24 In Life

Expensive Dog, Cheap Love

Happy Thursday everyone! Can you believe another week has almost flown by?? I’ll let you in on a secret. I haven’t gone running since Saturday! BAH! Runner’s guilt is setting in right about now, as well as all the junk I’ve let my body ingest over the past few days. Today was busy, and one of those emotionally exhausting days, so running around the house with the dog was the most exercise I squeezed in. I’ll make it up this weekend, I promise!

In case you were looking for yet another real life post, let me just tell you about the past 24 hours.  And let me preface this by saying, if Truckee weren’t so cute, she might be at the pound by now. But not really. I’m not that cruel!

Truckee has been chewing on her tail ever since she was little. We think out of boredom and curiosity. Heck, if I had something following me around all the time I’d be curious too. Lately though, she’s been practically eating it while she stays in her kennel all day to the point that there’s a red sore on it under her fur. Our Vet advised us to just be sure and keep her entertained- keep a toy or something for her to chew on so she will be distracted and not chew on her tail. So, we assumed that her Kong toy would fit the bill perfectly. Oh, how we underestimated those teeth. When we got home from work and let her out, it looked as though someone had put her Kong in a blender, then hit it with a weed eater, then backed over it with a lawn mower. We thought these things were indestructable. The majority of the pieces were still in her kennel, but a large amount was also missing…in her belly. We fed her dinner and watched to make sure she pooped normally, which she did, and then she acted fine the rest of the night. Then came 5 AM. I was awoken by the worst sound in the universe, a dog in mid-vomit, and she was throwing up red chunks of Kong. She soon went back to sleep, and then this morning ate her breakfast and pooped again…red chunks of even more Kong. We have literally given her every toy we can think of, and now she is out of options. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she still has her tail attached when we get home tonight!

We’ve learned that getting your first newlywed dog seems to be a lot like getting married in general. Nobody tells you about the bad stuff or how expensive it can be to just LIVE. We knew that labrador retrievers were big, (I grew up with one) and we knew they would eat a lot, (the one I grew up with ate the siding off my parent’s house) and we knew that the bigger they got the more expensive all of their accessories would get as well. We keep telling her that she needs to stop growing because she’s starting to grow OUT of our budget! (Not really, don’t worry, if we couldn’t afford a dog we never would have gotten her in the first place.) I wanted to do a little honest to goodness run down of just how expensive a BIG dog can be. Kudos to my married friends who own 10lb dogs that require nothing but a tablespoon of food a day.

Original cost of the dog: $300-$500. I won’t say what we actually paid for her, but I will say that we purposefully paid more than the average person might for an AKC, high quality blood line, healthy, guaranteed lab. Hunting labs are closer to $1000+.

-Spaying or Neutering the dog: ~$200. I remember it being close to $200 or so. They base it on the weight of the dog, and at 6 months I think Truckee was something like 40lbs?

-Required puppy shots, 3 rounds?, and Rabies, etc: $20-50? I don’t remember exactly, but I know her first few rounds of shots all together didn’t break the bank or anything!

-Worm medicine (unexpected expense!): ~$30? When Truckee was a puppy, (yes she’s still a “puppy” now but it’s hard for me to call a 75lb dog a puppy), she had worms right after we brought her home. The vet we go to is also actually her breeder, so he graciously paid for her first round of treatment and worm tests because she was supposed to be free of them per our contract. But, things happen and Truckee was the unlucky puppy that picked up some wormies somewhere along the way. We got rid of them the first time, but they came back and then she had some other weird stomach issue, and that’s what we ended up paying for. I don’t remember exactly. But basically, this was just another puppy expense we didn’t think about. Maybe it was called Coccidia?

-Dog Food:$43.99 + tax. We buy a 30lb bag of Science Diet Large Breed Puppy, which usually lasts 3/4 of a month. She currently eats 6 CUPS a day!

-Kennel, Crate, Carrier: $60-$180. Ours was free because it’s the same one our previous lab used, and she has since passed away. It looks like they come in a wide price range, so I’d imagine $100 or more would be more accurate for one big enought to hold a large breed dog like a lab! Woof!

-Dog Bed: $35. At Walmart of all places! Adam randomly got an awesome deal on a cute fuzzy brown bed for Trucks. Unfortunately, she peed on it a few weeks ago so that money is now down the drain. However, she LOVED it while it lasted 🙂

-Furminator: $47. Works like a charm, and keeps TONS of hair off our floor!

-Science Diet Chicken Treats: Usually on sale for $2.99

-Collar: $14.99 and Leash: $7.99

-Nametag on Collar: $10. ish, there’s 3 on her total.

-Register with city we live in: ~$25-50? Don’t remember what the exact fee was.

-Dog toys: $50+. I’m sure we’ve spent at LEAST this much! At least.

