Following are some of our favorite photos of our dog, Destin.
He’s part Black Lab, part Golden Retriever.
We Used A Crate For Destin
Since we both worked full-time, neither of us was going to be home to train Destin throughout the day. So we decided to try crating him (like the experts recommend). Found a really cool foldable crate that was plenty big to accommodate his growth, but it just wasn’t working out. We did it for about a week, but he still peed inside his crate — defeating part of the reason for crating in the first place. Plus, it really wasn’t our personality to crate him. Jersey was never crated, and he turned out just fine.
Looking back, it’s funny to realize that Destin always sat like this on the steps, even when he was a puppy. Today, he still sits like this on steps: with his big ol front paws on the lower step, and his rump on the higher step.
Destin: The Bottom Dweller
See, he doesn’t look near as comfortable sitting on the step this way! Still cute, just not comfortable.
We’re All Gonna Get Along, Right?
Destin couldn’t figure Jersey out, so he pretty much left him alone and cuddled up with us instead any chance he could. Jersey just needed to know at all times that he was still the Top Dog in the house. In fact, during most of those “early days”, Jersey was the perfect big brother. He would nose Destin, and smell him a lot, and be all curious about this new black furry creature. But he didn’t try to hurt hurt him or bug him too much. It was like he knew we were taking care of a sick puppy.
Ice: The Perfect Pet Toy!
Destin is discovering how much fun it is to play with an ice cube for the first time. Ice cubes are the perfect pet toy… they’re cheap, plentiful, and tasty! Our dogs love ice as “treats” just as much as they enjoy real dog treats. Jersey mostly likes to just crunch it up and eat an ice cube. Destin, on the other hand, prefers to play with it first — pawing it halfway across the room, where the walls and table legs serve as bumpers to his icy pinball.
Destin Loves Bones!
If there’s one thing for sure… it’s that Destin LOVES bones! He’s been fond of them since Day One.
He’s Got Big Bones
Destin found one of Jersey’s “real” bones, but wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. He quickly learned this was a prized possession, and he started to seek out all of Jersey’s bones that were left lying around the house.
Destin Barking At Jersey’s Bone
Destin noticed that Jersey left his bone on his bed. Destin knows he’s not allowed on Jersey’s bed. Nor, is he allowed to gnaw on Jersey’s bones. It was some unspoken dog-speak agreement that Jersey and Destin just seemed to have between them. What made this moment even more comical, is the fact that Destin NEVER barks! Ever.
Destin’s Moving In On Jersey’s Bone
This is Destin being a little devil. Notice how he’s keeping his eye on Jersey?… (who’s sleeping nearby). Destin’s making sure that Jersey doesn’t see that he’s moving in on his bone.
No Little Yippy Black Dogs Allowed Here
Destin is still barking at Jersey’s bone. He wants to get on Jersey’s bed so bad to get it, but he knows he’s not allowed.
Destin Discovers That Bones Make The Best Pillows
Destin has discovered the bones are a hot commodity in this house. Here, he managed to find one that Jersey had left lying around. Even though his little jaws were too weak to maneuver a big bone like this, Destin was making sure that this bone was HIS — for the time being at least.
He Finally Found One He Could Sink His Teeth Into
Destin took a liking to these pressed-rawhide bones. They softened up a bit after you gnawed on them. This big bone was still Jersey’s, but before long, it became Destin’s.
Destin’s First Car Ride
We have wanted to “condition” Destin for EVERYTHING since Day One. We started taking him on car rides right away. Here, we were headed to Jim’s office to take him to lunch.
Waiting Outside The Screen Door
The dogs are waiting at the screen door to come back inside the house. NOTE: The blue tape is so they “notice” the screen and don’t go barrelling through it on their way in or out the door!
Waiting To Go In The House
Destin’s still not sure if he likes “inside” or “outside” better at this point. He had spent the majority of his life in a dumpster at this point!
Destin Sleeping In Jim’s Arms
He fell asleep in Jim’s arms. He’s always been a snuggler (…Destin, that is).Destin Sleep Facts:
- He always gives a cute little full-body stretch with all 4 paws whenever he wakes up.
- He snores a lot too.
- As he got older, he started sleeping sunny-side up (belly up).
Jim and Destin just lounging around the house.
Enjoying the beautiful sunshine in the backyard. One of the most fun things about having a puppy is showing the world to it, one step at a time. (Hope you’re enjoying all the new puppy photos…)
A Couple Of Posers
Jim and Destin posing for a close-up photograph in the backyard.
