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

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PETS - Luke Bow­den Any­one in­ter­ested in shar­ing their best friends’ sto­ries can email luke. bow­

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.

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