Welcome to our new series on morning routines where we highlight women around New York 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! We’ve heard from so many of you that you got dogs to build routine and structure in your lives. To bring joy to your mornings. To get you out early. Whatever it is - it’s your sacred ritual, and it was designed to fit your life and your dog’s.

For our inaugural post, we spoke to Brittany O’Steen - the founder of the Barker NYC about her cozy mornings with her dog Dublin, and how mornings with him set the tone for the rest of the day.

Dublin is such a unique name for a dog. How did you come up with it?

I wanted a name that was pretty original. Similar to babies, there are popular or trending names for dogs that are cool, but I wanted to stick to something that is unique to him. He is a red golden-doodle, so I thought Dublin was fitting. 

What time do you guys wake up every morning?

We wake up around 6, but honestly spend about a half hour cuddling before we get out of bed. It’s still very quiet and I use that as a time to just cuddle with him and give him extra attention, no phones or laptops yet. 

Are you guys early birds or night owls?

Sometimes I have to be a night owl for work, I feel most creative at night. But, for the most part we are early birds. Regardless if I stay up late or not, Dubs is out by 10pm... on the dot. 


Does he sleep in your bed?

He WAS trained to sleep in his kennel, or as I call it, his Zen-Den. But, I messed that up when I was going to spend the holidays and a majority of the month of January with my family overseas. I felt so guilty for leaving him, so I let him sleep with me before I left and it hasn’t changed since. That was a year and a half ago, by the way. I figured life is short, so he sleeps with me now. 


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 everyday is make a coffee and check my email. The first thing we do together is cuddle and then go out to “potty.” When we come back in we play catch inside for a little bit to get him moving before he eats. 

 

What's for breakfast? 

He eats Stella & Chewy freeze dried raw kibble with a quarter of a Surf and Turf patty. I also mix in other raw fruits and veggies sometimes; like carrots, blueberries or apple. He really likes minimal ingredient foods or raw foods. I don’t really eat breakfast during weekdays.


Walk before or after breakfast?

After breakfast. 


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

It depends on my mood and what my morning looks like, it can vary drastically between podcasts to virtually any kind of music genre. A majority of the time, I try to WeChat or FaceTime my brothers or parents. They live overseas - so in the morning I can catch my brother before he goes to bed, and my parents before dinner. 

 

Healthiest morning habit:

Drinking water and setting daily intentions.

 

Worst morning habit:

Checking social media.


One word to describe your mornings:

Cheerful and intimate. 


I never leave home without...

My cell phone. 


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

I’d meditate. I do nightly affirmations with Dublin, another way we can connect before closing out the day. But, I wish I had time for myself in the morning so that I could be more mindful of keeping inner balance throughout my work day. I’m going to probably have to start waking up earlier to make that happen. 


The best part of mornings with my dog is:

His need for routine helps to keep me focused and structured. It sets the tone for the rest of the day.