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Why Our Busy Family Got a Dog

Supporting our own healthy lifestyle by ensuring the health of our favorite four-legged companions. Featuring the much loved Rory, our Dog of the Month...

Extra endorphins and the calming effects of pet companionship

Rory arrived home on December 30, 2020 and it did not take long for my daughter to decree that this puppy was her soulmate. I was fully aware that dogs are known for their unconditional love and companionship, but I had not considered their ability to significantly reduce stress and anxiety. The simple act of petting a dog releases endorphins that promote a sense of wellbeing and lowers cortisol levels leading to better moods and a sense of calm. 

Rory was our pandemic puppy. I was the last family member holding out as our then 15-year-old daughter begged for a puppy. I did not want another “responsibility” added to my plate. This was October of 2020, and while social distancing had been manageable up to that point due to our outdoor living space, we were headed into winter. 

My main concern with this furry family addition was making sure we had the proper time to take care of her. Stressing that we would all be home for the foreseeable future to divide up dog duties, my family finally convinced me to say yes. And what a truly life changing decision that was for all of us. I wish I had known about Sundays at that time, as their fresh, human-grade dog food has made meal time easy. No more mess!

If you don’t have a dog, consider getting one. Our pets can also alleviate loneliness and provide a routine, which are crucial elements in managing anxiety. Beyond the biochemical impact, dogs encourage outdoor activity and exercise — key components in reducing our stress levels and improving mental health. Regular walks and playtime with a furry friend not only aid in physical health but also offer opportunities to socialize with other dog parents and connect with nature. Looking back, Rory was a timely gift not just to our daughter, but to our entire family.

dog, Sundays, dog food

Easy like Sunday morning

Dog food. This was one of the areas that I was not looking forward to — it can be messy, smelly, cumbersome, and expensive. Especially if you are looking for high-quality ingredients. And Sundays addresses all of these issues. 

We tried expensive refrigerated food and canned options; neither were easy to serve. Getting the dog food out of the can or reaching into a wettish bag is not pleasant, to put it mildly. The smell and the consistency made this dog duty very unpalatable for me. Not with Sundays. I’ve actually reached into the bag and pulled a few pieces out with my hand. Seriously, it is that mess-free. It looks and feels like beef jerky. And, knowing that the ingredients are human-grade with no synthetic additives makes Sundays dog food a winner in our family. 

Rory loves Sundays dog food but, to be fair, Rory will quite literally eat anything. I’m just glad she finally quit eating our shoes and gnawing on furniture legs. In the over 3 years since we welcomed her into the family, a lot has changed. My husband and I are now empty nesters — so extra endorphins are welcome, lowering our levels of cortisol is lovely, and a required routine for walking is much needed. Thanks to Sundays, even meal time is no longer a chore for me. 

On my daughter’s campus, Rory is quite famous. Her new college friends want to meet this soulmate and source of happiness (especially now with her added “Dog of the Month” status). While my husband and I may still claim we agreed to bring Rory into the family for our daughter, she’s brought us joy and purpose during our big transition. 

Looking to take good care of your furry family members AND make mealtime much easier? Try Sundays and receive a 40% discount with code AGEIST.

Take some time to revisit with Scout, our February Dog of the Month. If you have a dog that you’d like to nominate for “Dog of the Month”, send us your submissions

See medical disclaimer below. ↓


  1. Hi Ashley,
    Loved your article and love, love, love Rory! I’ve been looking for a dog just like her having recently lost my beloved dog. I first fell in love with a Rory lookalike I stumbled upon on Instagram known as Triple Chocolate Muffin. Since then I’ve looked and looked for a similar dog and now, there you are! So I wondered, would you mind sharing how you came to find Rory and if there is breeder information available, that would be good to know, too. Ideally I’d love a rescue, but know that’s not always possible. Anyway, thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

  2. Hello – I love that you love our Rory! We adopted our first Field Spaniel and fell in love with the breed. When my daughter wanted a puppy, I only agreed if it was the same breed – not knowing how hard that might be. After some research and phone calls, I found Killara Field Spaniels out of MI (yes, my husband and daughter drove from TN to MI to bring her home). They are on Facebook and you can request to join the group or follow their page. Good luck! I hope you find the companion just right for you!

  3. Thank you – I love when stories connect with others. And, I certainly love our Rory and all the lifestyle benefits that she brings.

  4. Stop looking for specific breeds and rescue one in need. Jeez, stop supporting breeders when they’re killing healthy dogs in shelters every day. Wake up!

    • Thank you for bringing this up, I absolutely agree that rescue from a shelter is many times the best option for families and the rescued animal. The work that rescue shelters provide to local communities is so important.


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The ideas expressed here are solely the opinions of the author and are not researched or verified by AGEIST LLC, or anyone associated with AGEIST LLC. This material should not be construed as medical advice or recommendation, it is for informational use only. We encourage all readers to discuss with your qualified practitioners the relevance of the application of any of these ideas to your life. The recommendations contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or stopping any treatment that has been prescribed for you by your physician or other qualified health provider. Please call your doctor or 911 immediately if you think you may have a medical or psychiatric emergency.

Ashley Feltner
Ashley is a writer, an artist, and an ideator who has placed storytelling into her process for bringing sales and marketing ideas to life for over 20 years. Her background includes recruiting, training, content development, and ERG leadership within highly matrixed organizations that provide her a unique perspective and an ability to authentically connect with individuals from all walks of life. With the desire to place a little humanity into the digital experience, Ashley believes that words do matter, a little empathy goes a long way, and having a purpose in life is imperative. She and her husband Gabe live in Nashville, TN with two very active teenage daughters and two very lazy field spaniels.

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