Bringing a puppy into your family is a big decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.   There is a great deal of responsibility and cost that comes with being a pet owner.  3 years ago, we made the heartbreaking decision to rehome our four-year-old Doberman, Romeo.  The guilt of that situation not turning out remains as we celebrate the new addition to our family a Bernedoodle puppy we named Irie.


Choosing a Puppy Breed


Before we discuss Irie and the puppy sip and see we had to welcome her, I want to mention the importance of matching your puppy breed to your family.  Initially, it is easy to choose a pet based on the way they look.  In the case of Romeo, I was pregnant with Giana and we had just lost our Miniature Pincher Trotter. He passed away from an intestinal disease.  Consequently, when I saw Romeo at the pet store a couple doors down from the spa I owned, I was grieving and had to fill that void.


Romeo had a gorgeous coat, he was extremely intelligent and he was fiercely loyal to our family.  However, he took on a protective role that eventually became aggressive.  He would jump and mouth guest that approached the house eventually started breaking the skin.  We rerouted the invisible fence, we had a dog trainer come to the house and we did an agility class to try and resolve his issues. Sadly it wasn’t enough.  Even so, he now lives with a retired couple sans kids on a farm thanks to the Doberman Rescue Alliance.


Any dog in the working breed needs mental and physical stimulation.  With us having two small kids within the years we had Romeo we did not dedicate enough time to his needs.
Dobermans can be great family dogs and we never had any issues with him and our kids.  Dobermans, Pit Bulls, Rottweilers and German Shepherds come with additional liabilities because they have a reputation as bully breeds.  It affects where you can rent, travel and even the kind of liability insurance that will cover your home.  In other words choose your puppy wisely and consider how your lifestyle may change over the course of their life.


 The fight to get a puppy


I fell in love with the Bernedoodle breed after seeing a picture of a family friend’s puppy on Facebook.  As per usual I went into overdrive researching the breed.  Thus I began following the breeder on Facebook and for 6 months continuously viewed puppy pictures and read about the attributes of these dogs.


By Christmas of 2017, I had given my husband one gift request a puppy.  Which was met with a swift NO!  James did not want to add the work of a puppy.  He also was concerned with our travel frequency and probably held guilt from Romeo.  It became a hotly debated topic at one point he called me a bully.  I like to call it goal oriented.


Marriage is about compromise and we eventually came to an agreement and brought our puppy home.  Irie is 15 weeks old, she is 75% poodle and 25% Bernice Mountain Dog.  She has been with us just over a month now.


Socializing Puppy


Being back in the dog world and we are taking the respective steps to raise a well-behaved puppy.  I signed us for puppy training classes immediately. The trainers stress the importance of socializing your puppy.  Since we brought our puppy home, we have had two dinner parties and both went well.  After all the requests from friends to meet her, I decided to throw a puppy sip and see happy hour.   As a result, Irie was showered with love and gifts and it made a fun party theme.


 Here is your guide to hosting your very own puppy sip and see.


[stextbox id=’custom’ bwidth=’2′ ccolor=’D0B0C3′ bcolor=’8396B4′ bgcolor=’D0B0C3′ cbgcolor=’D0B0C3′ bgcolorto=’D0B0C3′ cbgcolorto=’D0B0C3′ image=’null’]

Signature Drink- Salty Dog Recipe

1 shot vodka

Add Simple Syrup to your tasting

Grapefruit Juice

Splash of Seltzer water

Sea Salt

Sliced Grapefruit to Garnish




[stextbox id=’custom’ bwidth=’2′ ccolor=’8396B4′ bcolor=’D0B0C3′ bgcolor=’8396B4′ cbgcolor=’8396B4′ bgcolorto=’8396B4′ cbgcolorto=’8396B4′ image=’null’]

Puppy Sip and See Menu:

Puppy Chow

Kibbles and Bits- Homemade Granola

Wagging Tails- Shrimp Cocktail

Bones- Chicken Wings and Tenders

Muddy Paws- Dirt Cups

Digging Grounds- Veggie Pizza

Chewys- turkey jerky sticks




Optional Extra Menu Items-


Caprese Salad

Hawaiian Rolls Grilled Cheese



[stextbox id=’custom’ bwidth=’2′ ccolor=’D0B0C3′ bcolor=’8396B4′ bgcolor=’D0B0C3′ cbgcolor=’D0B0C3′ bgcolorto=’D0B0C3′ cbgcolorto=’D0B0C3′ image=’null’]


  • Served puppy chow and kibbles in new doggy bowls.  We will use these in the future as our travel bowls or on the patio as a water bowl.
  • I found a puppy garden statue as a centerpiece
  • Used Scooby snacks scatter on the counter
  • Bought a couple bright new toys to spread around the platters


When the first guest arrived Irie was a bit jumpy and piddled on the floor from excitement.  We gave her a big chewy toy and after that, she was an angel.  Guest sprinkled her with gifts and the kids had a blast running and playing.  I used this adorable template to reinforce the training we received.  A sign was placed on the front door asking the guest to wait until Irie was calm and seated to pet or greet her.  My friends came up with a couple alternative names for the party “liquor and lips” and “gulp and glance”


The template and all recipes from our puppy sip and see can be found on our Pinterest Page and for more party themes check out our Entertain Page.