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Lavanya Bahuguna

Blogger-in-Chief

Mother Of Instagram’s Favorite Golden Retriever Girls Shares Pet Parenting Tips & More

  • IWB Post
  •  February 11, 2018

 

The weather is great and we suggest you enjoy some woofles today as you read the story of the Mississippi Golden Girls. Woot-woot! Remember we introduced you to these three golden retrievers a few months ago

Guess who just had their Spa Day?!? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To see more pictures from this photo shoot, come visit our Facebook page! Link in Bio!! (For cropping reasons, we couldn’t fit more than one image on this post).

4,072 Likes, 29 Comments – RowanOak, Remi, Idgie Ruth (@mississippi_golden_girls) on Instagram: “Guess who just had their Spa Day?!? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To see more…”

The Mississippi Golden Girls is one of the most famous dog accounts on Instagram that is followed by a whooping 123k people from around the world. As a pet parent myself, there was something about this page that attracted me to join their big family. One of the reasons, I’m sure, is the way their parents treat them with immense love and patience.

I got the oppawtunity to speak to Gresham who has promised me some wet licks from the girls if I ever visit Mississippi. Yay!

You mentioned having three more dogs before the current lovelies – Rowan Oak, Remi and Idgie Ruth. Let’s begin with their mini introduction and the lovely memories you have of them.

My first beloved golden was given to me when I was ten years old. I had begged for a dog my entire childhood and my parents finally relented after YEARS of pleading. They surprised me with my first golden angel on a Christmas Eve. Her name was Chance and little did I know about the love affair that was about to begin. Chance was with us for 12 years and is the reason I will forever have a golden in my home. She was loyal, protective, and had a stubborn streak for days. My second Golden’s name was Oakley. Oakley had one of the most precious spirits of any dog I’ve ever met or had the honor of loving. She was gentle, selfless, and so incredibly sensitive. All she wanted in life was to give love and be loved. I had her for 11 years, which wasn’t near long enough. The third one was Rush.

When it comes to the goldens I’ve lost, one thing is for certain, each of them will forever own a piece of my heart.

I like the whole idea of how you have found them in Rowan, Remi, and Idgie.

In 2013, Oakley passed away at the age of 11 due to Osteosarcoma. When we adopted Rowan, we realized how similar she was to Oakley – dependent, sensitive, loving, and a self-proclaimed daddy’s girl! Remi is like Rush, my first golden. Rush had a character and so does Remi. She has a personality for days but never ceases to make us laugh. She is a fierce protector and has a servant’s heart. It’s amazing how she likes to sleep next to us in the same position what Rush preferred.

Um, I very much prefer being the big spoon, Dad…! ~Remi TAG your big/small SPOON!

10.2k Likes, 63 Comments – RowanOak, Remi, Idgie Ruth (@mississippi_golden_girls) on Instagram: “Um, I very much prefer being the big spoon, Dad…! ~Remi TAG your big/small SPOON!”

Aww, what’s Idgie’s story? She is the youngest and the cutest.

Call it the most dramatic one. There is this American classic film called ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’ that I still enjoy watching. The main character in it is named Idgie Threadgoode who has got two elder sisters. Our Idgie is just like the protagonist who loves to drive us insane with her funny habits. She is quite mischievous, contrary to what her looks say.

I am sure it was your common love for Golden Retrievers that brought you and your husband close. Am I right?

Indeed! My husband and I have been married for seven years (together for ten). While he and I both played college sports at the same university, it was actually our love for golden retrievers that led to our paths crossing. Our first interaction was over Facebook in 2007, when I commented on a photo of him with his new golden retriever puppy at the time. Later, it was my first baby Chance that brought us together. *winks*

Like me, my husband also grew up with golden retrievers, so it’s our love for the breed that ultimately led us to one another. Our world centers around our golden girls. They are more than just pets; they are our family.

I see how Remi likes snatching Rowan’s favorite ball and eats from Idgie’s bowl, ha-ha! How else does she keep you entertained?

