Lessons Austin Taught Me


This August my little tiny man, my first child, snuggle buddy, over-enthusiastic pup, turned 10. Now, in case you missed it on my instagram, I’m a little sentimental about it.

Michael and I got Austin when we first moved in together back in 2006. We would sneak him in and out of our apartment that had a no-dog policy. Austin has been through a lot with Michael and I: our first apartment, 6 houses, 2 states, 1 college graduation, my first “real” job, 4 cars, deaths, births, our wedding, the adoption of our second fur-baby, Zoe. Sometimes I think I have such a special bond to Austin because he’s been there through a period of my life where I grew so much.   Austin and I have grown together and over the years he has taught me a lot. Playing off a post I wrote years ago, Lessons I Learned from My Dogs, I thought I’d share lessons Austin has taught me in our 10 years together.


Be an Early Riser

I’m pretty sure Austin only likes to rise for his breakfast – but I really only like to rise for my coffee. Being an early-riser gives you so much more of the day to enjoy! More about how to be a morning person here.


Don’t underestimate yourself.

My 8lb. ball of fluff has hiked up mountains in National Parks, chased down dogs triple his size, swam in the ocean, sailed on boats, and carried sticks that weighed as much as he. He’s never deterred by his size or circumstance. Don’t allow yourself to make excuses on why you “can’t.”


Make time to relax

In the day and age where being overly busy is glorified, Austin has reminded me that taking a whole afternoon (or day) to do nothing other that snuggle on the sofa is a totally acceptable practice.

Talk to strangers

We live in a world where talking to strangers is frowned upon. Sure, there are some weird people out there but in general most people are kind, and funny, and worth your time. Austin always stops to “talk” to anyone he doesn’t know. I think we can learn from that unbridled act of conversation.



I have never seen anything as happy has Austin when he gets to have a biscuit. As humans, we spend a lot if time worrying about our health and our weight. But sometimes we should just go ahead and indulge. Have the cake and beer and french fries with cheese all over them.


Know when to take a break

Conquering the world is hard. Know when you’re pushing yourself too hard and allow yourself a breather. For Austin, this means plopping down in the middle of ANYWHERE for 5 minutes. For me, sometimes I purposely leave my laptop and notebooks in the car for the night so I’m forced to not do any work.


Get outside

The best lesson my dogs have taught me is to GET YO BUTT OUTSIDE. Whether it’s just sitting in my front lawn doing my work instead of doing it inside or it’s taking the afternoon to go for a hike, being outdoors is recharging and one of the best remedies for the exhaustion of daily life.


Be weird

The best thing about Austin is he doesn’t give two shits about what anyone thinks about him. Dogs are the best that way. He doesn’t worry about impressing anyone. Be yourself, if someone doesn’t like it, then no biscuits for them.


There you have it friends, thanks for indulging me while I swooned over this little ball of fur that’s captured my entire heart for the past ten years. Let’s raise I little Friday cocktail to many more years with this little guy.

But First, Coffee

Hey There!

I'm Kallie!

Also known as That Practical Mom

I’m all about helping you simplify the chaos of life so you can slow down and enjoy it.

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