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Day 4: First Saturday with Kona


Kona slept great through the night. Marion took her out around 4am and I had the 6am shift. I took her outside to go potty and she went right away. She had a lot of energy so I took her back upstairs and threw the ball around with her for a bit.

At about 6:30am I heard a helicopter circling over our place. We heard helicopters circling last month because a great white shark was spotted at El Porto beach so we thought it may have been a similar incident. I went outside and saw it was a sheriff’s helicopter. At the end of the street I saw people gathered outside so I carried Kona and walked down to see what was going on. The street was roped off with police caution tape and neighbors were talking about a report of gunshots fired at around 4am earlier that morning. I looked over behind the police tape and I saw a SWAT Team officer with armed gear, a helmet, and holding a weapon. It freaked me out and I ran up the street with Kona and back into our apartment. I was so surprised that so many neighbors were casually hanging out drinking coffee, taking pictures, and videotaping the events with their iphone without any fear that something dangerous was going on. We live in a safe neighborhood and I’m sure this was a shock to all.

When we got back home I turned on the TV to watch the news and see what was going on. Kona was still being very playful so we tossed the ball around back and forth. Marion woke up and we took her for a little walk. She got her paws all muddy and when we got home we tried putting her in the bathtub to wash her off. She did NOT like the bathtub and was shaking. I got in the tub with her and quickly washed her paws and then dried her off with a warm towel. She liked that part. Then she fell asleep and I did too because I was exhausted from our eventful morning! She slept for a bit with Marion in the bed and it was really cute (yes, we may be teaching bad habits here).


After our mid-morning snooze we got ready to go and visit Marion’s parents. Kona was very good in the car this time – hopefully she is getting used to it. She loved playing in her grandparent’s yard and sniffing around and smelling all the different plants. She really loves plants. She also loved their water fountain and kept staring at it and putting her paws on the rocks. It was very cute.


When she was done playing in the backyard, we put her in her crate while we helped Marion’s parents load the car up for camping. Kona fell right asleep. We are so happy she loves being in her crate because it makes traveling with her already so much easier. She also got to meet her grand dad, Vince, for the first time as well as Poppa Marion and Eileen. Kona loved meeting her new family.


Then we picked up a few additional puppy supplies:

The ID tag was the most fun part. We went to PetsMart and we got to use a laser etch machine and it made the tag right on the spot. Pretty cool. Kona didn’t really like the feeling of the tag on her collar at first and kept trying to bite it off, but she has slowly gotten used to it.

When we got home Kona was ready for another snooze. We began packing for our camping trip while she slept. Then we had dinner. She slept for a long time and we decided to wake her up so she didn’t sleep the entire night. Our friends Krissy and Ryan were having a house warming party 5 blocks away so we decided to take her over there. She was a very good girl and walked about 3 of the 5 blocks. When we took her to the party everyone loved seeing her and holding her. It was very cute. After a while I could tell Kona was getting a bit overwhelmed by all the people so we took her downstairs. She had fun going to her first party but mom and dad wouldn’t let her drink any wine!

When we came home, Kona was again pooped and went right to sleep while we continued packing for our trip. We are going camping next week and she will be staying at grandma and grandpa’s house with Bailey since she doesn’t have all her shots yet. We will miss her but are thankful my parents and Bailey are willing and able to help take care of her while we are gone.

Day 3: First Friday with Kona

Kona did really well on her second night with us. She woke up around 3:45 to go potty and again at 5:30 and 7am. When she goes to the bathroom at night she immediately goes potty and gets ready to come back inside. We are very happy she is catching on so quickly!

This morning Kona had plenty of energy again. I put on her harness and walked her down to the juicery so I could get some juices for the day. She was a very good girl and walked the entire way! This is great progress since yesterday she only walked about 10 steps from our house to the juicery. She learned how to walk on her leash by watching Bailey and it has stuck. Yay!

When we left the juicery we ran into a family with two little boys that had a skateboard. The boys loved Kona and put her on their skateboard. They were such cute little Manhattan Beach skater boys. Here is a picture of Kona skateboarding with them:

[Pic of Kona Skateboarding]

After the juicery I spent some time throwing one of Kona’s toys back and forth to tire her out. I wanted her to be nice and sleepy so I could put her in her crate and shower and get ready for the day. We played for awhile and then I put her in her crate and went to take a shower. I heard her whining like crazy and it was the most I’ve heard her do that. I went to the crate and petted her and then went back to taking a shower. She was still whining but she had just gone potty so I knew she was just sad to be alone. I let her whine and took a shower. It was very hard to do but I knew she needed a little tough love. And sure enough, by the time I got out of the shower I went to check on her and she was in her crate fast asleep. I am just happy the neighbors weren’t home to have to hear her whine like that.

While Kona slept I got some work done. She slept for over 2 hours which was super helpful. In fact, she slept all the way until it was time for her to go to her first vet appointment. The breeder had recommended that we get Kona to the vet for her first check up within one week of her arrival. I scheduled the appointment for Friday because I wanted to give her a day to settle into her new home but also make sure to get her to the vet and make sure she is healthy and in good condition after the flight.

I wasn’t sure how to get both Kona and her crate down the flight of stairs in our place. Since she was sleeping, I decided to carry her to the car in the crate. She woke up and was a little disturbed but she seemed okay. When we got in the car she whined and continued to whine and cry the entire way to the vet. I kept talking to her in a soothing voice but she was not having it. I even tried singing “Pretty in Pink” to her (it was on the radio) but she whined even louder. I guess she doesn’t like my singing!

