For the longest time, my wife (Michaela) and I have wanted a dog but for a number of reasons, it just never felt like the right time. We came to the realization that it might never be the right time and so… we’re dog parents now. This blog will be short and full of pictures that’ll make you smile. 


Before we jump into the blog, let me give you a laugh and tell me about the day that we picked up Theo Rinaldi. On 12.26.22, we drove six hours from New Jersey to Ohio to meet the newest addition to our family. On the car ride back he was so calm and so good up until the last 10 minutes. For no apparent reason (at the time), his demeanor changed and to make a long story, short – Theo pooped on the dashboard of our car and there was nothing we could do but laugh (here’s the video).

I’m a firm believer that there are two kinds of hard – there’s a hard that we choose in the hard that chooses us and both are incredible opportunities for growth.

We didn’t sleep much the first (or second) night but we’re having in there with the understanding that this phase shall pass. In the same breath, I’m aware that this phase shall pass and so while I won’t miss the sleepless nights, I will miss experiencing Theo as a puppy. We’re taking the hard with the beautiful and leaning into the process (and taking a lot of pictures).

The best things in life are often also the hardest.

I’m focused on now restructuring priorities and schedules so that I can give Michaela and Theo my best. This chapter is going to be another season where I’m forced to be less selfish and I’m looking forward to that. I’m planning on making adjustments instead of excuses and still making time to do what I need for me (to be selectively selfish to be sustainably selfish). This is going to grow me.


We understand that raising a dog will be hard, and we also know that it will be well worth it. I hope that you’ll follow along on the blog to hear more about Theo as he grows and what we’re learning as we raise him. On another note, this is the last of 52 blogs for the year of 2022 and I’m so grateful for everyone who followed along. I’m not sure that I’ll keep the same cadence in 2023, but stay tuned to find out. For now, let me leave you with a quote. 

“In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely try to train him to be semi human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog.” 

Edward Hoagland

Thank you for reading!

Joe Rinaldi

IG: @joearinaldi

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