Quenching His Thirst
He’s never been much of an eater, but Destin will DRINK you out of house & home!
Two Bewildered Dogs
Destin’s still figuring out his role in this family. Here he is, 3 days into it, and he’s just as confused as ever. It didn’t take him long to learn though… He’s always been the 2nd in command. Jersey’s the top dog. FYI: We consulted with pet experts early on, and they told us that for two dogs to get along in the same house (one having been the sole pet for the past 13 years), you need to always make it obvious that the older dog is the “lead” dog. It’s part of the “pack mentality” that dogs are accustomed to living within. We were told to always give Jersey a treat before we give Destin one. Always pet Jersey upon entering the house before we pet Destin. Etc. Etc. It worked! Destin now “respects” Jersey as the big brother, and Jersey never felt overlooked or neglected once this new puppy entered our home.
Belly Up, Big Guy…
Remember, Destin still had some “skin issues” from living his first days in a dumpster. So all this brushing really cleaned up his coat. Today, he’s got the most beautiful coat — just like a Golden Retriever… thick and wavy! For what it’s worth, if you start grooming your puppy at a young age like this, he will become completely accepting of these activities as an adult. Which is important for things like brushing his coat, brushing his teeth, trimming his toenails, cleaning his ears, wiping his paws, etc. Otherwise, if you wait until they’re older to get them accustomed to such grooming activities, they will be much more reluctant and harder to groom.
In The Lap Of Luxury
Smile and say, “Dumpster Dog!”
Destin’s First Walk On A Leash
Destin has always been pretty good on the leash. But, he really doesn’t need it. He sticks to our side most of the time — leash or no leash.
Who’s The Big Dog, Now?
This was the scene until Destin reached about 4 months of age. Jersey spent a good deal of time up on the bed. Our bed was Jersey’s refuge — one of the few places he could completely get away from that new little puppy we brought home. (Cuz Destin was too little to make the jump up on the bed.) But as soon as Destin figured out how to jump up there, the roles were reversed! Since then, Destin has been the one to sleep on our bed with us, while Jersey sleeps on the floor. It was quite sad at first, but Jersey seems to like it now.
Desperately Seeking Shade
Destin has a ball at Jim’s softball games. He likes to play with anyone there who will give him the attention. But he’ll also sit quietly if need be. Here, he’s enjoying the shade provided by Jim on the bleachers.
The Team Mascot
Destin has always enjoyed going to Jim’s softball games.
I’ve Got A New Best Friend
Destin likes going to Jim’s softball games, cuz he gets to play with his new best friend, Abby.
Sean’s daughter, Shelby is an animal-lover by nature. Destin has always clicked with her, and they spend most of the game walking around and playing together.
Jim Satisfying Destin’s Thirst For Water
Jim is squirting destin with water from a water bottle at a roadside rest stop on our way from Tennessee to Virginia for an IHRA race. This was the only race we took Destin to, but our digital camera batteries weren’t fully charged and none of the pictures at the racetrack came out.
Tiny Destin On Board A Big Truck
Destin was the perfect travel companion on this trip from Nashville to the Virginia IHRA races. He sat between the two seats most of the time.
Destin Enjoying The Breeze From The Window
Here’s your typical dog-sticking-his-head-out-the-window shot… only he was too little to actually get close to the window. He loved it though… feeling the wind as we drove.
Just Along For The Ride
Destin’s red collar was a bit big on him. Here, he’s chewing on his collar as he’s sitting back… all relaxed… and takin’ in the sights.
Destin zonked out minutes after we arrived back home from the IHRA races. He was exhausted… that was a lot of action for a little guy! He did really well at the races. We were surprised, because drag racing cars are VERY loud. We would take him for a walk whenever the Top Fuel cars were racing, cuz they were too loud. He brought a lot more people to our booth though. The cuteness factor sold more PitPass magazines than Jerry’s previous bare-chested method did.
He’s kind of growing into his legs now. Whenever you can’t figure out where Destin is, just go check out his food & water bowls. That’s where he’ll be.
All Sprawled Out
Destin just hangin’ out in the hallway.
Destin Scratching While Jersey Looks On
Surprisingly, it’s rare that both dogs are in the same place at the same time. (When we have the camera, that is.)
Destin Playing Hide And Seek
One of Destin’s favorite places to hang out is underneath our steps in the backyard.
Destin Discovering The Water Hose
This was Destin’s first time playing in the water from the hose. He had a ball!!!
He’s All Wet!
