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How to Keep a Dog Journal

by Jacki Andre August 20, 2018

How to Keep a Dog Journal

Dear Sparkly Unicorn Friends,

I have two doggos. They are maybe, sort of, kind of spoiled. Just a little, you know?

My boys do not live in the lap of luxury, like the fluffy white kitty in the cat food commercial(I don’t live like that either. Unfortunately. Boo.) But my boys enjoy some perks in life.

Plastic kiddie pool in the summer, refilled with fresh water every other day? Yep, check. Automated ball chucking machine? You know it. Matching sweaters under the Christmas tree, dropped off by Santa Paws and his eight tiny reindeer? Well, yeah. Home-cooked food, lovingly prepared by their mama and heated before each meal? Of course. Archie, a Generation Z pupper to his core, is allergic to gluten, after all.

They also have their special celebration days. Gabe is a second-hand dog, rehomed when his first family realized they didn’t have time for a dog. They had purchased Gabe from a breeder and gave me all his information, including his birth date. Archie is rescued. He was found as a stray. Since no one knows his birth date, we celebrate Archie’s adoption anniversary instead. In both cases, when the special day arrives, I break out the paper party hats, barbeque steak for their supper, and present them with gifts (usually toys or new collars and special treats).

Two older beagle dogs, wearing paper birthday hats and Hawaiian leis.

My boys are well-loved and well cared-for. Every. Single. Day. They also have special celebration days. Do they really need another one? Well, why not? Doesn’t every dog deserve to be celebrated as much as possible?

August 26 is National Dog Day (NDD). According to the NDD website , the day was established “to recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year and [to] acknowledge family dogs and dogs that work selflessly each day to save lives, keep us safe and bring comfort.”

The NDD website has a number of suggestions for marking the day. But if you read my blog about Book Lovers’ Day, you’ll know where I’m headed. So let’s cut to the chase here.

Why not celebrate National Dog Day by starting a journal about your doggo or by incorporating dog-themed spreads into your Bullet Journal® (bujo)?

Journaling about your dogs is a great idea because:

I’m not a list-maker or a tracker at heart. I don’t bujo. My own personal journals are a mix of writing journals and scrapbooks. I paste in photos and ephemera, scrawl in a few doodles, and write long rambling entries.

If this is your kind of journaling too, it doesn’t have to be set up like a personal diary, with a daily log of your doggo’s activities. There are all kinds of other things you can write about. What did she do that made you laugh today? What’s her personality like? What are her favorite treats and toys? How does she greet you at the door? Does she love to exercise or is she one of those dogs that you have to drag around the block? Why are you grateful for her companionship? For an excellent and comprehensive list of writing prompts, check out this list from Christie at Dog and Dojo.

If you don’t want to keep a dedicated journal for your dog, you can always incorporate dog-themed spreads and trackers into your bujo. If this is more your style, you can track things like:

  • Grooming, such as brushing, baths, nail trims, and ear cleans
  • Medications, including vaccinations, flea and tick control, heartworm and deworming medications, and supplements
  • Weight, to ensure lifelong maintenance of a healthy weight
  • Favorite things, like food, treats, toys, people, places, and activities
  • Activities, such as walks, visits to the dog park, playdates, doggie daycare days, and kennel stays
  • Puppy milestones, like accident-free days and her first visit to a pet store
  • Training sessions
  • Gratitude lists

If you choose to go bujo-style, Natasha Stoppel has a terrific YouTube tutorial.  In it, she demonstrates different graphics that can prettty up your spreads. Or, of course, there’s always washi tape! (Hey, I have to use up my 27 rolls somehow. So that, you know, I can buy more.)

Jacki Andre
Jacki Andre

Jacki Andre has been journaling for over 30 years and still has her jam-packed Judy Blume Diary to prove it. Somewhere along the way, she started writing for reals, and is now a published author and Huffington Post blogger. In her spare time, Jacki supports dog rescue, advocates for disability rights, and educates other drivers via hand gestures about the importance of using turn signals. She keeps in shape by chasing joy (and her ‘80s teen idols) in earnest.


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