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Sunday, 8 April 2018

Living With Luna: 6 Months Old


I can't believe it has already been 6 months since little Luna trotted into our lives with her sassy little walk and her gentle brown eyes and touched our lives with her adorable presence.

Feeding
When we first brought her home she was advised by the breeder to eat 4 small meals a day, eventually reducing it down to 3 meals after 12 weeks and finally down to 2 meals per day after 16 weeks which she will continue to be on for the rest of her life. This reduction in her feeding times has become much easier now as we don't need to stay up as late as we had to in the beginning to wait around to feed her at her set times. Now her feeding is more reasonable hours for all of us (including her).
The first night she was reduced a meal was also the night my parents had been away, so my brother and I originally were dreading how she'd respond to being on one less meal. We assumed she would be whining and barking through the night wanting to be fed but amazingly she slept through the night and has done throughout all meal reductions so that has been fortunate. So the joke is on us for worrying so much! Especially as labradors are renowned for being such a greedy breed of dog too, so we are pleased it hasn't bothered her.
We also have changed the food she eats, I think because it was cheaper (ha!) and easier to get ahold of, which she has taken to completely fine as well. One of the things I first discovered when getting dog food is that if your dog doesn't take to it you can return it. Same for treats too, which I think is great that they allow that.

Sleeping
Her sleeping arrangements have also changed. She previously slept upstairs with my parents for the first couple of weeks after we first brought her home whilst she was settling in, which in hindsight may have been a benefit for her getting used to us. Then only up until about 3 weeks ago she slept in her pen downstairs in the living room. Again, a change we thought would cause problems but she's adapted to it brilliantly. Now she sleeps in her pen in the little spare room downstairs so the pen is out of the way. We use the pen as both her bed and a space for her to feel safe and secure, more so in the beginning incase we were unable to watch her at times (if we had to pop out to the shops etc.) but now that she's able to be left to her own devices more now without causing mayhem, she only uses it for sleeping.

House Training
House training has been a big improvement too. She knows to go to the door now to be let out and will bark to let us know. I've noticed she's got better at waiting to go outside before she does her business rather than just leaving us not so lovely surprises around the house, haha!

Socialising
We've had her socialise with other dogs quite early on in her life. Our family friend's dog Orion, a Welsh Collie, was the first dog pal she made. At first she was petrified of him and kept running away whenever he tried to approach her to play but once she saw us petting him and calling her over she ever so slowly approached him and a new friendship was made. She's also seen her mother Frankie, a black Labrador once or twice too, who she was chasing and jumping around with. They even had a snooze together in a dog basket which was adorable. In the new year and also over bank holiday weekend just gone, Luna was introduced to my boyfriend's huskies, Kai and Kiara too. She was so funny when she first met them. She kept running up to them, barking at them with her squeaky puppy bark and then running away from them and also doing laps around the coffee table. Over bank holiday she kept following Kai everywhere he went. She was like a little shadow, bless her. They were playing with her toys I'd brought over and Luna just had constant energy the whole day. She had a great big snooze in the car home though afterwards.
She's also met a couple of dogs whilst out on her walks too but she doesn't get to play with them or interact with them very long so it has been good to have her spend long lengths of time with the dogs previously mentioned so she can socialise for longer. Also I think it is just so cute to watch other dogs play together. It gives me a good chuckle seeing their unique personalities and how they react with one another.

Training
She now knows some basic commands too. My brother was the first one to teach her anything, which was to sit on command. She also knows to lie down and give her paw too.
The one we are finding difficulty with at the moment is getting her to heel on walks and recall when off the lead. Hopefully by my next update she will know to do that. 
Walking
This was one of the things I've been most excited for, being able to take Luna out on walks. At the moment I take her on little walks around where we live to get myself used to it but my Dad is the one who mainly takes her out and for long lengths of time. She's been to the local park and down the beach. At first she wouldn't go near the sea but now she plunges into it, haha. 
For only being 6 months, she is incredibly strong and she's a nightmare for trying to pull on her lead. My lack of upper body strength is a big problem when I take her for walks haha! She goes through phases of happily trotting alongside you, which I can easily manage but when she pulls on her lead I have to really work hard at keeping her from essentially taking me for a walk, haha!
And god forbid she sees another dog! Because no matter how far away they are or even if they are on the opposite side of the road she will try her best to pull on her lead to get close to them. I'm amazed I haven't pulled a muscle in my shoulder from having to keep her close by.
Hopefully once she's better at trotting alongside me and being let off the lead more in parks and beaches then I'll build up my confidence with her to take her out to the beach properly. I can't wait for the summer especially to take her down the beach when it is sunny and watch her jump around in the waves. Dog walking goals!

Toys
Other things we have bought her since the last update are an adjustable collar with her name tag engraved. A new lead, because she chewed the first one, haha! And a doggy seat belt (thanks to my friend Becky for the recommendation!) to keep her secure in the car. Also my brother has bought a plethora of toys for her too. She goes through phases of which ones are her favourites. Her latest favourites are a round fluffy penguin plush toy, a giraffe plush toy, spiky bone shaped chew toy, a red bear plush toy, a duck plush tug of war toy and this multi coloured spheric chew toy.

Appearance
Some noticeable changes to Luna's appearance from when we first brought are home is that she's lost a little portion of her puppy fat, her legs have gotten longer, her snout has started to get longer and her fur has gone from a pale blonde shade to a more golden tone.