We weren’t sure how Destin was going to react to us squirting water on him from the hose. But he LOVED it. We created a monster… cuz every time the hose was in sight from this day forward, he wanted to play in the water!
Exhausted From So Much Water Play
Cute as can be… after playing in the water.
Check Out That Belly!
He’s (obviously) eating well.
Sitting Proud And Tall
Destin always sits way back on his haunches. His arms are so long, he always looks so majestic and proud when he’s sitting up like this.
Destin Trying To Get Up On The Bed
He’s still not quite big enough to get up on the bed yet. For now, Jersey remains the king of the throne.
Destin Wants A Bath
Destin likes water so much. Here, he’s begging to get in the bathtub while Jim is taking a shower.
He’s Inching In Closer To The Water
Destin giving us a butt shot while he’s trying to catch some sprays of water from Jim’s shower.
What A Sad Face…
How pathetic… he’s miserably sad that he’s not allowed to get in the shower.
He’s An Armful
At 3 months, this was one of the last times we held Destin in our arms. He got so big so fast!
Strutting His Stuff
Destin is a happy camper! He’s just strutting his stuff around the campsite. This was the first time we took him camping with us. He did GREAT!
Checking Things Out
As soon as we arrived at Seven Points Campground, Jim & Mike left Lynnette and Destin at the campsite while they tried to upgrade to a site closer to the water. (We got it!)
Mike Laying Down Some Rules With Destin
Mike’s a cool friend… he doesn’t mind when we take our dog along when we go places together. Destin’s a cool friend too… he doesn’t mind when we take Mike along sometimes.
All Tuckered Out
After a day of playing in the water, Destin is completey wiped out come dinner time.
Camping Is Fun!
Mornin! After a good night’s sleep inside this tent, we’re all ready to go play in the water again today. By the way, Destin did QUITE well on his first camping trip. He slept at our feet all night long and didn’t let the sounds of the wild spook him or anything.
Getting Their Feet Wet
Day Two, Destin was ready to hit the water again! This was the first time we let him off the leash to play in the water.
Destin’s New Water Toy
It’s summer time and the livin is easy!
In The Swim Of Things
Happiness is… a day of doggie paddling.
Destin with his new favorite toy… the floating tennis-ball-covered play ring.
Destin Learning To “Stay In The House”
As soon as we got back from our camping trip with Destin, we unloaded the car of all our camping gear. Destin was terrified we were going to leave him. From this point on, if we were going anywhere in the car… so was he!
You put your right foot in, you put your right foot out. Destin doing whatever it takes to “stay in the house” while never losing sight of us unloading the car.
Destin: The Bottom Dweller
Jersey: “I don’t think you should be doin that!…”
Always the center of attention… Destin sitting pretty on the kitchen floor.
In Full Bloom
Lounging on the chaize lounge, with some red flowers in the foreground.
Sometimes Things Get In The Way
My what a big belly you’ve got there, Destin. At this age (4 months), it seemed like his belly kept getting in the way!
My, What Long Legs You Have There!
Still clutzy and awkward, Destin’s growing into his legs about now. (…AND his big feet!)
A Preview Of His Future Self
A sign of things to come. At this angle, “Destin as a pup” starts to look very much like “Destin as a full-grown dog”. You can see how his face is filling out at this point. Not nearly as “cute” as in weeks past.
These Two Look Like They’re Gonna Be Friends
They’ve had their ups and their downs, but it looks like they’re gonna make it as compadres in the same household.
Riding In The Car
These were the early days… when Destin and Jersey both roamed “free” in the backseat of the SUV. (More on that later…) Here, Destin’s resting his paw on the window and sticking his head out into the breeze.
I’ve Got Your Back
Destin is leaning on (read as: climbing all over) Jersey in the backseat of the SUV.
Destin Learning To “Stay On The Porch”
Jim is keeping an eye on Destin, who is eager to jump off the porch to go play with Bella (being walked by our neighbor and petsitter, Jessica).
Destin (And His Legs) Hanging Out
Destin: “I’ve got this down, now. No problem…” He’s just watching all the people and the cars as they go by our house.
Jim’s just hanging out on the porch keeping an eye on Destin as he learns to “stay on the porch” without a leash.
How Much Longer Do I Have To Do This?
By this point, he’s really bored on the front porch and eager to go run and play.
Destin Posing In The Backyard
He’s such a poser…
A little heavy breathing after a romp in the backyard.
A rare moment in close proximity of one another… hanging out together on Jersey’s dog pillow.
