We have a sweet, 1 year old pup named Heidi, who is absolutely the most loving dog I've ever known. We got her on Josh's birthday last year (January 30th) at a local pet store. It was a very spontaneous, but so rewarding, decision. Here's the story...
We were eating lunch at Ruby Tuesday's and I started to feel guilty about the fact that I hadn't gotten him a birthday present yet. Now, before you start thinking I'm a horrible wife... if you know Josh, you know that you don't just get him anything. It has to be something... A) He needs or B) He really really wants. And everything I'd suggested getting him, didn't fit into those categories. So here I was, on his birthday, brainstorming what to do. I finally threw out the most random idea imaginable.
"What about getting a puppy?"
Josh loves dogs. So his eyes got all big and bright and he smiled at my suggestion, but then he immediately thought about my allergies to dogs and said we didn't have to do that. Now, everyone knows that "we don't have to" or "you don't have to" always means "I really really want you to." Bingo. I knew I'd found the perfect gift.
So, off we were to the pet store - any pet store - to find our puppy.
After browsing a few places, we finally found a small local shop with a litter of "golden retreivers" for sale. They were all adorable, but there was one with the sweetest eyes looking up at me that I fell in love with. I asked the lady if I could hold her... and I never gave her back!
They happened to cost the exact amount of birthday money that Josh had received from his family, so we felt like it was a perfect gift. We took her home in a small box and got ready to dive into what we joked about as "parenthood." Little did we know...
Training a puppy is tough work! Potty training, teething, chewing, eating, whining (all throughout the night)... we hadn't experienced a newborn baby, but this had to be close. Luckily, it didn't last too long. Heidi was a smart puppy (she takes after her momma ;) ) and learned not to pee in the house by two months old. She and I also experienced our first "snow fall" together last February. It was beautiful.
As Heidi grew, we began to notice that our "golden retreiver" pup wasn't growing the signature long, fur coat that a normal golden has. And by 10 months old, when the coat still hadn't come in, we realized that she couldn't be full golden. Not that this particularly mattered to us, we loved her the same (and me and my allergies were actually a bit thankful that her coat wasn't getting long!) But it's always good to know what to say when someone asks what kind of dog you have. So this probed us into researching other mixes and looking at pictures to see which ones Heidi identified with most.
She definitely shared similar characteristics with the golden, but her short coat and short ears reminded us more of a labrador retriever. So, I decided to do a little google search about golden/lab mixes and found that they are incredibly smart, playful, super loving, friendly and great family pets! All described Heidi, perfectly. It is claimed that they actually have a less likelihood of getting diseases passed down through their breed. While I was researching, I found the sweetest tribute video a family put together for their golden/lab mix, Nova, that could pass for Heidi's twin! Watch this adorable video below.
I feel like the mystery of our sweet pup's heritage has finally been solved! We are so grateful for this loving addition to our family, and we highly recommend a golden/lab mix dog as the perfect companion. Eager to please, and eager to love. What more could you ask for? :)
Heidi, pictured left, at one year old.