Sundays with Michael Chernow & Hendricks

Welcome to our "Sundays with..." blog series, featuring modern dog parents who inspire us! First up is a glimpse into the family life of restaurateur and entrepreneur Michael Chernow and his new dog, Hendricks.

Tell us about your dog!
The newest member of the family is Hendricks. He was born on April 27th 2020, which makes him 3.5 months old. He is a Catahoula Leopard Dog and we are madly in love with him. We named him Hendricks, well because, we like Jimmy Hendrix and he kinda looks like a Hendricks :-) He is a very happy guy, loves all people and other dogs he's encountered. He loves his older human brothers Finnley and Dakota, he loves fetching and hiding his bones in the front yard. The dude's got A LOT of energy, so I take him out on a 3-4 mile walk every morning at around 5:45am to start our day. 
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How did Hendricks become a part of your life? Were dogs always a part of your family?
I got my first dog when I was 18, and have had dogs ever since. My wife grew up training German Shepherds, we are both big fans of having furry family members. Our last pup Riley passed away in 2018 and it was really rough on the family, so we took a little break while our youngest son began walking. We began looking for a pup in the fall of 2019, took us a while to find Hendricks, but he is well worth the wait. 
What does your typical Sunday morning routine look like?
Well, we've only had Hendricks for 3 weeks, but I can tell you that our Sundays tend to start the same way all the other days do, with a very early and pretty long walk, starting at 5:45am, we tend to walk for about an hour or so. Then we get back to the house, Hendricks eats breakfast with the rest of the family and I hit the gym. Being that Hendricks is a baby, he tends to crash hard after the walk and breakfast.
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Our family has been part of a Quarantine crew in upstate New York. My family, along with 3 other families, who have all been quarantined since March, have been getting together every Sunday for a BBQ, we rotate houses who hosts. We all have dogs and kids, it's really been a special day for all of us and it's a wonderful tradition that we hope to continue forever. The BBQ tends to start around 2pm, we hang, listen to music, swim in the ponds and streams and it's totally magical. We start winding down around 7pm, with the pups and kids and adults saying their goodbyes. 
What time do you wake up and what do you eat for breakfast?
I wake up every morning around 5:30-5:45am. I have always woken up around this time, which works out perfectly, because Hendricks likes to get up around that time as well. Typically I work out first thing in the morning and eat breakfast around 7:30am, I have the same thing for breakfast everyday. 1/2 cup of gluten-free oats, a scoop and a half of protein powder, a tablespoon of cacao nibs, a tablespoon of sliced almonds and a teaspoon of cinnamon with my Athletic Greens superfood drink.

My whole family takes out nutrition pretty seriously, we couldn't be happier to have found Sundays for Hendricks, as the human-grade ingredients in the mix assure us that we are able to do right by our pup, we do for ourselves.

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What else can we find you doing on Sundays?
I am a fitness nut, I tend to reserve my hardest workout for Sunday mornings so that the rest of the day I am happy to totally kick back, eat well and relax. Like I mentioned, we BBQ on Sundays with a few other families, it is our favorite day of the week, especially when we host at our house because cooking for people is one of my all-time favorite things to do. 
How has your Sunday morning routine changed over the years, and especially since getting a dog?
My Sunday morning routine has changed quite a bit since we moved out of NYC to upstate NY. I really enjoy my early morning walk with Hendricks outside, we pass a massive lily pond on the walk. We both take a few minutes to take in nature there, you don't get that in NYC and it gives us an opportunity to truly bond. I also really love training him. The time alone with the pup in the wee hours of the morning is special, he has already become a best friend. 
How has being a dog parent enhanced your life?
Hendricks became a member of the family the second he showed up. I have been a dog dad for over 20 years now, we now have three sons…. Watching the boys with Hendricks makes us so happy. For them it's like having a furry little brother, even though he's already bigger than both of them! 
What tips or advice do you have for new dog parents?
Most dogs are meant to be active. Having a pup should be the best motivator to get outside and move your body, which is great for both the dog and you/your family. Taking hikes, walks, runs and taking in vitamin D are some of the best things we can do for our mind, body and spirit. Having a dog enhances the experiences and memories of these adventures, whether they are on a daily basis or a larger-scale trip that is planned out. Also, being a dog parent forces us to spend less time on our phones, less time thinking about ourselves and more time focusing on the better things in life.
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