26-year-old Australian dog groomer Sarah Hegarty and her husband, Aaron Shaw, may have always dreamed of owning a Samoyed one day, but they probably didn’t anticipate owning four – or raising them alongside two young daughters. That said, their adorable Instagram has become a go-to source of cuteness and inspiration for anyone determined to cope with the challenges of human babies joining fur babies (or vice versa).
Sarah and Aaron tackle parenthood (of all kinds) with love, kindness, and a very necessary sense of humor.
The couple had two Samoyeds when they began their human litter, and two more joined their family around the time their daughter Layla was born. She’s not yet two and they’ve added a younger girl, Ruby, 10 months ago – so the couple has a lot on their plate!
“Layla was born in October 2016 and Sebastian and Shimmer who are littermates, July 30th, 2016,” Sarah tells Daily Mail. “They’ve literally grown up together and are exceptionally close.”
The girls and the dogs play, have fun, and even learn from one another. The puppies taught the girls the basics of social interaction and how to treat other beings with care and compassion – but it’s gone further than that!
“Layla learned to walk by holding onto the pups’ fur gently and following them around the house. She sneaks them food, they fall asleep together, read together, do almost everything together. Shimmer and Layla are always running through the house playing chase with the toys.”
While many parents may feel anxiety about having their dogs and children in such close and constant proximity – toddlers are not of course, known for their gentleness and self-control – Sarah and Aaron feel confident in their ability to read their dogs (and children) and keep everyone safe.
“I never planned to have so many,” she explains to People. “Bringing a new pup into the house isn’t a problem if training and effort are put into it. We know our dogs’ temperaments and never had a worry about them.”
Her expertise comes in handy as the family also takes in rescued Samoyeds from time-to-time, caring for them until they find forever homes through adoption.
The secret to their happy home, according to Sarah and Aaron, is love. Whatever it is, it seems to be working!