Liv’s golden beauty
When it came to getting a dog, a golden retriever wasn’t Liv Rickards’ fi rst choice. But it didn’t take long before Bella found her way into the uni student’s heart and they became inseparable
You grew up with border collies, why did you decide to get a golden retriever?
I love border collies but the place I moved into when I left home had very little in the way of a backyard so a golden retriever was my second choice. Whenever I was out walking and would see a golden retriever, they always looked so happy. I had moved out of home and just couldn’t be without a dog because I had always grown up with them – dogs in our family are family. So I decided on a golden retriever and then I found Bella advertised online and went and got her from Devonport. Now, I love her like she’s my child. My partner Aaron and I have moved into somewhere with a bigger backyard but if I come home and both of them are home, I’ll always run into the backyard to say hi to Bella fi rst.
It’s the middle of winter, you’re wearing black pants and they are covered in Bella’s hair but the house is spotless, explain?
( Laughing) I got Aaron to vacuum just before you came round. I have to vacuum everyday, I didn’t realise just how much hair she would shed. I was actually forewarned by my parents about all the shedding because my aunty had a beautiful golden retriever … but I didn’t think there would be this much to vacuum up. There’s a little bit of cleaning up after her because I love her so much I take her everywhere I go. Even if it’s down to get one or two grocery items, she comes in the car.
Is she well- behaved?
She’s been wonderful aside from one incident. Aaron and I decided to build up a little raised garden bed to grow herbs in and so Aaron brought home all the materials; put in the soil and seeds and only after two minutes Bella had dug it all up. So Aaron went for another drive to Bunnings, brought some stakes and chicken wire and fenced it in, and “Bell- proofed” it, as he says. The herb garden was tiny, Bella was almost as big as it but we put a 40cm- high perimeter fence around it anyhow. Later that night, Aaron had some of his friends over for a couple drinks and as he was leaving home he went to check on Bella and she had jumped over the fence and was sitting squarely in the herb garden. So then he had to make another trip to the hardware shop and put in more work putting up another much bigger fence. She showed a little tenacity in trying to still get in but I think Aaron’s handyman skills won over in the end.
What’s great about having Bella?
The company. I just couldn’t live in a house without a dog. I’m just a huge, huge dog lover, doesn’t matter if it’s my dog, I just love all of them. Between my parents and my siblings we’ve got four dogs and they are all very special members of the family.