-Cost to board her for a weekend: $12 a night. So for a weekend, it usually comes out to be about $30 or so.

-Heartworm medication, once a month: ~$20 for a single dose, ~$100 for a 6 month supply. We’re using the Advantage Multi brand right now, I think.

-Tick medicine: ~$35 for a 2 pack. I’m not sure what we pay for a single dose at the vet, but it always surprises me how much it is.

-Manicure: $10. Much cheaper than mine! Truckee loves getting her nails trimmed. It’s her “me” time. Can’t blame the girl!

-Random vet bills that add up thanks to vets diagnosing problems that aren’t really problems and giving her a cortisone shot while you’re out of town: $160

-Food and water bowls: $5-15. Again, ours were passed down from a previous family pet. But her puppy bowls we got SUPER cheap at WalMart.

-DentaStix bones for her teeth: ~$10 at WalMart!

-Dog shampoo: ~$2 at WalMart

-Eye drops for bad allergies: ~$35. Thankfully we only had to use one bout of these.

-Cleaning supplies for potty training: $10-15. You don’t want to skimp on these, or your carpet will forever be stained and stinky! Plus while they’re potty training, if they have an accident you don’t want them to be able to smell where they messed up previously.

Even though she costs a tiny fortune,(insert Adam yelling across the room “a TINY fortune?!!”), she has been worth every single memory along the way. Every single torn apart piece of underwear, every single accident in the house, every single broken item. She’s provided more joy to our newlywed life than we EVER thought was possible.

So her REAL cost, is priceless. Since you see grown up Truckee pictures on here all the time, here are some of her sweet puppy pictures I could help not to show you. She is ours and you can’t have her!

All in a day’s work. A sock. A toy. And a piece of underwear.

So there you have it. Even if dogs are expensive, they’re worth it. In kicks and giggles that is.

Don’t forget about my giveaway! Be sure to check out the sweatpink shoelaces I’m giving to three readers!! Enter by Sunday night!

On tomorrow’s agenda: my tutorial for DIY Laundry Detergent!

What is your favorite part about being a pet owner? What are your plans for this weekend? Did you enter my giveaway, or tell someone about it? Did I miss anything obvious in the dog budget?

**Don’t forget to email me if you would be interested in guest posting over the weekend!**

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  • Reply
    Abby @ Change of Pace
    July 18, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    Baby truckee pretty much kills me. Adorable! My husband grew up with black labs, but I’m allergic so we got Harold instead!
    I can’t believe how much T eats! That’s pretty insane! How old it she?
    Dogs are expensive! Harold had a few vet visits when he was younger for swallowing things he shouldn’t including a pair of my undies in one swallow. That bill would have been pricey but when they administered the anaesthetic to open him up, he threw them up whole!
    One expense we have with him is a teeth cleaning every couple years. Funny the things people do for their furbabies!
    Abby @ Change of Pace recently posted…Change the pace – exercising in hot, hot heatMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      July 19, 2013 at 11:25 am

      Abby- I’m sure Harold is a character! I need to come stalk you some more and see some pics 🙂 Truckee is 10 months old, and close to 75 lbs! She’s pretty much an amazonian. I laughed out loud at your vet story, SO FUNNY!!!

  • Reply
    Anna @ Running On Plenty
    July 19, 2013 at 12:11 am

    I’m in love with the Truckster! She’s adorable! My LP is the same way. A huge handful and I want to kick her out of the house at all times, but I can’t. Because she is my child. And I couldn’t live without her. I am the crazy schnauzer lady.

    Love the pic of the toys (and not so much toys) with her passed out! Being a pup is hard work!!!!
    Anna @ Running On Plenty recently posted…The [non-existent] Hills Are Alive with the Sound of MiseryMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      July 19, 2013 at 11:26 am

      Anna- hahaha every town needs a crazy schanuzer lady! I couldn’t imagine kicking truckers out of the house, her sad eyes would kill me!

  • Reply
    Christine@ Apple of My Eye
    July 19, 2013 at 12:21 am

    I am in LOVE with all of your adorable pictures! I have a cat and they are pretty low maintenance, but I’m dying to get my first dog. Probably in a year or two :). I’d love to read a post about some tips for photography, your photos are absolutely AMAZING!

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      July 19, 2013 at 11:27 am

      Christine- Haha thanks! I grew up with 4 cats! DEFINITELY LOW MAINTENANCE! So easy! I would love to post some photography tips, I have lots of info to share 🙂 I’ll start brainstorming ideas. Anything specific you’re interested in knowing?

  • Reply
    J. Parker
    July 19, 2013 at 12:42 am

    OHMYLANTA Truckee is such a little cutie!And I can totally relate to where you’re coming from: my pup, Roadie, is such a handful sometimes! He’s a chocolate hunting lab who also loves chewing on his own tail so maybe Truckee and Roadie are cousins! 😉

    Thanks for such a cute post, those pictures really brightened my mood after a loooong day!


