Introducing My Minnie Me



PINAFORE DRESS: Lazy Oaf x Disney  //  SWEATER: c/o Shein  //  DOG MINNIE COSTUME: Amazon  //  PUMPS: similar Marc Fisher  //  BAG: c/o Kate Spade New York  //  MINNIE KEYCHAIN: Kate Spade New York  //  MINNIE EARS: Etsy  //  EARRINGS: Kendra Scott

Happy Fri-YAY babes! Today I’m super excited to share a post that’s all about the new love in my life (who you’re probably very familiar with if you follow me on instagram) – our new chocolate labrador, Miss Lady.

Click through to read the whole story (with photos!) on how my Minnie me, Miss Lady, came to be our second furbaby and the fourth member of our family (it was a process that took nearly a year and it was worth every second!)

vandi-fair-chocolate-lab-puppy-disney-costumeft-worth-colorful-wall-mural lazy-oaf-disney-mickey-mouse-pinafore-dressdisney-puppy-costume disney-pet-costumeminnie-mouse-chocolate-lab-puppy disney-minnie-mouse-puppy-dog-costume kate-spade-red-cross-body-bag-minnie-mouse-keychainminnie-mouse-puppy-costume lazy-oaf-mickey-mouse-overall-dressSide note – you can shop our Minnie Mouse-inspired outfits by clicking on the links or the icons at the top or bottom of this post, but today I’ll just be talking about Lady and how she came into our lives! 🙂


Lady’s journey started way back in August of 2015 at my bachelorette party in Disney World (she was born a Disney dog, y’all!) One of my childhood best friends, Bethany, was there on the trip and started talking about how her dog Marley, a beautiful and oh so sweet black female labrador, should have puppies with Lucky, our male yellow labrador (who you’ve probably seen before on the blog or via social media). Cole and I knew we wanted to breed Lucky because we wanted another dog (AKA a companion for him) before we started having kids and I was all for breeding him with a dog that we knew had a similar temperament as he did – so Marley was perfect!! I wasn’t 100% sure if Bethany was serious about it and I sort of had a wedding coming up, so I kind of forgot about it for a while.

Mama Marley and Dad Lucky Snuggling


Flash forward to March of 2016 and I got a text from Bethany that Marley was “in heat”, and she wanted to know if we were still interested in breeding her and Lucky. I said “yes!” without hesitation (and then I asked Cole who thankfully agreed too!) I knew as much about breeding dogs as any unprofessional would, so I immediately started Googling, and I learned (amongst 1,000 other things) that the breeding should take place at the male owner’s home. One day later, and sweet Marley was at our house for a week.


Lucky and Marley Make the Cutest Couple!


I’ll spare you the details, but sure enough, the deed was done a few times and we were so excited about a litter of puppies arrived sometime in May 2016.


I’m sure you’ve done the math already, but we were sadly disappointed when May came around and no puppies were born. Marley hadn’t gotten pregnant after all, but we weren’t giving up just yet. Another fun Google fact: female dogs only have two “heats” a year, so we agreed to try again later on in 2016.


Lucky After Finding Out There Were No Puppies



After a false alarm in September 2016 where Marley stayed with us for another two weeks (we thought she was in heat and she wasn’t!) we had nearly given up on our puppy dreams. But a of couple weeks later in early October, I got a text at about 3:00am from Bethany that Marley was definitely ready (slash definitely in heat!) and we decided to try once more. This time, we weren’t taking any chances so we kept her throughout her entire “heat” cycle, which was about 3 weeks.

Flash forward to November 2016 and I still hadn’t heard any confirmation from Bethany on whether Marley was actually pregnant this time (it’s so hard to tell whether a dog is pregnant or not for the first few weeks). I decided to reach out and ask via text (because I’m a crazy dog lady), but didn’t hear back for a while, so I assumed it hadn’t worked again.

I was shopping at Central Market when I heard the news. Bethany had been at a conference and hadn’t had access to her phone, but she sent a confirmation photo that Marley was definitely pregnant! I’m 100% sure the people at the grocery store thought I was a lunatic, because I squealed and did a happy dance in the produce department. I was SO excited!!


Mama Marley With Her 12 Babies


The 12 Puppies at 2 Days Old


Puppies only take two months to cook, so on December 17, 2016, Bethany called to tell me her and Asa had gone to the movies and came back to find Marley with two puppies, one black and one chocolate, already born. Bethany even Facetimed me so I could see the miracle of the puppies being born (it really is so cool y’all!) Puppies are born about one hour apart so Bethany and her husband Asa had a long night ahead of them. A total of 11 puppies were born by about 4:00am, 5 chocolate labs and 6 black labs, which is a lot for labradors, which average 5-8 puppies a litter.

The next day around noon, I got a phone call from Bethany to tell me that a surprise miracle puppy had just been born – a chocolate pup. There were 12 puppies!! SO many sweet babies and so many mouths for sweet Marley to feed.



Five of the Puppies at 1 Week Old

(Lady is the one with the yellow collar!)


