Name: Nicole Russo
Where you and your dog live(d):
We live in Miami during the school year and Long Island for the summer.
Your current age: 20
Your age when you got your dog: 19
What do you do? (work, school, etc.):
I am a full-time nursing student and work full-time at a doctors office during the summer!
Dog’s name: Cannoli (more commonly referred to as Noli)
Dog's age: 1 on July 5th!!
Dog's story (dog's age when you got him/her, breed, when you got him/her, from where):
Noli was 2 months old when my boyfriend and I got her. We had always dreamed about getting a frenchie and had the name Cannoli already picked out. Our parents made us swear we wouldn't get a dog (they were on to us). I never thought we would actually go through with it but one day we looked up breeders and we set up an appointment to pick a puppy out of the litter. We had looked at photos in advance of the dogs and had picked out one named Dali. When we went to the breeder with every intention of getting Dali but we quickly noticed that Noli (at the time her name was Lucy) was running around like a maniac diving under couches and sliding/crashing into her siblings. We quickly realized Noli was the perfect pup for us and we had to say something right away. Besides the fact that Noli was the rambunctious one of the group, she had a white stripe down her nose that made her unique and gave us the idea for her middle name: Cream. For a little while our parents had no idea we got her but now everyone has fallen in love with her (phew, thank god). Noli has turned out to be the most perfect, loving, sassy, crazy, cute wrinkly pup we had dreamed of having.
Why did you want a dog?
I have grown up with dogs my whole life, when I was born I had a mutt and a german shepherd. Now I have a golden doodle (Sandy) and Noli. I have always been a huge dog/animal lover and, up until recently, my dream was to be a vet. I knew that getting a dog in college would be a huge commitment, but I also knew that because of my love for dogs, I would do everything in my power to make sure she had the best life possible. At times it can be difficult, but I am thankful everyday to have gotten her. I also knew that having a dog would really enhance my life at school especially because I have always resorted to spending time with my dogs when I'm stressed or don't feeling like dealing with other humans. I truly believe that having a dog is one of the best things you could ever do.
How has having a dog changed your life?
Having Noli has brought so much more happiness into my life that I wouldn't have had without her. She has such a strong personality and makes me laugh more than any person I know. However, the thing I enjoy the most is the happiness she brings to other people. Whenever I bring her to campus she gets swarmed by all different types of people who need some puppy love. She puts smiles on everyones faces, even people you wouldn't expect. I've had so many tough-looking, big guys come up to me with a grin from ear to ear asking to pet her. Noli especially gets attention when she's out and about in her stroller at the mall our out to eat with my boyfriend and I.
How do/did you deal with having a dog in your twenties, may it be now or previously? What is/was your daily routine? Any hard times? Unique characteristics about your dog?:
Having a dog in my twenties isn't much different from what I imagined having a dog when I was older would be like. Managing school, work and taking care of Noli is something I realized came with the territory of having a dog in general for me personally. My daily routine involves juggling classes and taking care of Noli with my boyfriend. One of us is typically always with her and we always try to bring her out on some sort of adventure at least once a day (not including her typical walks). When we first got Noli it was definitely difficult to potty train her. I lived in an apartment off campus with not a lot of grassy areas for her to go in. Also, frenchies are notoriously difficult to train and this was and still is true for Noli. She knows that outside is the correct place to go but isn't afraid to go inside if she isn't let out right away. This can be really tough for us especially because our parents didn't want the responsibility of the dog affecting their daily lives. Another thing about Noli that we're still working on is her attitude towards other dogs. Noli thinks that she's the only dog who should get attention and is very much an alpha lady. When she's around other dogs she will make it clear that she's the boss. She needs to be introduced to other dogs slowly and in a controlled environment. After the initial interaction she will relax and is great with other dogs. As of now she still panics when she sees other dogs from a far while she's on the leash but were working on it!
What are some of your favorite things to do with your dog?
My favorite thing to do is bring Noli with me on adventures in Miami. I am constantly looking for new places to explore and it only makes everything more exciting with Noli by my side. I really enjoy bringing her to campus so she can interact with all the students.
Does anyone help you take care of your dog while at work or school?
My boyfriend and I are definitely a team when it comes to taking care of Noli. He is a huge help and Noli is very lucky to have him! In a case where we both can't watch her for an extended period of times I have so many friends begging to take care of her so that's a huge help.
If you are in a relationship, how does your partner feel about your dog?
If you haven't already noticed I AM in a relationship haha. And we love having Noli.
Noli's Instagram: @holyycannolii