Hi Friends! I’m Natalie Mason. I live in Charleston, SC and I am mom to Sterling 12 , Frances Moon 8 and our mini golden doodle Dolly.



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Meet Dolly

Jan 6, 2021

Meet Dolly our new dog. If you follow me on instagram you probably saw we got a new dog about a month ago. This was a decision we toyed with for a few years. Since I got divorced the kids have begged me for a dog and I always said no. I was just trying to take care of the three of us the best I could and I thought a dog would be more than I could handle. I also really wanted to wait until the kids we old enough to “help” although I use that term lightly because we do most of the work.

About a year ago right before I put an offer on our current house, someone introduced me to a local breeder- I knew we wanted a mini golden doodle because Sterling is highly allergic to dogs + cats plus we had friends with two Goldendoodles that we just adored and loved so much. They were such a sweet breed we fell in love with. In true Natalie fashion I impulsively put a deposit on a golden doodle and put an offer on a new house within two weeks. I call that the beginning of my mid life crisis- haha. A litter became available to take home the week we were moving last December 2019. I thought no way I can handle a move and a new dog, so I told the breeder I needed to wait.

I would get emails every few weeks with upcoming litters but we really wanted a mini which are harder to come by. So I ignored the emails with the idea of a dog faintly in the back of my mind. Then in September I got a message that a mini litter would be born in October. Because of Covid both Evans and I had been working from home more so we figured it was a good time to train a puppy. Also I felt like at ages 10 and 7 Sterling and Frances Moon were at good ages for a dog, so we said let’s do it!

The litter was two boys and two girls, half white and half brown. We saw pics and immediately looked at the white girl with little brown ears and said that’s our dog! We brought her home December 12th, and have been smitten with her ever since. We debated forever on names. Everyone submitted names and we would vote and veto and we all finally agreed on Dolly- named after our favorite Dolly Parton.

I wanted to answer a few questions you guys sent me and share products we have loved for Dolly.

What breeder did you use?

We worked with Jenna Lee’s Designer Doodles and I can’t say enough great things about our experience. You can check out her site HERE. They sent weekly updates and pictures and were wonderful. They do zoom calls for you to meet the puppies and send you home with lots of great tips and info.

Are you crate training ?

Yes! We knew from the start we wanted to crate train Dolly. The great thing about Jenna Lee is they start the crate training process early so Dolly wasn’t new to the crate. She sleeps in her crate every single night. We put her in around 9:30/10 and she sleeps until 6. I feel like we got really lucky because from night one she whimpered maybe 5 minutes and then fell asleep and has since slept through the night. She doesn’t whine and cry and wake us up in the middle of the night. We also put her in the crate if we leave the house or just if we are busy at home and can’t keep a close eye on her. Now she will even go in her crate on her own if we are home chilling, it is her safe place.

Hardest part about having a puppy ?

For me the chewing and nipping at ankles. Her teeth are like razor blades and she wants to chew anything and everything. Also potty training sucks. The chewing- case and point my purse:)

Potty Training Tips?

This may sound excessive but as babies they really need to be taken out every 30 minutes. As soon as we go longer than 30 minutes she has inevitably peed or pooped in the house. And yes we have cleaned up lots of pee and poop. No we are not using puppy pads.

Do the kids help?

Yes and no. Frances is kind of scared of her right now because she just wants to nip and chew. Frances does love to help me take her on walks. Sterling is great about getting up with her first thing in the morning and taking her out to pee and poop.

Favorite purchases for Dolly :

Snuggle Pup – this is a stuffed dog with a heartbeat. It is supposed to comfort the dogs and they snuggle up to it like they did with their brothers and sisters. We keep this in Dolly’s crate and she still sleeps with it- and occasionally attacks it (which is hilarious to watch)

Her Crate – we did 30 inch size, we also did this crate pad.

Dog Bed – Dolly loves this bed to lay in when she is not in her crate, it is so plush and soft.

Yeti Dog Bowls – we did pink of course but I love the turquoise and black too.

Harness – this was recommended by our breeder, it is still a little large for her but it is very sturdy.

Dog Leash – we like the retractable kind

Diamond Naturals Dog Food – also recommended by our breeder

Chewy Vuitton Dog Toy– let’s be honest I bought this because it is adorable but Dolly loves it too. We also have this ball and purse chew toys

Poop Bags– the lingo got me- haha

Dog Grooming Brush – it was highly recommended we brush her hair because golden doodles hair can get matted easily.

Puppy Teething Rings- Dolly loves these, great for teething- she also likes these teething sticks

Air Tight Food Container

So happy to have sweet Dolly in our lives.



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  1. kelly says:

    Dolly is just precious! We have an Australian Labradoodle that is 4 months old and he also is an ankle biter! I read an article recently that suggested a water bottle to squirt at him when he does it and I’m thinking about trying it. You are absolutely right, 30 minutes seems to be the perfect interval to take them out at and avoid accidents. Thanks for sharing your favorite dog items! I would add a Kong and also the squeaky soccer balls they sell on Amazon. I can’t imagine our lives anymore without a dog!

  2. Toni :0) says:

    Dolly is adorable! Congratulations as she will bring joy to your lives for a long time. My only advice (I’ve been a dog owner most of my 51 years and also work with a rescue) is to be careful with the retractable leash or completely ditch it. You don’t have as much control over your dog as a regular leash provides and if your dog ever comes across another dog, it’s hard to reign in your dog if god forbid another dog were to attack yours. Mine was attacked a few years ago while on a walk and it would have been so much worse if she were on a retractable leash as I wouldn’t have been able to grab her on that type of leash as easily. Our rescue does not use those and advises against them. Not to snark at all, just offering some friendly advice. Have fun and I think a spray bottle of water will work wonders if she goes for the ankle nips. They aren’t big fans of getting a bit of a spray when they do something they aren’t supposed to. Good luck!!

    • Sarah says:

      Dolly is precious! I agree with Toni on the retractable leash. I have a 80 pound goldendoodle (they are the best dogs!) and I was walking him and a friend’s 10 pound dog a few years ago. Another dog was off his invisible fence collar and attacked the smaller dog. The retractable leash immediately snapped and my friend’s dog ran away from us, across the street. It was absolutely terrifying.

    • nataliemason says:

      Thank you so much!!! This is so helpful, I appreciate you taking the time to message me this!

  3. she is just adorable and just love her like family she will bring you so much joy and love and happiness!!

  4. Erin says:

    We used bells on the door that our dog would be taken out of to potty. Now she nudges the bells hanging from the door handle to let us know she needs to go out.