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First Week Archives - Life With A Puppy

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Day 5: Kona goes swimming

Golden Retriever Puppy Learns to Swim

Leo Carrillo State Park

Today we packed up the car to head out to Leo Carrillo State Park for our annual family camping trip. We each drove separately. In my car I had the following:

  • 2 Longboards
  • 2 Shortboards
  • 1 Stand Up Paddle Board
  • 2 Skateboards
  • 2 Beach Chairs
  • 2 Camping Chairs
  • 1 Stand Up Paddle

golden retriever swimming

And in Marion’s car he had all of our clothes, a crate, and Kona! We wanted to make sure she was safe and sound and didn’t feel too cluttered with all the surfboards and bulky items around her.

We drove straight to my parent’s house where Kona will be staying for the next 5 nights while we are camping. Luckily my parents only live about 30 minutes from where we are camping, so it will be easy to come and go if we need to. My parents have an 8 year old Golden retriever names Bailey who is very sweet. Kona will enjoy being around her. My parents also have a pool, and we took Kona swimming for the first time ever! We walked her out to the middle of the pool and let her swim to the steps. She was doing the doggie paddle – her natural instincts are just incredible. We took her in the pool a few times and then wrapped her in a big towel. She was cold and shaking, but she warmed up quickly. It was a new, big experience for her!

Afterwards we got ready to head over to camp. It is going to be so hard to leave her for several days, but we know my parents will take great care of her. Have fun at Grandma and Grandpa’s, Kona!


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.

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!