Monday, January 9, 2012

behind the (other) camera is a happy puppy momma.

I'm Brandy, the recent human addition to Chad's roommate list. You might know the other 4-legged roommates as Ramsey, Pablo, and recently, Suvi. (that's me in the photo below, between Chad and Suvi)

Chad's told you all a little bit about Suvi and me, but I thought it might be nice to share more about me, our lives together, and what it's like being the girl behind the (other) camera. Chad and I have come to this life with famous dogs via different routes, and so sometimes have different perspectives - we thought it would be fun to share both. Besides, I tend to be a little more extroverted (or an over-sharer, as he sometimes calls me), so you're likely to get more of the behind-the-scenes scoop from this side of the couch...

Let's start with some introductions:

I'm originally from a very small town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I grew up on my grandparent's hobby farm, with horses, rabbits, cats, chickens and of course, dogs. Dogs were my first passion - and we had many of them growing up - everyone in my family is a sucker for animals in need, and we were forever taking in strays of every sort.

Dingo (she was a dingo mix, and I was 4. cut me some slack on the naming.) was the first dog that really truly belonged to me. She was a white dog, with tan patches, and tan freckles on her nose - everyone always says that dogs and owners look alike, right?! My second passion growing up was horses, and Dingo must have understood. She let me put her on a lunge line, and humored me while I commanded her to walk, trot, and canter. She played in the pasture with the horses and me, and she stayed by my side when I had chicken pox. And then later the same week as the chicken pox, she had puppies, and I stayed by her side while she nursed and let me help her care for the new babies. It was this way until my college years.

When I moved to Minneapolis, life took a busier turn. Work, school, and brand new friends and family kept me busy. My personal life seemed to always have me dating someone who was allergic to dogs - which I couldn't explain, and my family couldn't fathom. I followed every dog rescue I could find online, and stalked Petfinder looking for what I hoped would be the dog that would fit my lifestyle and would be my new best friend.

I waited for years, and then in 2009, I found Suvi. Well, I actually found Fergie...who was named by her rescue mom after Fergie from the band Black-Eyed Peas (she was born with a black spot over one eye). And then I found her mom, Sula. And 7 of her sisters and brothers. And I couldn't decide whom to adopt. And so, I chose the baby with the freckles and way too much personality... I chose a name that reminded me of her momma, Sula, and also had a Finnish heritage - because she was now a part of our very Finnish family. Suvi it was.

A little about Suvi:

She's changed my life. Cliche, or not, it's true. She's taught me patience, understanding, and what it's like to be unfairly judged. She handles life with kisses, exuberance, and the most unpolished antics of any dog I've ever seen.

Did I mention she's a pit bull? I pray for the day that fact is completely inconsequential. She's oblivious, except for the times that people unexpectedly stop petting her and oooo'ing over her looks, because they don't like the answer to that ever-present question "what kind of dog is she?"

Suvi's favorite things in life are kisses. She kisses anyone and everyone, including her new sister and brother (Rams and Pab, of course). She is absolutely crazy in love with her Daddy, and I can't blame her, because so am I. She is so happy to have built-in playmates at home (she used to go to daycare for playtime), and we're loving every minute of watching the three of them bond. She loves treats, and will say please or show you her belly to get one. Who can hate a polite pit bull?!

Chad and I are unbelievably lucky to have such amazing 4-legged family members, and even luckier to have found one another. We are thankful every day to share a common passion, and to be able to share it with others, as well.

P.S. We no longer refer to the pups as "roommates" - they're our kids (the only ones for the time being), and we are the puppy momma and daddy.


  1. I'm your second follower! Yeah :) I'm a whippet (& 2 little human girls) momma. I follow Ramsey & Pablo on Facebook (Wendy Merritt-Templeton) if you want to see pics.

    Wonderful blog you have. Look forward to many more posts. Hope you get lots of followers!!

  2. Love your blog! Love love LOVE the puppy picture of Suvi. I have followed Ramsey and Pablo for ages, and I think Chad is super special. Now I know you are super special too!!

  3. Keep the oversharing!!!! Nice to know more about all of you. I started following Pablo & Ramsey when I got my chi in 2007. She also changed my life (i was depressed at the time).

    I am from Honduras in Central America, very far away and I still get surprised at how close one can feel to dogs so many miles away.

    Hugs, Alejandra

  4. I've wondered about the delightful Suvi addition. I have a Doberman blog, though my Elka is nowhere near as high profile as Ramsey and Pablo (and now Suvi!) are.

  5. Sorry, but I don't think either Suvi nor Pablo are full blooded pit nor chihuahua, but they are both adorable...Ramsey seems to be a full-blooded Dobie...but then, I raise Dobies and they are my favorite dogs!!! The good news is that all dogs are great, and they all have their individual personalities...but I just love how beautiful Ramsey is...but if you really think about it, we, humans, are all mutts of one kind of another...we are the ones that "invented" those pure bred breeds...So I just want to congratulate you and Chad on raising such a fine doggie family...keep up the good work...

  6. Or as we like to call them . . . furkids.

  7. Hi Guys! Love the above picture! If you didn't do it already, I think it would make a great Christmas card picture! Personally, I think both of you, Chad and Brandy are truly wonderful people for spreading the word about your various breeds. I've known how wonderful Dobies are for years and I must confess, because of Pablo, I've even come to like Chi's (Sorry, I'm a bad speller and don't know how to spell his whole breed name, sorry!) As for Suvi, she seems as sweet as can be because it's all about the owner and not the breed! Keep up the good work guys! Julie

    1. Thank you! I'm also a chihuahua convert...Pablo sure does win over some hearts :) The pic above was actually the one we used for our Christmas card!

  8. I have followed Ramsey and Pablo for a long time and am delighted you and Suvi are a part of the antics now as well. Keep up the great work with letting people see what great ownership and leadership is all about!
    ~ The Cloughs (2 people and three rescue chihuahua mixes)

  9. I don't usually write anything to these things but now I just had to when I read that you have Finnish heritage! I live in Finland so this was a really nice thing to find out :) I have been wondering about this since the day Chad posted about Suvi because Suvi is a Finnish name..
    But anyway, it was so nice to find out that you and Suvi joined the happy doggy family that we can all follow. Suvi is a sweetheart! Ramsey is still my number 1 but I kinda also became a chihuahua convert :D I'll have my very first dobie in March - I'm so excited! Let's see if she'll become a filmstar, like Ramsey :) She'll be having a "tough" life 'cause she'll be living with 4 cats :D

  10. What an adorable, loving little family!!

  11. Sorry for being 5 months late to the party...just saw your fathers day post and I am now perusing the blog! I love all you have said. I follow Pablo and Ramsey too. We have 2 red dobies who are soooo sooo gentle. As their ears are not cropped people think they are red labs and are surprised by the fact they are dobies. My son has a dobie girl too!

    I also have a friend who has the sweetest pit bull out if a pack of 4 dogs...ALL her dogs are friendly happy and HYPER..but Reese the cool laid back and generally would rather curl on the couch.

    Love the work you do with your pets... Bless you both and the fur balls too.