Dog Mom Talk: Dog-Friendly Costa Rica with Ana
On today’s Dog Mom Talk, we’re traveling to Costa Rica with the lovely Ana Beatriz Bravo and her adorable rescue, Macarena (a.k.a. Miss Maca) !
Ana is a freelance photographer and graphic designer who specializes in UI/UX design. She adopted Miss Maca after one of her friends found her abandoned, barely 3 months old. It was love at first sight, and with the help of her friends and family, Ana took Maca in and they have become inseparable ever since!
Their relationship is just so adorable and heartwarming. In this week’s jam-packed Dog Mom Talk, Ana shares with us the impact that Maca has had on her life, her favorite dog-friendly spots in Costa Rica, some tips for working from home with a dog and loads more!
Let’s have a Dog Mom Talk!
“Remember that having an animal at your home is a big responsibility, and if you can, adopt, you would not only be transforming the life of an animal, but also your own.” – Ana, missmaca.com
What is your favorite characteristic about Maca and why?
Maca loves to be around people and other dogs! She is very sociable, to the point where EVERYONE in our neighbourhood knows her. She NEEDS to visit all her friends. (We live in a popular neighborhood with cafes and restaurants so she loves to visit all our friends from here). She has a very strong but happy personality, which makes everyone fall in love with her. I love how she sparks joy in everyone and enjoys life.
Does Maca do anything funny for food? Does she know any tricks?
She does! I teach her tricks and reward her with treats, so when we’re playing/practicing, and she wants more she starts doing all the tricks she knows at once! It’s hilarious. Also I started using puzzles for her every once in a while, and now she NEEDS to have one of her daily meals in a puzzle.
Fun fact, she’ll do anything for peanut butter, and her kibble needs to be topped with honey. (oh and not just any honey, but an organic one from the local Costa Rica brand Pollen Keepers. She’ll even take me to their store on our walks!)
Have you ever thrown Maca a birthday party? Was there a theme? How did you plan it?
I did! We kind of defined an appromixate birthday for her. We love picnics and our neighborhood, so I planned a picnic in one of Maca’s favorite nearby parks and invited our close friends, who helped us a lot during our 1st year together. We chose a spring theme with lemonade napkins, daisy-shaped and leaf-shaped plates, we hung paper flowers on a big tree, we made cookies Maca’s face on them for the humans and paw-cakes for the doggies.
We all had fun!! I planned it myself in advance, looking for the perfect decorations, the cookies, the cake, the picnic basket, picnic cloth and food for everyone. I wanted to be a celebration for Maca and thankful/joyful morning for our friends. Now I’m starting to think about this year’s party, which would be on December 12th. Check out some of my Instagram stories for a sneak peek!
What are some of your favorite dog-friendly places in your city that you would highly recommend?
We LOVE Franco Restaurante !! I have been going there with Maca since she was little and it’s part of the places that she needs to go at least once a day to say hi to our friends. Fun fact, she is crazy about their homemade bacon! Having brunch there at the garden is magical. All their food is made with local products and it’s delicious! Coffee is also one of their specialties.
Cabra Negra Café is also one of our favorites and it’s a cafe at our apartment building so another place she needs to go to everyday! If you love specialty coffee, this place is also a must! Try their Torta Chilena!
Isolina is also a favorite for dinner or a drink with friends, and Maca of course!
Do you work from home? How do you manage with your dog around?
I work from home, so I had to teach Maca that there are times to play with me and times that she can be by herself. I clearly defined my spaces and hers, so although we are together all day, we both have our spaces and time. She sleeps in her own bed, and has her food stations and another bed in the living room where she can lay.
A typical day for us starts at 6am. I go to her and hug her and stay there for a few minutes. It’s our quiet time before starting the day. Then we go out for a 40-minute walk. When we get back, she waits for me on her bed while I get ready.
Then, I prepare breakfast for both of us and we eat at the same time. I start working at 8am and every 2 hours, I take a 10-minute break to play with her. At noon, I have lunch and we go out for a 10-minute walk or play something inside the house if it’s raining.
I’ll continue working until 4:30 pm, when we go out again for a one-hour walk. For this walk, I let her go at her own pace. I give her dinner when we get back, have a little play time, watch some TV and eat my own dinner. To end the day, I put some lavender oil in the diffuser and quiet music, so we both can go to sleep.
What’s the story behind Miss Maca’s Instagram & her blog?
I’m a big fan of Instagram so some friends made a bet: they said that I wasn’t able to wait a week before starting an account for Maca. I did, and a week later, her account was launched. People I know began to ask for it, and if you get to know her, you’ll see she really is very friendly. She was born for it!
I started thinking about the account name, I wanted something that fit her personality and my brother came up with “Miss Maca”. It’s SOOO her! At the beginning I just started posting cute photos of her, which wasn’t that hard because she poses. Several people began asking me for advice when thinking about getting a dog, food, what to wear and other things I would post on her account. That’s when I decided I wanted to do more with the account and her brand.
What are some of your favorite brands to work with and do you have any advice about collaborating with brands?
I love to work with Woof y Miau! They have a monthly subscription box for pets called Patitas Box and they distribute Zippy Paws and Pet Play in Costa Rica (2 brands that we love). They have supported us since the beginning, they are the coolest best brand to work with, and we have lots of plans together.
As for advice, your followers will trust you and what you share on your account, so collaborate with the brands you actually use and are happy about. You need to take care of that trust your followers are putting in you. Also, don’t approach a brand if you haven’t yet tried any of the products. Start by building a relationship first, and then approach them to collaborate.
How has being a dog mom changed or positively impacted your life?
Being a dog mom has changed my life in so many ways, for the better. Maca came into my life at the perfect time! I was just moving to a new place by myself, I knew that I wanted a dog to live with me but wanted to wait for the right time. When we found her, all felt complete; with her, it became a home.
Maca teaches me so much!! Having her has made me even more responsible and conscious about what having a pet is like. She is family; we are a family of 2 who support each other daily. She opened my eyes to so many new aspects of my life. She reminds me everyday of what it is to really live and enjoy the little things; her carefree and joyful spirit reminds me of that.
Thank you Ana for joining us on the Dog Mom Talk blog interview series! Now, I just want to travel to Costa Rica, visit those amazing restaurants and play with Maca! Learn more about Maca and her amazing mom on their blog www.missmaca.com and follow them on Instagram.
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