One Year With Leia

I realized the other day it’s been over a year since we got Leia. I can’t believe I forgot the anniversary! I thought I would recap what this year has been like so I can remember later when she’s older. This is one of those posts for my own benefit, no one else is probably going to care much about… so feel free to move on and come back whenever I have the next post up. :)

One-year-with-Leia

Food: She’s not your typical dog (or human) who centers her day around food. We feed her one cup in the morning and one cup in the evening. Sometimes her breakfast is waiting for us when we go to fill her bowl in the evening, so we normally mix a little bit of wet food in to entice her to eat. She also loves raw hides and greenies, which we give her when she’s bothering us at small group. She also loves peanut butter-filled kongs.

Weight: Last time we took her to the doctor she was 52 pounds, much heavier than the 39 pounds when we first got her. Sometimes I think she’s overweight, but then I see her skip meals and run all the time and think she’s fine. MUCH healthier than when we got her. Here’s what she looked like when we first got her:

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Favorite thing in the entire world: A WALK!!! Good golly if only I got half excited about anything as much as she is about walking. We take a walk or run after I get home from work every day, and when I don’t (because it’s raining or I don’t have time), she is on edge and keeps looking at me like Is it time yet?!?! 

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She also loves car rides.

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Toys: She loves ropes, nylabones and antlers. We don’t have any squeaky toys because she doesn’t like them (it’s a win-win for all parties involved) and we never buy her stuffed animals because we don’t want her to think future kid stuffed animals are toys. (Dog owners with kids, do you have that problem? Or does the dog know which toys are theirs?)

Nicknames: Little Leia, Laylay, Princess Leia, Little Lovie, Le Petit Puppy, Pumpkin, Pumpernickel, Sugar Plum Fairy (I know, some of those make no sense)

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Playing: She loves her new yard and enjoys playing tug of war and keep away, where you throw a ball and try to chase her. She still isn’t good at playing fetch. On principle, she doesn’t like getting wet and avoids puddles, but if she is with other dogs jumping and swimming, she will join along.

Friends: She is very popular with other animals and loooves playing with other dogs. Her main boyfriend is Toby, closely followed by Poncho, the great Pyrenees. Other dog friends include Petals, Mac, Blue and Barton. We keep our friends’ bunny Lola sometimes and she loves playing with her. Here’s a video of them together. She is indifferent about cats except for Rika, J’s parents’ cat, whom terrorizes Leia anytime we come over. She hides behind my legs any time we are over there.

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She’s turned this guy into a dog lover. :)

Behavior: For the most part, she’s a great dog. We don’t trust her outside of the crate yet, as she seems to get into mischief and chews when she gets bored, but we are hoping after she turns two we will be able to trust her.

The running list of destroyed items includes: Tearing up our apartment door and frame, tearing down the blinds, chewing the window sill, tearing up J’s rainbow sandals, eating my rainbow sandals, and chewing a tiny bite of the curtains that were by her bed (we still hang them though, it’s pretty minor). All of those happened when we weren’t at home — she’s an angel when we are around! Thus, the crate.

Energy level: For a one and a half-year old she is surprisingly calm, although she gets very excited and energetic when we let her out of the crate and whenever we have small group at our house. But she has a very sweet temperament and most people are surprised when we tell them she’s less than two years old. We trust her in crowds and when she is unleashed I know she won’t run away from us.

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Cost: She cost $300 to adopt from the Neuse River Golden Retriever Rescue, plus a $300 non-refundable fee to our apartment. We have spent almost $500 in vet bills in the last year, some of them routine and one of them for an emergency overnight visit when she was choking (vet bills come out of savings or our regular budget, if we can handle it that month). We include her food and toys in our regular grocery budget and normally buy a large bag of food every four weeks or so (we get Purina One smart blend). Aside from the large upfront cost, we haven’t felt a huge difference in our budget, which I am thankful for. Either way, she is well worth the cost. :)

Fears: Rika the cat, children, and fireworks.

Quirks: She gets super depressed every morning before we go to work. She likes to cuddle with our guests that come over (not so much us). She won’t drink out of the aluminum water bowl next to her food. She doesn’t like to make eye contact with you when she’s going to the bathroom.

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That’s all I can think of for now. We love our little lovie!

Are you a cat or dog person? If you have a dog, is he/she crated? How long until you trusted them out of the crate? What kind of dog food do you feed your dog?