In tech school I fell in love with a female, black lab/golden retriever cross I was assigned to. At the end of the program, I wanted to adopt her, but couldn’t due to residency restrictions. However, once I finally lived in a place where I could have a dog, the hunt started! I found an advertisement in the paper for black lab puppies and went to have a look. When I arrived at the farm I saw the puppies. They were all so cute, only 8 weeks old, but not exactly what I was looking for. As we left the barn, a black, long haired coat, six month old female came bounding around the corner. It was love at first sight. She had been from a previous litter and returned to the breeder when the owners couldn’t keep her. After a few negotiations she was packed up and in the back seat of my car.
In the first few weeks of having “Phoenix”, we suspected why she had really been returned to the breeder….she had quite a few problems. Her health conditions included puppy vaginitis, mange, and impacted anal glands. As well as those concerns, it turned out she was not house trained and suffered from a major case of separation anxiety. She chewed everything we owned when left alone… she had to be crate trained! With the help of some medication and surgery to have her spayed and also anal gland removal, we were able to get all of her medical conditions resolved. Next we moved onto house and crate training. Luckily she was a quick study for both, although her anxiety chewing did not resolve for 6 years.
14 years later, I am still enjoying her company. She has come to be the best investment in time and love that I ever made. A huge learning experience for me and a companion I cannot imagine being without. Perseverance paid off and I feel blessed to have “my big, black Phoenix dog” by my side.
Story and photo supplied by our Registered Animal Health Technologist Tiffany