The Best Gift

Three years ago today was the very first time my husband and I met MaQ! After several years of desperately wanting a dog in our lives, and perhaps a little more so on my end, we finally came to an agreement to, "just look."

The road to MaQ was not as simple as I hoped it to be. We initially wanted to rescue a dog, but more specifically, we also wanted to raise a puppy together. This doesn't discount the eternal bonds with any dog, regardless of age, shelter/non-shelter, but there is something significantly special in having your pup from the beginning.

I have friends with wonderful dogs who've been rescued, some even as a puppy but not too many here in New York City, and perhaps when we went looking it wasn't the right time because our experience was so heart-wrenching, I literally ran out of each shelter in TEARS! Most dogs were pitbulls and staffies, and I have nothing against the breed, but most of the dogs were much older and had cases of aggression and psychological trauma in their history, which never means a case is hopeless and every dog is worth saving, but some of the stories I heard I really wasn't prepared for and did not feel at all confident in having a type of dog with a complicated history as my first pet. It just broke my heart because I wanted to save every single pet but knew I wasn't the best option for any of them.

Feeling a bit discouraged after, my husband was the one who came up with the idea of going to a German Shepherd breeder just to look at the puppies. Since I was a child I've always, deep down in my heart only wanted a German Shepherd but my mother was adamant on not having a dog. And even though I was delighted for my father and brother when they got a German Shepherd after my mother's passing, it only made my desire for wanting a German Shepherd even greater.

So on that fateful day, three years ago, after researching for the top GSD breeders within the state of New York, we drove the 3.5 hours upstate to only start looking at the puppies. When we arrived, the breeders were a married couple who were friendly but extremely knowledgeable in their field. When the wife explained they only had one puppy available at the moment, something in my gut immediately made me want to meet this one!

We walked down the pathway which led us further into the compound, to meet this pup. In a smaller kennel sat two pups, one girl and one boy. The girl was already taken but the boy was MaQ! I'll never forget the first look we exchanged with each other. He was wearing this tiny red collar and his eyes were especially green for a Shepherd. I immediately fell in love, right then and there.

But it's not only about how I felt. I knew how important it was for MaQ and my husband, Gilles, too because it's true what they say, we don't just choose the dog, the dog chooses us as well. When the breeder opened the gate so we could meet, MaQ ran right out to greet us. We even got to meet MaQ's parents, which I felt gave us such insight on character and personality traits. His mother, Giovanna was one of the Alpha-females, and was on constant watch among her Master's and their property. His father, Satch, was a tad more goofy and approachable. Playful and inquisitive, I knew the contrast was an excellent match.

When it started to get colder outside, we brought MaQ inside the main house with us to continue talking and to also keep bonding with him. He wouldn't leave my side! We all knew I wasn't leaving this one behind! In less than an hour, after signing all the paperwork, I had him in my lap in the backseat of our rental car. And just like that, our beautiful boy entered into our lives, forever changing it. He didn't cry once on the drive back home!

MaQ is the best gift (besides my hubby) I've ever received. I have no idea what I would do without my boy, I love him so much! Remember though, dogs are not accessories but a lifetime commitment. Be ready to be truly devoted to your beloved furry companion because they are truly devoted to you. Dogs not only need love, but exercise, training, discipline, structure and consistency. They are a lot of work, so make sure you have the time and financial capabilities before owning a dog. Consider it your fur child! ;)

Have a great weekend! We hope it is spent with the ones you love! ♥

Love & xx's,

maQ + Suz

TBT Winter Storm Nemo

It's Throwback Thursday and since I've never shared any puppy photos of MaQ on our blog, I knew now was a good time as any! Growing up in the Midwest, I am actually quite fond of snow. No, I'm not talking about the horrendous gigantic slush puddles you challenge yourself to at every crosswalk in the city come Winter (it's like the Olympics jump track I swear!), but the heavier kind of snow that sticks - the kind we all used to frolic and play in as children. Well, that is if you grew up in a place where there was snow!

The first actual blizzard MaQ encountered was during Winter Storm Nemo in February of 2013. He was only 4 months old at the time and like any typical mountain dog (MaQ is originally from Upstate New York) he ravaged the snow like some wild beast! He truly relished every moment of it and like myself, we just can't wait for another huge snow storm like this one! There will be lots more cuddling and playtime to be had, with tons of cocoa and kisses. Can you say snow day?! We truly love those kind of days. ;)

Here are some photos taken by me and my hubby along with our first YouTube video on our maQ + Suz channel! We hope you enjoy all the puppy playing and fun! Winter is coming and we are ready! Bring it on snow! ❆❆❆

Love & xx's,

maQ + Suz