When we got to the vet we saw another golden retriever in the waiting room. We sat down next to her and the owner and I started talking. The owner told me her dog’s name was Daisy and I remember meeting a golden retriever puppy named Daisy in Manhattan Beach about a month ago. Turns out it was the same dog! What a coincidence. When I met Daisy and her owners I told them how we were awaiting the arrival of our puppy from Alaska. And then they got to meet her. So cool.

Then we met Kona’s vet, Dr. Steen. He has a golden retriever himself and he was so great with Kona. Kona weighed in at 10.0 pounds exactly. She had to give a stool sample which she didn’t like so much, but she got it done! After the doctor examined her we went through all the standard puppy questions and a list of all the vaccines she will need to get. The doctor also talked through pet insurance and recommended a provider for us. We are definitely considering pet insurance as we think it will be a wise investment. Kona won’t have all her shots until she is 16 weeks old, so we have to keep her isolated from any areas where dogs without their shots might be. No more strand for Kona.

After the vet I took Kona to the Bia headquarters and she met her new friend and puppy intern, Anna. Kona loved Anna. We think the feeling was mutual:

[Pic of Anna with Kona]

After Kona’s big outing we came home and she took a nice nap. Then Marion came home and we had dinner and took Kona for a walk all the way to the end of our block. We are amazed at how many new neighbors we are meeting just by having a pup. It is pretty cool. After dinner we snuggled up and watched Breaking Bad while Kona laid next to us on the couch fast asleep. It was very sweet. Happy Friday night to us and many friday nights to come. We love our little girl!



First Full Day with A Puppy

Day 2 with Kona


Our first full night with our golden retriever puppy is complete! Kona was such a good girl and slept for 6 hours straight! She slept from 9:30 to 3:30am without a peep. I was sleeping with one eye open (literally) waiting for her to have to go to the bathroom and whine but she didn’t do anything like that. We are crate training her and decided to put the crate with us in our bedroom so she was comforted by knowing we were there next to her. Any time she whimpered or cried, we were prepared to talk to her, console her, and put our fingers in the crate to let her know we were there. But she didn’t need any of that. We were so impressed and proud of our sweet girl! We took her out at 3:30am, 5:30am, and 7am. So precious.

On Thursday Kona woke up with PLENTY of energy. Wow. She is on fire in the mornings. All she wants to do is play. This was a bit concerning for me because I had work to do and phone calls to make, but I wanted to take the time needed to get our pup settled in. We played inside for about an hour, then I took her to go potty, and then she fell back asleep. Perfect. When the puppy sleeps, you sleep. Or get work done. I can already see how having a puppy will make me more efficient with my time.

Later in the afternoon my parents came over with their 8 year old golden retriever, Bailey. My parents have had goldens for over 35 years and I’ve been a golden retriever fan my whole life so this might give you some insight into why we chose this breed for our pup. Kona loved meeting Bailey. She was following her around and nipping at her. Bailey was very calm and gentle with her.

We took the dogs for a little walk down to the strand. Kona was having issues walking on a leash but after watching Bailey she was walking like a pro! We couldn’t believe it. What a champ.

After our walk we had some down time before having a happy hour at our house for my friend Diane’s birthday. All the girls came over and met Kona and loved her. We then went out to dinner for girl’s night and Marion watched the dogs.

Our first full day with Kona was such a blast. We love her so much!




Welcome Home, Kona!

Picking Up Our New Golden Retriever Puppy from LAX

One Wednesday we introduced Kona, our new golden retriever puppy, ¬†into our family. She was shipped to us from Alaska and we picked her up at LAX. We didn’t know what to expect when you ship a live animal. Do we pick her up at baggage claim? Where do we go? We called Delta Dash and received all of the necessary information to pick our baby girl up. She left Alaska and was traveling for almost 12 hours. She must have been so scared.

When they first brought her out to us, this beautiful golden retriever puppy was looking at us with her sweet puppy eyes. We gave her water, took her out of her crate, and gave her lots of love. I can’t believe she is our puppy. We love her so much. Here’s a video of us greeting her:


And here is a picture with us with her outside of the Delta Dash pickup at LAX.

Kona Golden Retriever Puppy

Her total transit time from Anchorage, Alaska to LAX was 12 hours. She boarded in Alaska at 11:30pm and landed in Seattle around 5:30am. Her flight was delayed so she didn’t arrive at LAX until 10:30am. Then they had to transport her to the cargo facility. We picked her up around noon on Wednesday.

When we got in the car I gave her one of her first toys – Tigger! Her crate was soiled (and understandably so) given the total transit time. I held her in my lap and she was so sweet and cuddly. When we got home we took her to the backyard and played with her. She loved playing in the grass and biting all the plants.

[pic of her in grass]

After we played with her for awhile we brought her upstairs and got settled. I took apart her crate and gave it a really good cleaning. We are going to be crate training her so it is important for her to love her crate. And who would love a crate that is smelly? While I was cleaning her crate I put a towel on the ground in case she wanted to lay down. She immediately snuggled up into the towel and was fast asleep within minutes.

[pic of her sleeping]

Once her crate was clean, I left the door open to see if she would wander inside. She sure did and went to sleep.

We had several visitors come over to meet Kona including her great-dog mommy Jonette, Diane, Lindsay J. and our friend Patty and her family. ¬†Everyone loved her and she loved all the attention. By the time everyone left around 9:30, we took her to go to the bathroom and she was pooped. Marion came home from a work dinner at around 11 and she was so tired she couldn’t even come out of the crate to greet him.

We were expecting to be up all night taking Kona in and out to go to the bathroom, but she slept solid from 9:45 to 3:45am. Nice work, Kona! 6 hours of solid sleep on your first night in your forever home. Hope this is a foreshadow of many nights of good sleep to come!