First pet a favorite milestone

Story and photos
by Callie Sterling 

Of all of the firsts that Kelsey and Nelson Ingle have celebrated together, their first pet is their favorite milestone. 

Teddy, Ted for short, is a Teddy Bear English Cream Goldendoodle that completely stole the North Little Rock couple’s heart, and they have not looked back since. 

“Nelson proposed in June of 2015 and Ted became a part of our family in September of that same year,” Kelsey said. “We got Ted from Platinum Goldendoodles in Everton, where he was born on July 20 of 2015. We have had him since he was nine weeks old.” 


The couple married in July 2016 and Ted was the couple’s first big purchase after they became engaged. 

Since Ted has joined the Ingle Family, he has brought them great joy and a lot of laughs. Kelsey is a traumatic brain injury speech pathologist in Little Rock. Her job can be emotionally demanding at times. Ted helps bring a lighthearted atmosphere to the Ingle home to help her unwind after occasionally difficult days at the hospital. 

“Teddy makes our lives better because he always makes us laugh and shows us unconditional love,” Kelsey said. “He always greets us with a toy in his mouth and his tail wagging. Teddy has taught me not to sweat the small stuff, like dirty floors, and to enjoy those sweet moments.”

Ted brings a unique kind of joy to the couple, a joy that only a pet can give. Kelsey may provide therapy to her patients each day, but Ted provides his “mom” with her own kind of therapy – pet therapy. 

“My favorite thing about being a pet owner is the joy that Teddy brings to our lives,” Kelsey said. “There’s a special joy that a pet brings to your life. I really can’t explain it; I just know that no matter how bad of a day I might have had, when I get home and after spending a few minutes with Ted, my stress level decreases. It’s like therapy.” 

Ted doesn’t let his weight stop him from sitting on the laps of his humans. His owners describe Ted as a “lapdog” and he is seemingly unaware of his large size. 

“Teddy is definitely a ‘momma’s boy’,” Kelsey said. “He has the sweetest temperament and is full of energy! He is smart, playful and very funny. Ted is very intuitive and eager to please. He loves to cuddle and acts like a lapdog, but he’s 60 pounds! He thinks that he’s just a furry human.” 

Although the Ingles find most parts of owning a pet wonderful, there is one commonality that they both find difficult – leaving Ted while they each go to work.   

“The hardest thing about being a pet owner is having to leave Teddy,” Kelsey said. “I hate leaving him alone during the day while we are at work; and I wish that we could take him on vacations with us.” 

Kelsey and Nelson helped Ted receive his Canine Good Citizen certification. They also enjoy planning activities with friends who have dogs so Ted can be included.  

“We really enjoyed going to the classes and socializing with other pups,” Kelsey said. “Teddy absolutely loves to play fetch; we play fetch with him several times a day. We also have ‘pet dates’ with friends and their fur children. Ted did his first 5K last month, where he strutted around in a pet Christmas outfit.”

As the couple’s first pet together, Ted has been a large responsibility, but a very rewarding experience for the young couple. 

“Being a pet parent is a big responsibility,” Kelsey said. “Growing up, my family had a dog, but my mom was the one who made sure he had everything he needed. My brother and I just played with him. Now, as a first-time ‘dog mom’, I am the one who has to make sure Ted has the right food, medical care and that he’s not left alone too long. Sometimes that limits our social activities, but he’s worth it, and we wouldn’t change a thing. We love Teddy and can’t imagine life without him!”