So, for the past few years I've been wanting a dog. I did a lot of research and for a while I wanted a French Bulldog. Then, after meeting a few, I decided that they weren't for me. I read some more, debated some more, and settled on a Rottweiler. Unfortunately, I rent. And I know the stigma that these types of breeds have and I know that getting a place to rent with one would probably be very hard, even if it was the perfect dog. I also know that Rottweilers can
be very socially dominant and I know myself to the point that I know I'm not the type of person who would be able to handle that.
My parents have a black Lab, named Maggie, and we had a black Lab when I was young named Toby. I've always liked Labradors and since I wanted to start doing some duck hunting and more grouse hunting with my dad (because he is almost 60 and I feel we're not close enough), I began to really consider a Labrador.
During my consideration, I also looked at the SPCA; saw a gorgeous pitbull named Ginger and a beautiful Lab/Rottie cross name Jackson. But my mind kept bugging me to look more at Labradors.
I decided that I didn't want a black Lab because dad has one, and I didn't want a yellow Lab because once they're out of the puppy stage, I find they always end up looking like old dogs. So that left the Chocolates. After looking at hundreds of pictures etc, I decided, yep, that's the dog for me.
I called a few breeders but nothing was guaranteed and most were beyond my price range of under $1000. Mom suggested the breeder they got Maggie from and so I finally relented and mom gave her a call in April of last year. As it turned out, she had a dog who was due to have puppies in May 2010 and she was certain there'd be chocolates in the litter.
After much waiting that I thought would surely never end, we got the call that the puppies were born and there was ONE chocolate. The next big question was: Is it a female? I like female dogs more than males, I don't know why, I just do. There's nothing really different about males or females, it's just what I like. I may not have said no to a male, but thankfully, it was a girl
This is what she looked like at a week of age:
I have thousands of pictures of her, but I'll just show a few.
That's her at 4 weeks, when I finally got to meet her in June 2010. I was so worried that I was going to get there and fall in love with another puppy, but we took to each other like old pals right from the get go.
That's her just after I got her for good. Sometime just after July 17. I wasn't supposed to get her until July 24, but the breeder decided she was OK to go home early and my mom arranged it as a surprise because my birthday is July 19.
Such a cutie.
After her first swim. Needless to say: she was NOT amused.
100% totally asleep.
My landlords decided that after giving me permission to get Nilla, they wanted me to get rid of her because she was going to the bathroom where they said I could let her (and I was picking it up) and she barked ONCE in 3 weeks in the middle of the night. So, I gave my notice 3 days later and this was taken when I was moving. She got into a bag of flour and ate a whole bunch. Luckily, it all came out the other side.
And this is her a few months ago.
She is currently around 55 lbs and probably won't get much bigger. She's always been a bit on the smaller side, which is what I like, but she's also EXTREMELY hyper. Her great-aunt Maggie is more calm and relaxed, but Nilla is super hyper and sometimes it's hard to direct that energy effectively. But, I know she loves me. This weekend, mom said they could tell she was totally bonded with me just by how she looks at me, and how she listens to me more than them, and the fact that she lays by my feet, and whines when I leave the room lol
I have more pictures that I'm waiting on my sister to upload to Facebook from this weekend. Nilla did her first water retrieve; I'm so proud.
She's mostly whistle trained, e-collar conditioned, trained to retrieve to hand and we're working on blind retrieves, and being guided by hand signals.