Remi keeps us on our toes and there is never a dull moment with her! She loves everyone around her! Remi literally thinks she is the boss, so whenever she is hungry or wants something, she lets you know it. She will “talk” to me until I stop what I am doing and feed her. She also chomps her teeth together in order to get our attention. *laughs* Every night before bedtime, she gets this random burst of energy and begins running ALL over the house. For about 10 minutes, she runs from the kitchen, to the den, and then into our bedroom, until she’s finally ready to call it a day and crawl into bed.

Another fun fact about Remi is that she loves playing with cat toys. She loves chasing laser pointers and contraptions hanging from a string. She’s a hoot! While she is the comedian of our bunch.

And while the world wonders why Idgie Ruth doesn’t bark often, share the rare occasions that make her talk.

The Mississippi Girls

When Idgie gets startled or feels threatened or feels the need to be protective, she will bark. It’s a rare occasion, but when it happens, you feel as if you’ve witnessed something sacred, ha-ha! While Idgie Ruth doesn’t communicate through barking, one thing is for certain, her smile translates despite any lingual boundaries.

She has got the loveliest smile in the whole world.

I know, right!

Many pet parents don’t allow their fur babies on bed and couch. Since Golden Retrievers shed so much, how do you make sure your place stays clean while your love for them is intact?

This may seem impossible, but we keep a really clean home. While the girls do shed, vacuuming twice a week keeps our place looking great! And, yes, we probably do change our sheets more frequently than most, but the tradeoff is that we get to snuggle with these 3 angels every night!

The Mississippi Girls

All three of them are adopted and have been spayed. Some studies suggest that mating is important for the female Retrievers or else they develop signs of uterus cancer. If that’s true, have you thought about it?

I was unaware of those studies! Each of my girls is spayed. After hearing the statistics on how spaying females reduce their risk of breast cancer, the decision for me was clear. Also, quarantining females during their heats is a tricky business, so the risk of accidental pregnancies was another reason behind spaying them.

Do you think it is important for them to experience motherhood at least once?

None of them have ever been bred, but I have never sensed any negative implications behind their not experiencing motherhood. Each of my goldens have always been very happy and we do everything in our power to make sure they want for nothing.

Rowan Oak is my favorite and I love her animated *angry* eyes! I don’t think I can ever get over her ‘Resting Bish Face.’

During the adoption process, we saw pictures of the pups and immediately fell in love with the smallest one of the bunch. She was the runt of the litter and as soon as we saw her, we knew she had to be ours! We immediately felt the need to protect this precious little angel. Today we call her everything from RowanOak, Rowan, Row Row, Toe Toe.

What common challenges do people face while adopting a pet?

I believe one of the biggest challenges in adopting pets is the fact that so many individuals fail to realize the commitment it takes to have a successful owner, pet experience. When adopting, people should view it as adding a new member to their families. Each pet deserves to be a priority and acclimated, included in their owners’ lives.

Do you have any advice for the first time pet-parents?

Love, patience, and consistency are the three elements that are key to a successful pet-parent relationship! The more love and time you give your pet, the stronger the bond will be. Love and time are crucial and help tremendously in terms of a pet’s behavior.

The Mississippi Girls

What tips do you have for other pet parents (regarding training, health check-ups, etc.) I love how you never scold them and are always compassionate.

In terms of health checkups, I believe it is imperative to have our pets seen by a vet each and every year. Stay up to date on their heartworm preventative, their shots, and their flea and tick preventatives, too.  Also, I recommend physically inspecting your pet in order to make sure there aren’t any new lumps, bumps, rashes, etc. Pay attention to how your pet behaves and take notice of any changes in their normal behavior. Being diligent and vigilant is very helpful in uncovering illness or disease before it gets out of hand.