Sitting On All Fours
Destin sitting back on his haunches… he’s the only dog we’ve ever had who sat like this. I know it looks like he’s doing a little butt scootin’ but he’s not.
How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?
He’s like a cat… Destin could sit, perched in front of a window, for hours! He’s never been much of a barker, but whenever he sees other dogs outside or strangers approaching the house, he starts “huffing”. When he’s huffing, he does really fast, deep pants through his nose. It’s the cutest thing.
They’re VERY Close
Best buds… Lynnette and Destin.
Looking Sweet As Can Be
Destin is as sweet and mild-tempered as he appears. For a big dog, he’s like a slice of humble pie. We call him “a big ‘ol lug” because he leans on you really heavy, and always has to be wherever we are.
You Wanna Come In?
He’s so patient and mild-mannered that he would wait for HOURS to be let back in.
If we’re not at the door when he’s ready to come inside, he’ll just wait patiently until we return.
Playing In The Tall Grass
Guess we hadn’t mowed in awhile… it seemed that Destin was up to his knees in grass!
Destin Loves Our New Tree
He seemed to take possession of this tree the day we brought it home ($20 from Lowes… a steal!). By the way, he’s NOT tied to the tree. That orange cord was used to keep the tree limbs together while it was being transported from the store to our yard. Destin is just hugging the tree on his own here.
Destin quickly made this tree his own. Whenever he was in search of shade, he hung out under our new tree.
The Grass Is Always Greener On The Other Side
As soon as Destin discovered that the neighbor had a dog on the other side of the fence, he was forever intrigued by what was going on over there. He could sit for hours just staring through the fence watching the neighbor’s Basset Hound lounge around the backyard.
Cookin Up Something Special
This photo is probably only interesting to US… because we know how hard it was to photograph these two together during the first 6 months or so! This is as good as it got toward “getting along” in those early days.
Usually, this is all we got… a lot of butt sniffin’ and “getting to know you” from afar. Destin and Jersey didn’t interact much early on.
To Destin, Jersey Is More Interesting Than Ice For A Change!
This was the day that Destin had a run-in with a floor vent. He finally became less interested in the ice cube and the green Ninja Turtle head and wanted to go outside and with Jersey instead.
Tag… You’re It!
THIS might explain why Jersey’s so annoyed with Destin… he teases Jersey to no end. Here, he’s taunting Jersey by running around the house with his collar in his mouth. Destin: “Nanny nanny boo boo! You can’t catch me!”
Catch Me If You Can
Destin gets to running SO fast inside the house, his ears are pinned back by the wind!
Out of Breath…
Here’s Destin after a hard and fast run through the house teasing our other dog… he’s plumb out of breath!
Hey, Go Get Your Own!
Destin looking bewildered that someone else would want to have some of his food. He’s always been quite content to just “go with the flow” when it comes to other dogs, kids, adults, etc. And he’s always known that he’s the 2nd in command — whereas Jersey is the lead dog in this family. So, here he’s making sure Jersey’s not going to give him a hard time. He didn’t.
…Now THAT’s More Like It!
Jersey’s enjoying a few moments of peace and quiet without Destin in his grill.
Destin spotted a tiny square of shade between the lawn chair and the air conditioner in the back yard.
Always On The Alert
He’s going through his awkward stages at this point — long legs and a skinny head. Destin has always been a dog with a watchful eye. Always on the alert — kind of a mellow guard dog.
Destin likes to stick his nose where it doesn’t belong… quite often. He’s just such a social dog, he’s practically BEGGING Jersey to play with him.
Hey, You’ve Got Your Own…
Destin is testing the boundaries… seeing just how close he can get to Jersey’s food bowl. After we separated their feeding locations (separate bathrooms), we never had a problem with food aggression or bickering between the two dogs.
I’ll Tumble For Ya…
After returning from a multi-day trek cross country selling PitPass Programs, Mike and Jim were recharging their batteries (to do it all again the NEXT weekend) in our backyard… with the dogs eating up all the attention!
Twice The Fun
Jim’s doting on both dogs like he’s been gone for a week or something… oh wait, he has! On the road selling PitPass Programs makes spending time with your pets so much more enjoyable.
Rough And Rowdy
Destin was enjoying a little rough-play with Mike in the backyard.
Two Are Better Than One
Mike doesn’t have any pets. But he likes dogs… especially ours. (I mean, especially Destin.)
Destin Treed Something
Destin treed himself a squirrel.
