Meet Kelly Anne Manuel, a passionate individual with a bachelor’s degree in Communications, a loving mother, and a remarkable author of numerous books. But that’s not all that defines her – she’s also a devoted dog parent to Theodore Roosevelt, an extraordinary companion with a personality that has left a lasting impact on Kelly’s life. In this heartwarming interview with Dogoppo, Kelly shares her journey as a dog parent, the inspiration behind it, and the profound lessons she’s learned from her furry friend. From mischievous moments to favorite treats and everything in between, get ready to be touched by the heartwarming bond between Kelly and Teddy as they navigate life together.
HELLO KELLY ANNE MANUEL, WELCOME TO DOGOPPO. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A DOG PARENT?
When my son was in lower school, he wanted a dog. He used his own money to pay for half the purchase of Teddy Roosevelt. We had severe allergies in our family but the Teddy Bear breed is hypoallergenic so we realized we could go for it. It was one of the best decisions our family ever made!
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR DOG AND HIS/HER PERSONALITY?
Theodore Roosevelt, at the ripe old age of fourteen, taught me so many lessons! I often joke that he has leadership skills just like his presidential namesake. He knows his own mind, and actually taught me about boundaries. One day when I was walking him and he refused to go a certain way, it hit me that he had more boundaries than I did! I took some notes that day and integrated them into my own system.
HOW DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR DOG’S NAME?
My son has always been a history phenomenon; his recall is astounding. He named Teddy Roosevelt in an instant. Now when Teddy is feeling himself a little too much, the full Theodore Roosevelt name is utilized. One time at boarding he was kenneled next to Eleanor, who would have been his niece in a historic perspective.
WHAT’S THE MOST MISCHIEVOUS THING YOUR DOG HAS EVER DONE?
The most mischievous thing Teddy ever did was to spread his food across the floor in defiance of an assessment he was about to undergo for boarding. Don’t ask me how he knew the assessment was looming, but he did. Luckily it was kibble and not wet food!
WHAT’S YOUR DOG’S FAVORITE TREAT?
Teddy is treat snob or connoisseur. It can actually be embarrassing when someone offers him a treat and he snubs it! Now, any k-bob treat on the market is his friend. I have not found a k-bob treat that he won’t eat.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT A SPECIAL MOMENT YOU’VE SHARED WITH YOUR DOG?
Teddy has been an absolute life saver across the board. So much so that I have written books about him. “The Tail Fairy,” offers my perspective of how he has loved, supported, and assisted us through so many of life’s difficult moments. His empathy for my son and I is beyond anything I could have imagined a pet could offer. His care and concern throughout my son’s childhood health challenges and mine as well cannot be measured in words.
WHAT’S YOUR DOG’S FAVORITE TOY? WHAT’S THE MOST CHALLENGING THING ABOUT BEING A DOG PARENT?
Anything that squeaks! The problem is he won’t rest until he chews it out of the fluff and stuff surrounding said squeaker. The most challenging thing is when I have to board him. I have been blessed with any amazing place, spa really, but at the same time it’s like leaving a part of me behind.
HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR DOG HEALTHY AND HAPPY?
I walk him, or he walks me, like crazy. It is actually a good thing we don’t have a fenced-in yard because it demands walking as a frequent necessity. Here again he is actually helping me. Let’s get up from the desk and work, take some steps in and breathe the fresh air together.
HOW HAS YOUR LIFE CHANGED SINCE BECOMING A DOG PARENT?
My life changed because even though the original idea was for Teddy to really enrich the life of my son, he also completely and utterly enriched mine. I have had health struggles at certain times in my past and Teddy saw me through those. He gave me purpose, joy, and reason, to get moving and carry on. How can I possibly thank him for this?
WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO’S CONSIDERING BECOMING A DOG PARENT?
The best advice I would give someone who is considering becoming a dog parent is to just simply go for it! Avoid that pro/con list where you can talk yourself out of it with particulars and “what ifs?” There is no way to adequately express how they will enrich your life; the only way to know is to take that leap of faith. You won’t regret it!