As far as training is concerned, consistency is imperative. I am a firm believer that if you show your pet tons of love and are diligent, consistent in their training, then you will have a phenomenal pet experience. I truly believe the key ingredient to any successful pet-parent relationship is TIME (and of course, LOVE)! The more time you spend with your pet, the more the two of you will understand each other. It’s been my experience that the dogs with the most difficult behavioral issues tend to be those who have been neglected and haven’t gotten enough love and affection from their owners. What we have to remind ourselves of is that these pets have feelings, emotions and have a desperate need to feel love and give love! If they don’t get the attention they need, they will act out in an effort to get the attention they crave. Bad behavior in pets is often times just a misguided attempt to get attention from the people they love most.

Imagine if the girls could speak in your language for a day, what would Rowan, Remi & Idgie say to you?

Idgie’s first words would definitely be, “I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOUUUUUUUUUU, mmmkay!”

Remi’s would be, “Mama, is it time to eat yet? I think it’s time. It’s time… it’s time!!! Oh, and I love you! Since I just said I love you, can I have my food now?!”

Rowan would say: “Don’t you touch my ball! Don’t look at it, either!”

Goodnight from me and #bae ! ~Row Row

5,331 Likes, 26 Comments – RowanOak, Remi, Idgie Ruth (@mississippi_golden_girls) on Instagram: “Goodnight from me and #bae ! ~Row Row”

Ha-ha! I can totally imagine them acting like that. The Instagram account of The Mississippi Golden Girls is widely adored and is already a great hit. How can people bring fame to their pet’s social media account?

When I started our IG account, my main objective was to have a place to catalog all my favorite pictures and videos of my girls! For the longest time I could never successfully backup the photos on my phone, so Instagram was the perfect place to ensure that I would never lose them. Also, I didn’t want to bombard my Facebook friends with a constant barrage of dog pictures. I know everyone doesn’t appreciate them as much as I do, so creating our IG account was the perfect outlet for me to store all my favorite memories of my girls.

Dis my snuggle buddy; her name is Mama. We love each other!

7,146 Likes, 50 Comments – RowanOak, Remi, Idgie Ruth (@mississippi_golden_girls) on Instagram: “Dis my snuggle buddy; her name is Mama. We love each other!”

I never could have anticipated the love and sense of community these girls have created. We were never out to get “instafamous.” Day after day we began to see how many people really loved and adored our girls. Our Instagram family tells us all the time how much they appreciate what we do and how happy our account makes them, but I honestly feel like we are the ones who have been blessed the most; we have an incredible Instagram community and we love them dearly. We have “met” so many incredible people from all parts of the world. It has certainly blessed us and we are so grateful for our Instagram family.

Now, as far as the pointers on how to have a successful social media account are concerned, I think people are drawn to accounts based on how those accounts make them feel. If someone starts an IG account for their pet, that account should revolve around the love they have for their pet. Be authentic. Show the world why your pet is so special and how you involve them in your everyday life. Don’t create an account just to get followers or in the hopes of becoming “instafamous.” People can see right through that and the end product ultimately comes across as disingenuous. To answer your earlier question though, here are a few bullet points:

Caption dis ? ??

5,023 Likes, 57 Comments – RowanOak, Remi, Idgie Ruth (@mississippi_golden_girls) on Instagram: “Caption dis ? ??”

Be authentic – The sole purpose of your account should be to show the love you have for your pet and what makes your pet special.

Share your pet’s funny quirks.

Show everyone how you integrate your pet into your life.

Hashtags help bring people to your page that have the same or similar interests.

We have never purchased followers, so I don’t recommend that route.

Think about how much you appreciate it when someone likes or comments on one of your photos. Do the same for others.

When it comes to developing and maintaining a pet Instagram page, I think the following statement is spot on, “You get what you give.”

Make friends! Host fun contests and take part in contests!

Lastly, tell me if you have got a dream for them.

All I want is for my girls to be happy, healthy, and have a long, full life, where they never doubt the love we have for them.

This article was first published in October, 2017.

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