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Why a Pet? Why Not!

Updated: Jul 25, 2023

Are you lucky enough to know how much a pet can enrich your life? Or are you waiting to discover that joy? Either way, in the USA, May is National Pet Month. So it’s a perfect time to brag about BGL & Associates, LLC CMO (Chief Morale Officer) Caribbean (Cari). She is our 12-year-old bichon frise whom we adopted from Cats Meow Dogs Bark Rescue (CMDBR). Cari was a puppy mill dog.

In our April newsletter we had the good fortune to interview Jen Kamish, the founder of CMDBR. She discussed the trauma of puppy mills. Jen advised us on issues we might face if we adopted Cari, but my husband, Pat, and I were not deterred. Due to Pat’s dog allergies, we knew we needed a bichon—fewer allergic reactions. But bichons are rarely available from rescue organizations.

Back in November of 2009 CMDBR had a bichon to adopt. I drove to the Hastings, MN Tractor Supply Company to meet that bichon. Of course, we had not owned a pet in our years of marriage. When my eyes met Cari’s, it was instant love. I knew we had to have her. She was ready for adoption and she was delivered to us on Saturday, December 5 at 2:30pm. I had a client event in my Golden Valley studio at 3:00pm. Jen warned us that Cari was not potty trained, was not socialized, needed a thorough vet checkup and did not know how to use steps. It was time to start my client event. Did I mention that my studio was in the lower level of our home? Cari did not understand steps.

So, during the event I carried Cari up and down the steps all afternoon so she could pee. Cari watched event participants trot up and down the steps, too. She also was inundated with love by our attendees. By the event’s end, Cari—to my shock—raced up the steps to say goodbye to all. She learned steps by watching that afternoon. I knew we had one smart dog.

The next day we had a blizzard. Cari came from Missouri in May—she had no concept of snow—say nothing of a blizzard. Getting her outside to pee was challenging—and it remained so throughout the winter. In fact, Cari was quite content taking her bathroom breaks inside—without telling us. Thus began the year-long potty-training odyssey—and it was worth every minute.

At our first vet trip, Cari was diagnosed with ear mites, fleas, and worms. We returned home with meds to treat all. Later, an auto-immune disorder allowed us to get to know the vets at the U of M Veterinary Medical Clinic very well. I like to say Cari’s college education fund was diverted to that clinic. But Cari’s passion for giving and receiving affection, and the immediate joy she brought into our home far outweighed any veterinary bills.

We brought Cari toys. She latched onto one stuffed squeaker toy. She tore through the stuffing to access the squeaker—and nine years later, wherever Cari goes, her squeaker goes, too. And we laugh and laugh and laugh at her antics—which are constant. Bad day? We just turn to Cari, and seeming troubles melt away. Good day? Cari’s always on hand to celebrate. Best of all, Pat, who was a pet skeptic, became a true believer when he returned from work early on only to have Cari flooding him with affection.

Maybe it’s the “chicken or the egg” deal: who latched on first? Cari, or our clients and friends? There is not a client around who does not stop to love up Cari—and lap up her affection. Clearly, our little furry bichon brings joy to all she meets. Promoting her to CMO of BGL & Associates, LC was a no-brainer.

No wonder Cari has become a celebrity. She has been featured in the Star Tribune, for Golden Valley’s Humane Society Annual Whisker Whirl and even appeared on KSTP’s “Twin Cities Live.” Her magnetic personality attracts people and cameras wherever she goes.

Needless-to-say, Pat and I are now ardent pet and animal rescue supporters. In fact, BGL, to celebrate its new office’s upcoming grand opening, will include a fund raiser for animal rescues. And anyone with—or a friend of—a pet, can take part. Tentative date? You guessed it: Cari’s birthday, May 18th.

We’re creating a pet jigsaw puzzle for our office wall. The bigger; the better. Participants will send us a photo of their favorite pet for a donation. Those photos will be transformed into a jigsaw puzzle of BGL friend pets. Proceeds go to Cats Meow Dogs Bark Rescue and the Animal Humane Society of Golden Valley. Complete details are forthcoming.

One thing is certain, if you don’t have a pet, but want more fun and joy in your life, absolutely adopt a pet from a rescue. Your—and their—life will be transformed.

In addition to Cats Meow Dogs Bark Rescue, there’s the Animal Humane Society of Golden Valley. But there is a plethora of pet rescue organizations in Minnesota. Check out this link for your ticket to an enriched life, courtesy Dog Lover’s Digest: (

And if you didn’t like this blog—don’t call me. Clearly, you are barking up the wrong tree.



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