A Hole In One…
Destin treed a squirrel… and waits patiently until the squirrel decides to come down.
Little Dog, Big Stick
Oh, and of course Destin was there! He found a stick to keep him occupied most of the night.
Would You Like Stuffing With That?
This is a stuffed teddy bear that Destin is “allowed” to play with. However, eventually he learned that he could de-stuff the stuffed animals. THAT was interesting. Thankfully, he doesn’t eat any of it though… He just leaves all the stuffing one nice big pile next to the deflated skin for when we arrive home from work. By the way, am I the only one that picks up 50-cent kids toys from the Goodwill and yard sales for our pets? I mean, I know to watch out for the eyeballs and certain interiors (like beans!), but c’mon these are DOGS! I’m not sure they really NEED $5-$10 “dog toys” which, half the time, are just kids toys with a dog label on them anyways!
For The Cute Puppy Photo Vault…
Just another cute puppy photo for the gallery.
Destin’s A Little Dog-Eared
Destin playing with Jim on the kitchen floor. He’s a very playful, comical dog…
See… Destin’s A Comedian!
Jim turns himself into a “dog chair”… must to his dismay.
Destin, Lapping Up The Spotlight
Destin went through this phase of always wanting to plop his butt down on your lap… literally! He’d already tested out the comfort level of Jim’s “dog chair”. He appears to enjoy Lynnette’s lap better.
They’re An Armful!
It may look like everyone’s having a gay ‘ol time, but Lynnette is literally FORCING Destin and Jersey to sit within a foot of each other… They were still “getting to know” each other at this point. (Destin was only 4 months old here. And it had been 2 months since we found him.)
Who Wants A Bath?…
Destin will do ANYTHING to get a bath! He loves ’em.
Destin, You Ham!
He’s too cute to deny… Destin got his wish: a bath.
Look… They’re Together!
Or, better yet: Look, they’re close enough they both fit in the same frame!
Dogs and Sticks…
…are too cute NOT to photograph.
Dog Discovers Water Sprinkler
We always knew Destin had a thing for water… especially taking baths and swimming in lakes. In fact, we’ve called him “water dog” for ages. But we never could’ve guessed how he’d react to your average, everyday garden hose. And when you attach it to a sprinkler… watch out!
Have Water Will Play
Destin preferred to PLAY in the water, than be bathed in it. (See more photos from this day here.)
A Dog NEEDS Water…
Hey, a dog NEEDS water to survive, right? Destin does, that’s for sure. He’s such a “water dog”. Any time we’re near water, he’s the first in it… including the water coming from the water hose. Here are more photos from this day that Destin discovered the water hose for the first time.
Destin Wants To Go Outside
Destin is ALWAYS in high gear… always eager to go, be, do, see, smell, run, eat, play, and have a doggone good time!
He Won’t Bite You, But He’ll Lick Ya To Death…
Destin’s a hugger… a kisser… and a licker. He and Jim were just hangin out in the backyard a short time when we came home to switch vehicles.
Rolling Around In The Backyard
Jim had a lazy-day afternoon romp in the yard with our dogs today. Here, Destin is hogging all the attention.
Destin Meets Tenor For The First Time
For the record, we didn’t introduce our 2 dogs the way they say you should do it. When you introduce a new dog to an existing dog in the household, you’re supposed to let them meet first on neutral ground. We just didn’t think about the “proper” way to introduce them at the time — we were just so excited to get our new puppy Tenor home right away to meet Destin in our backyard.
I like to help Dog Parents find unique ways to do things that will save time & money — so I write about "outside the box" Dog Tips and Dog Hacks that most wouldn't think of. I’m a lifelong dog owner — currently have 2 mixed breed Golden Aussies that we found abandoned on the side of the road as puppies. I've always trained my own dogs and help friends train theirs, as well. Professionally, I worked at a vet and have several friends who are veterinarians — whom I consult with regularly. (And just because I love animals so much, I also worked at a Zoo for awhile!) I've been sharing my best ideas with others by blogging full-time since 1998 (the same year that Google started… and before the days of Facebook and YouTube). My daily motivation is to help first-time dog owners be better prepared from the first day your new puppy enters your home. I like to help dog owners understand what's 'normal' and what you can expect in terms of living with and training your dog — how to get through the ups & downs of potty training, chewing, teaching commands, getting your dog to listen, and everything else that takes place during that hectic first year! When I'm not training, walking, grooming, or making homemade treats for my dogs, you will find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites). To date, I've written over 500 articles for dog owners on this site!