Welcome back to our series on morning routines where we highlight women around the city and talk to them about what their morning routines look like with their dog. No two mornings are alike and they shouldn’t be! A lot of people hope that dogs will help to bring routine and structure into our lives, to bring joy into mornings, to get up early, to lounge a little longer - whatever it is, it’s your sacred ritual. It’s designed to fit your life and your dogs’s. We’re just here to show how many different faces it can take on.

We chatted with Lilian who got her frenchie Simon not long after moving from Chicago to downtown Brooklyn. It’s been a lot of change all at once, but we’ve never met someone as levelheaded (or as calm) as Kara, so their mornings are full of pure joy (unless it’s raining)

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You have a sheepadoodle puppy named Charlie who’s about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. How did you land on the breed and the name?

I personally really wanted a goldendoodle, but my boyfriend made the very good point that everyone has a goldendoodle and so we spent time looking at other doodle breeds. After a lot of browsing on Instagram (like the true millennial that I am), I happened on a sheepadoodle account and immediately fell in love with the fluffy black and white breed. As far as names go, it was much simpler – we spent an evening throwing around names until we landed on one that we both liked. We had the name before we knew the gender, but I loved that Charlie could be an androgynous name.

Let’s talk puppyhood. It’s a completely wild time and oftentimes, people look back on it with rose-tinted glasses. What’s it really been like?!

It has truly been a journey! The first month was chaotic – sleepless nights, uncertainty about our training methods, locking myself out of my apartment on a dog walk by accident, desperately trying to find ways to channel her energy given we couldn’t take her on long walks, I could go on... At some points, I questioned my own ability to do it. However, week by week, it slowly got better and we figured out what our routine with each other was. Having a friend to constantly text with all of my panicked questions was key, as well as having a boyfriend to take night duty when she was not able to sleep through a full night.

What's the most rewarding part of raising a puppy?

I’ve truly never felt a love like this before – completely unconditional and pure. Charlie takes up a lot of time and energy and my life has completely changed, but I love spending time with her and she brings me so much joy. My absolute favorite times are when she is sleepy at home and wanders over to where I am to fall asleep next to me.

How do you split responsibilities with your boyfriend?

My boyfriend and I are currently long distance, so our situation is unique. I am in charge of most of the physical tasks, but he takes over on the weekends when he visits. He also provides much needed emotional support, which was especially valuable in the earliest days.

You both work full time. What's that like? How do you balance the responsibilities of being a founder, employee, mom, girlfriend?

You need to build a community around you to help out! We have a dogwalker that we love, which has been vital for raising her while working full time. I’m also lucky in that my job is very flexible which gives me leeway if I need to do something such as take her to the vet or take her to doggy classes. Otherwise, there’s no way I’d be able to do it!

What time do you guys wake up every morning?

7am. Charlie’s circadian clock is uncannily regular and each morning, seven on the dot, she will remind me that it’s time to get up.

Are you guys early birds or night owls?

Early Birds.

Does she sleep in your bed?

No, crate only.

What's the first thing you do every day? And what's the first thing you two do together every day?

The first thing I do is also the first thing we do together – take her out of her crate and sprint down my stairs to let her pee. And then reward her with a treat for holding it all night.

What's for breakfast?

For her, Life’s Abundance, which is what she was eating from the breeder, and pumpkin. For me, usually an avocado or hard boiled eggs that I have at the office.

Walk before or after breakfast?

Both.

What do you listen to while getting ready for the day?

NPR’s daily morning news

Healthiest morning habit:

For her, 15 minutes of training each morning. For me, 10 minutes of meditation when I can fit it in.

Worst morning habit:

For her, crying each morning before my alarm goes off (why can’t you last 30 more minutes?!). For me, chugging excessive amounts of coffee.

One word to describe your mornings:

Packed

I never leave home without...

My watch.

If you had one extra hour in the morning, how would you use it?

I’d actually work out

The best part of mornings with my dog is…

Cuddling with her and getting her morning kisses


Our morning routine series is designed to showcase the diversity of experiences that come with having a dog in the city in all the ups and all the downs.

If you and your dog would like to be featured, text ‘ritual’ to 29071