Personality
I find it really fascinating watching how her personality has formed and changed as she's grown older. Before she was quite independent. She'd like to go off and do her own thing. Whereas now she's starting to become a bit of a busybody. She loves to know what is going on, where you have disappeared off too, who's at the front door etc. Sometimes we'll be out in the garden together and she wants to be left alone to chew on her toys, so I'll go back inside and after a little while she trots back into the house, looks for where I've gone, sees where I am and looks at me as if to say, "Oh there you are. Ok I'll go back outside now" and off she goes, back to playing.
One of her favourite things to do is steal empty plant pots from the garden. My Grandad has them dotted around different parts of the garden and bless him, little Luna finds them and runs off with them and chews them up. I think it is safe to say we owe my Grandad a great amount of plant pots back! It's hilarious when she has ahold of them as she tries to flip them up in the air and catch them and sometimes when she's trying to play with them, she gets them stuck on her snout, haha aww!
As I've mentioned a few times already, she does a little trot when she walks and especially if she knows she's been naughty (i.e. being a plant pot thief as mentioned!). She'll have an item in her mouth (usually a plant pot) and starts trotting away really quick which gives her this sassy little wiggle when she walks and looks back at you like "Yeah bitch, what you going to do now? You can't catch me!". It says a lot when your dog has more sass than you do.
Also like a typical Labrador she's very greedy. The sight of any food and she's away. Drop any crumbs? She's darted over and hoovered it up in a blink of any eye. She likes to reach up to the kitchen bench to try and get any food that's left on it. The second she's told off or told she's not getting our food she'll lie in the middle of the kitchen floor and let out a heavy sigh like she's gone in a huff with you, haha!
Of course, she still loves a good game of fetch. She likes to carry a ball over to you and follow you round with it until you throw it for her. She will also try and carry more than one when she's feeling a little indecisive.
I've noticed that she appears to have settled down a lot more now than she was at first. She would come across quite restless sometimes but I've noticed she doesn't do that as much now.
She's also much more vocal now. I remember mentioning to my friend that I noticed Luna didn't really bark very much. She reassured me that that would change very soon and funnily enough, a week later she was barking more and has done ever since.
One of my favourite new things about Luna is that she's got what I refer to as her 'big girl bark'. She still has her little squeaky bark she does when she wants to be let out of her pen or to go outside but her "BGB"- as I like to refer to it as, is saved for when she's relaxing on the landing and she suddenly sees something. A person. A car. A cat. A leaf. Basically anything will set her off! And she does this really loud and mature bark on repeat until whatever it is has gone. It cracks me up every time as she has this adult sounding bark and she's cute little puppy. It doesn't match up which is what makes me love it so much. Sometimes when I've pulled up in the car and start walking towards the front door, if I look up I can see her/hear her on the landing barking at me, haha. She's a funny one.
She also LOVES the snow. When the "beast of the east" came to visit, she was constantly wanting to go outside to play in the snow. She'd sit in her favourite spot, which is on the landing and look out at the snow outside and any that was falling. The second she was let out in it she'd go absolutely berserk, running around in circles, jumping around, rolling around in it, trying to eat it, sniffing out her toys that had been covered by the snow and the sheer excitement she showed when she discovered them was hilarious. The most adorable moments have been when she's been sniffing the snow and then looks up at you and her nose gets covered in little snowflakes. Adorable! And seeing her perfect little paw prints in the snow just melts my little heart.
Small recap: Friendly, Busybody, Funny, Mischievous, Protective and Sassy.

Things I Love (11 weeks- 6 months)

*Her 'big girl bark' at anything and everything.

*Being able to take her on little walks together.

*Her perfect little paw prints in the snow.

*When she wags her tail, her whole body seems to wobble with it.

*When she trots alongside me during a walk and looks up at me with her cute little face.

*When she suddenly wakes up and her ear has flopped over to one side.

*Her little ginger eyelashes.

Overall, 6 months in, I feel like we've got ourselves more into a routine with her now which has been really good as it has put us all much more at ease. It has had it's stressful moments in the very beginning but Luna has now settled into our family really well and it's hard to imagine a time when she wasn't in our lives. I'm already looking forward to see how different things are in the next 6 months.

Thank you for reading! & as always, any tips and tricks from fellow dog owners out there please feel free to share any advice below :)
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10 comments

  1. Aaawwww .... so sweet!!!! Der Wau wau ist ja super süß!!! Ich wünschte, meine Lina wäre auch mal so fotogen :-D

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    1. Danke für die freundlichen Worte, das bedeutet viel :) Ich bin sicher, Lina ist fotogen. Du wirst mir irgendwann ein Bild zeigen müssen! :D Danke fürs Lesen :D xx
      (Ich hoffe meine Nachricht hat sich gut übersetzt!)

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  2. Aww, she's so cute. I'm not a dog owner, so I don't have any tips.. but it sounds like you're doing amazing with her and I enjoyed reading this. I loved seeing her little paw prints in the snow too!

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    1. Aw thank you so much for the lovely comment Laura :D I'm glad you enjoyed reading it, that really means a lot to me :) hehe they're adorable aren't they! I will have to snap some paw prints in the sand over the summer too ;) xx

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  3. She is too cute! My old girls named Luna too but she's no puppy anymore!

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    1. Thank you Bri :D oh really?! that's so cool, I love that they both have the same name! :D I'm sure I've seen a few pics of her on your instagram, she's very cute! :D xx

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  4. First and foremost, love the name of your dog, Luna(reminds me of the greatly-loved character, Luna Lovegood). Secondly, your dog is adorable! How could ANYONE resist?😍😍 Withal, your affection towards your dog is endearingly sweet and we both share something in common- our love for the snow.😊

    #sweetreats xx www.bakingboutiquebirds.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Oh thank you so much for these lovely words, it really means a lot to me :D I'm glad you like her name, sadly she's not named after the harry potter character, although I do think that she has a cool name ;) It took us ages to decide on a name for her, it was actually a friend of mine who mentioned it and my dad loved it! I'm pleased you like it :) I'm sure she'd love to play in the snow with you! :D xx

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