A Puppy Pile in Our Backyard at 5 Weeks


The coolest part about breeding your male dog with one of your best friends? Getting to be involved in the whole process, and being a part of it was probably one of the most amazing things I’ve ever experienced. Bethany and Asa were going out of town for two weeks in December, so Cole and I got to take Marley and the puppies in the time that they were gone, which was when they were 1-2 weeks old, and then again for a few days while they were 5 days old. Getting to watch Marley’s instincts take over and take care of the puppies was truly to experience one of God’s awesome miracles. She was such an incredible mama and knew exactly what to do.



Lady at 1 Week – I Had No Idea She Was The One Yet!


Flash forward to now, and baby Lady is ours, while Buster, a chocolate male, is Bethany and Asa’s second furbaby. The other puppies all went to family and friends of ours (my parents even took a male chocolate lab – Shadow!), and it’s so cool to be able to see how much joy and unconditional love the puppies bring to each family. If you ever are in a place in life to breed your furbaby (and you know you can find good homes for them all!) I totally recommend it. It was one of the most incredible and fulfilling things I’ve done and Lady has already filled our hearts and home with so much happiness.

Stay tuned for lots more photos of our newest furbaby, Lady + follow her on instagram to keep up with her weekly!

Fair-well xx,

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9 Comment

  1. Reply
    March 4, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Your new love is so cute!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  2. Reply
    March 4, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    such a cute puppy!!! how adorable are you too!

  3. Reply
    March 4, 2017 at 2:42 pm


  4. Reply
    Kara Aragon
    March 6, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    It is very sad that you would choose to breed more dogs into this world when there are so many in the shelters. You might as well of signed the euthanasia papers yourself. 12 more shelter dogs died because YOU selfishly wanted to breed your dog. You should be totally ashamed of yourself! I hope you use some common sense & think w your heart next time so that more animals don’t have to die at your cause! It’s 2017, you know to spay & nueter your freaking pets. Not only is it the responsible thing to do for the above mentioned reason. It’s way better for yoir dogs health. These are facts not opinions. Thanks!

    Kara Aragon

    1. Reply
      Lauren Vandiver
      March 6, 2017 at 10:55 pm

      Hi love,
      As a huge animal lover and animal rights activist myself, I do respect your opinion; however, the decision to breed our dogs was a responsible one, I assure you. Both my husband and I, as well as the owners of the female dog, wanted a labrador puppy as did my own parents, her in-laws and several of our extended family and friends. If this were not the case, we would have never chosen to breed our dogs. None of the families who adopted the puppies were seeking a puppy in the first place. They were all either family or friends who specifically wanted a puppy that was a descendent of our dogs. In fact, not only did my parents adopt one of the puppies, but an aunt and uncle from my dad’s side as well as an aunt and uncle from my mom’s side each adopted puppies, none of whom were interested in a puppy beforehand. You see, each of the new puppy owners only wanted a puppy because they knew the personality of our dog Lucky and the mom Marley. More than half of the litter of puppies went directly to family members of myself and the female dogs owner’s families, while the rest went to close friends of ours who would not have gotten a puppy otherwise. In fact, we had a waiting list of our friends who wanted a puppy specifically because they loved Lucky and Marley so much and knew they were such amazing family dogs that weren’t even able to get a puppy because they were all already spoken for. We didn’t gain any monetary profit off of the breeding whatsoever, and I would not have traded the experience or the ability to bless our close family and friends with such incredible family dogs for the world. So for you to say that I simultaneously signed euthanisation papers is just a little bit harsh.
      Growing up, my family only adopted shelter dogs and I ADORED every single one of them. In fact, two of my family dogs who we adopted from a shelter, Sadie and Jack, are still with our family (and we’re obsessed with them and so is Shadow, their new puppy from Lucky and Marley’s litter!) today as well as my beloved cat, Mowgli, who I recused from an animal shelter. I am ALL about rescuing animals, without question. We were simply in a situation where we had people ask constantly if we were going to breed our dogs, so we knew we would have good families for each of them, and at the end of it all, we had WAY more families who wanted a puppy than we had puppies to give.
      Lady is one of the most AMAZING blessings in our life, as was getting to experience her being brought onto this earth. It is SO cool that she is a descendent of Lucky and I would NEVER regret our decision to breed our dog Lucky, and I’m pretty sure I can speak for each of the families (many of whom are in our family) that they feel the same way. ?
      I appreciate you sharing your opinions, but I felt I needed to lay out all of the facts for you, too.
      I love that you’re a dog lover and I assure you I am too!
      Thanks so much!

      1. Reply
        March 7, 2017 at 10:16 am

        I’m soo happy you stood up for yourself on that comment! My mouth dropped wide open while reading it,.

  5. This is the cutest thing I’ve seen all day, so adorable!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  6. Reply
    Beverly Vandiver
    March 7, 2017 at 10:31 am

    These puppies are very important to each of the families that have them. I personally know this to be true since I am part of the family of dog LOVERS. These puppies were wanted and so cared for before and after their births. Lauren, we love what you have done to give is all so much to love share with so many.

  7. Reply
    Hal Carruth
    August 24, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    Our puppy Kate is a sister to Lady. She has brought so much joy and LOVE to our family . We had recently lost Lucy (our black lab) of many years and Kate has filled our hearts with LOVE again. Thank you for such a precious gift I loved seeing the pictures of Mom and Dad along with all the puppies.

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