to give them to the pooches as well. 

Youtube Stardom

In addition to the original video that started it all, Dad has continued to video and post Chuckie and Nestles cutest moments. You can find them on Facebook and Instagram under Chuckie the Chocolate Lab #teamchuckie. Follow Chuckie’s life with posts told from Chuckie’s point of view, and of course, more videos.

There are even a series of books available that are based on Chuckie’s story and his antics, including Chuckie Makes Mistakes (Sometimes). 

The Internet Is an Animal Lover

It’s quite clear that Chuckie isn’t the first pet to hit it big with adorable videos. There are many viral animal videos on the internet these days. Chuckie isn’t the first four-legged family member to write his own Facebook post either. Socikington is an average housecat with more Twitter followers than Paul McCartney. Grumpy Cat has reached fame by having a perpetually grumpy expression despite being a warm and loving feline. 

While cats used to get most of the recognition when it came to cuteness overload, Chuckie is proof that dogs may soon be leading the pack. We use the internet for many things these days, but if it has a personality of its own, it is certainly an animal lover. 

The internet seems to be in love with Chuckie, Nestle, Dad, and Mom. With so much controversial content on the internet today, it’s nice to watch a regular family and their dogs just being themselves. 

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