This is Leah. The smartest, easiest to train, most stubborn dog I ever did have the pleasure of living with!
We got her December 5, 2015 at a PetSmart adoption event. The lady from the humane society said she was a 4 month old terrier mix. At 14 pounds she was not likely to get much taller. She would weigh 20 pounds max once she fills out a little.
We are Leah’s second family. The first family to adopt her got her off to a good start with leash training. But their older dog was not happy to share his home with an energetic puppy bouncing all over the place.
From the start, Leah has been eager to learn new tricks and to meet new people and dogs. But she did come with a couple of issues. #1, she HATES to be covered. She does not find comfort in a warm blanket and she panics when you cover her crate. #2, she was NOT willing to learn to potty outside in the cold rain. It would take months to get her fully potty trained.
Update: April 11, 2016
Leah is doing so good with her training! She is literally jumping through hoops to please us. Lunch-break training sessions have become a favorite part of our day, followed by a delicious salad.
Her list of tricks now includes: sit, stay, come, jump (through the hoop), leave it, pacman (eat a line of food), ballerina (spin in circles), paws up
Her beard is a real attention-getter. People often comment on the nice bearded doggy. She is starting to look like she has a bit of schnauzer in her.
Update: May 2016. Leah’s Eyes
Our sweet doggy has developed a blue cloudiness across her left eye. The vet gave us some eyedrops and strict instructions to keep her calm the next few days to minimize the chances of her going blind. I called my grandmother over to help with the first dose of eyedrops. Leah did surprisingly well, as I held her and my grandmother administered the drops. Granny even stayed with her to make sure she didn’t play while I picked my daughter up from school.
Update: July 7, 2016. A good canine citizine
At 34 pounds, the vet says Leah is starting to get a little “pudgy”. I think the steroids in her eyedrops are making her eat more. If we can’t get her off of them soon, I will need to take her to an ophthalmologist – which I really don’t think I can afford.
On a happier note, it is test day in Leah’s AKC Good Canine Citizen class! Leah was doing great with her 1-on-1 training at home, but I thought obedience class would help her learn how to remain calm in public and maybe I would pick up a few things too. … Little did I know that as she got closer to her first birthday, my sweet puppy would rediscover how fun it can be to get into stuff and make a mess of the house.
Apparently Little Miss Leah had a growth spurt to mark the end of her puppy-hood, making her just tall enough to reach the kitchen counter. Monday I came home to find a mess up chewed up makeup samples and mail. Our leather couch was covered in concealer and her toes painted orange with my daughter’s highlighter! I assumed we left the mail down in doggy’s reach and told my daughter to be more careful that we put stuff up.
Wednesday we came home from a girlscout event to find that someone had helped herself to the leftover girlscout cookies! Luckily none of the chocolate cookies were close enough to the edge of the counter. But she downed a whole sleeve of Trefoils (plain shortbread cookies) and several Rah-Rah Raisins (oatmeal-raisin). The Savannah Smiles (lemon) must have been too strong. She tore the bag but not quite big enough to get a cookie out.
Between her recent naughty behavior and her fear of loud noises in class, I was a little worried. But Leah really came through at test time! She was one of only three dogs to pass their test, which made me really proud!
Update: January 28, 2017
Leah has officially been off of her prescription eyedrops for several months now. Any time I see her eyes starting to show signs of irritation I use some over-the-counter drops suggested by the vet. Unfortunately, we discovered last month that she has a genetic problem with one of her knees. I have been suspicious since she still “puppy sits” (a position that adult dogs should outgrow) and her hind legs always looked a little awkward to me.
For now we have started her on Phycox Max (a supplement that contains glucosamine and MSM) and we have a prescription for Rimadyl to help with pain and inflamation when she is having an extra bad day. She limps around for at least a little while every day, and we see her right leg give out on her a few times a week. …. Such a good doggy. I wish she didn’t have so many health problems.
Update: April 30, 2017
I still occasionally see a little cloudiness returning to Leah’s eyes, it usually goes away with a single dose of GenTeal brand eyedrops. If not I give her a dose of the prescription drops and she is fine the next day. We also switched her to Purina One Lamb & Rice dog food, only giving her bottled spring water and keep the house at a “comfortable” temperature.
Her knee is responding amazingly well to the Phycox Max! She rarely limps any more and plays hard enough that she lost that extra 2 pounds. She even learned a new trick “up, up, up!” has her standing on her hind legs. I want to teach her to “dance” but we are taking our time to make sure she builds up her strength and doesn’t hurt her knee. Yes, I discussed this with her vet to make sure I shouldn’t be limiting her activities.