    J. Parker
    J. Parker recently posted…Peanut Butter Cookie Dough HeavenMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      July 19, 2013 at 11:28 am

      J. Parker- thanks for stopping by! My husband will be jealous that your lab actually hunts 🙂 that was his dream for Truckee, but I refused to send her away for 3 months to duck school! Maybe the next one! They MUST be cousins, oh my goodness yes!! I’m so glad, I’m so glad you commented!

  • Reply
    July 19, 2013 at 6:00 am

    Don’t feel so bad on the run. I haven’t run since Monday and I have a half marathon this Sunday. (an unintentional taper week).
    beautiful photo’s of your dog. How could you not love that face. He’s beautiful.
    Matilda recently posted…Just a ShirtMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      July 19, 2013 at 11:29 am

      Matilda- Ha, I feel better now! Good luck on your half! You will ROCK IT!!!!

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama
    July 19, 2013 at 9:09 am

    For dog lovers, I think getting a puppy the first year you’re married is a rite of passage. MacAfee was our Christmas present to each other our first year. He’s a Vizsla, and you don’t even want to know what we paid for him! Mac will be 10 in November, and he has brought so much joy to our lives. Worth every penny, every destroyed piece of furniture, and every exasperating puppy moment. Now he is the sweetest big brother to our daughters.

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      July 19, 2013 at 11:30 am

      Nicole- I agree!! I feel like it’s the, “pre-children test”! Vizlas are so cute! I can’t imagine what you paid 🙂 I almost had a heart paying what we did just for our lab! That’s so sweet that he’s the big brother to your daughters, those memories will last a lifetime and your girls will ALWAYS remember him!

  • Reply
    Beth Sheridan @sugarcoatedsheridans
    July 19, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Oh they are so expensive aren’t they!!! It’s crazy! But when you look into those precious eyes, it’s just all worth it. I hope Truckee gets all the ball out soon 🙂

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      July 19, 2013 at 11:31 am

      Beth- Yes! HA ME TOO!!! She pooped last night and an insanely huge chunk of it came out that way…our minds were blown that that was even possible!!! I think her intestines are made of Kevlar.

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Runs for Food
    July 19, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Oh my goodness, those pictures made my day. Having a dog is definitely worth every penny!
    Kelly @ Runs for Food recently posted…Portabella Mushroom “Pizza” For OneMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      July 19, 2013 at 11:31 am

      Kelly- Oh good! EVERY penny indeed!! Thanks for commenting!

  • Reply
    Leslee @ Her Happy Balance
    July 19, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Oh my goodness! Those photos of your adorable little fur girl are PRECIOUS. Her coat looks gorgeous and shiny, too! So it would seem pets cost a small fortune…it’s probably a good thing that I’m waiting for a little while then 🙂 I’ll live vicariously through your photos.

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      July 19, 2013 at 11:32 am

      Leslee- That’s what everyone always says about her coat! We don’t know why she’s always so shiny! She’s such a diva though, she’ll shake her butt when she walks like, “yea, I know I’m cute, look at my shiny self.” Live vicariously all you want my dear!

  • Reply
    Reba - Not So Perfect Life
    July 19, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Is it bad that none of what you write above makes me NOT want a dog? I am working hard to convince my boyfriend that we need a dog. Its the only thing about living in NYC that I miss. I’m sorry that your going through some growing pains with your pup but hopefully you will get over them soon. I will not be showing this post to my boyfriend 😉

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      July 19, 2013 at 11:34 am

      Reba- Oh man, I couldn’t imagine living in a city environment like that! BUT, that’s when little dogs are perfect! I’m sure you could find a breed that would fit that lifestyle fabulously! Just tell your boyfriend I said dogs are awesome and he’s totally missing out 😉

  • Reply
    Christine@ Apple of My Eye
    July 22, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    I would love to know the settings you use to take most of your photos! Any tips with lighting, oh, and especially composition! I love how all of your work is set up 🙂

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      July 23, 2013 at 8:17 pm

      Christina- You got it!! I’ll get to work on something like that 🙂

  • Reply
    July 23, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Stop it! I don’t know what’s more beautiful, you or the dog! I can’t wait to have a dog of my own soon. I graduate college in December and this post was so, so helpful. I’ve always wanted a dog that I’m able to run with but can still cuddle at the end of a long day. Thank you for the tips! PS- Your photography is beautiful and so is your little family! My heart is melting 🙂
    Julie recently posted…Shoulder Circuit WorkoutMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      July 23, 2013 at 8:11 pm

      Julie- Oh you’re hilarious! I’m glad it was so helpful!! 🙂 It’s definitely a huge undertaking, but so worth it 🙂 Aw thank you!!! You just made my day!!

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