Caramello: Big Barker Pup Feature

Courtney is the lucky dog mom of Caramello, a sweet and sassy pup who loves  to play with people, is goofy and fun, and is as loving as can be! We thought Caramello was too cute not to get to know him just a little bit more, so we asked Courtney some fun questions!

Tell us about yourself and your pup, Caramello.

I've had dogs all my life and can't imagine life without one. I live in Ann Arbor, MI and for the last 15 years I've worked at UM, in clinical trials (for humans 😉).

Caramello is originally from Mississippi and made his way north as a 3 month old baby alligator on a "Love Train". We picked each other at the Toledo Humane Society on Memorial Day Weekend 2019. Carm is an "only child" and because he was only a year old when COVID hit, he has had even more 1:1 time. He's a mix of working/sporting breeds, is very attuned to schedules, routine, and loves to have a job.

What's unique about Caramello?

Well, he's never met a stranger! He's 65 lbs of joy & loves everyone. He's the guy at the party who cruises around, checking to make sure everyone's comfortable & having a good time.

When he meets people, he can't wait to show them his "honey buns", turning in a half circle, head on the floor, buns in the air, leaning into the new person, looking up at them, tongue usually hanging out. He is Mr. Honeybuns. He can also find the weak point in any toy in under 2 minutes. 

What are Caramello's favorite things?

Visiting friends & family, of course! He loves being brushed & playing games/puzzles for treats. He likes to check the mail for packages- he always knows which boxes are his. 

What are your best tips for training (especially for working/sporting breeds)?

Patience, school, consistency, schedule/routine, reinforcing skills, & keeping that brain engaged with different toys and walk routes. Bored dogs can be destructive dogs and that's on the human, not the dog. Invest time & energy and you will get it back 10 fold in devotion & happiness.

How did you come to find out about Big Barker beds?

I saw BB online and read the study that was done. Carm was 2 and had just been diagnosed with bilateral elbow dysplasia and we were looking at expensive vet & surgery bills, with potentially life limiting/reduced quality of life outcomes.

Working in clinical trials, I was looking for a substantial bed that would be durable & provide support for a medium/large dog who will likely have lifelong joint issues. 

What do you love most about having a Big Barker bed?

2 years into owning the BB with headrest, I'm happy to report it is still as supportive as the day Carm opened it. Covers are easy to put on/take off, wash, & vacuum. It was $$, but I look at it as an investment in Carm's health.

It keeps him up off the drafty floor, it supports his whole body evenly, & he can use the headrest as a pillow or to rest his chin.

I often lie on the floor & use the Big Barker as a pillow while Carm is lounging on it.