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?

  • I am both a cat & dog person and have one of each. Tried crating Cassy (our rescue dog) for a few days when we first got her, but she got out both times. So now she is allowed most everywhere. She didn’t destroy anything while we were gone (except when we are lazy and don’t take the trash out or leave food on the counter). We got her when she was 3-4 so she was already potty trained and all. We feed Cassy California Natural Grain Free Venison Meal Formula Adult Dog Food. She loves it and it makes her coat shine. It’s expensive (a 30 lb bag for $64) but she is worth it,.

  • spiffi

    I can’t imagine having a dog, and confining it in a crate all day while I’m at work. That’s just not right.

  • I totally understand where you’re coming from… I felt the same way before I got a dog! I admit, it feels very inhumane, but after talking with other owners/dog lovers, we learned that the crate becomes her “safe place” and she now goes into it on her own. We have kept a web cam on her a few days (I know, we are crazy dog parents) and she wakes up like once or twice, but normally just sleeps the whole day… which is what she does when she isn’t out of the crate and we are home. The crate is also up against a window so she can look out and see what is going on outside. We are hoping to let her own on her own after she turns two (in February), so we don’t plan on crating her forever, but right now don’t trust her not to chew up the house.

  • Cassy sounds precious! So glad she hasn’t destroyed anything, that’s awesome! For some reason Leia doesn’t touch the trash, just the expensive things like chewing window sills. Silly dog. We are hoping she gets out of that phase soon though. My friend is a vet and told me Purina One is what she feeds her pets, but I’ll have to look into that natural grain free food. Sounds healthier. :) Thanks for your comment!

  • ky

    Your dog is totally a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever! She could almost be a purebred! She has the white markings on her feet, nose and tail, the pink nose, the expression, the size! She is a bit light in colour, but do they think she is part Golden? I have a toller that is almost a year old, and he is a bit of a destroyer when we are gone too as he has a bit of separation anxiety. He is much more comfortable in his crate! We are hoping there comes a point when we can trust him loose in the house too, but until then he will stay safely in his “den” while we are gone.