LJ Andre and Spice Arial’s Success Story

LJ Andre and Spice Arial’s Success Story

Novice adopters Holly and Alexandra didn’t stop at one Golden. They adopted two. But what makes them unique is that they doubled their delight by adopting a bonded mother and son!

“We went from a no-dog family to a two-dog family in a brief period of time,” explains Holly. “This dramatically changed the dynamics in our house. Suddenly, there was dog hugging and dog brushing, dog walks and dog ball time.”

What was especially eye opening for them, however, was their first glimpse of LJ on adoption day. He had come into GRRMF weighing 136 pounds. Their first challenge: ensuring he got all the attention he needed to lose weight and get healthy again.

Their second challenge was when they picked up LJ’s mother, Spicey (formerly Spice), from the vet after she had had a cyst removed. While they were both excited to meet her and reunite her with LJ, they were nervous about having to care for a senior dog with more than 13 stitches. Fortunately, for this newly formed family of four, Spicey recovered swiftly and completely.

“LJ is such a sweetheart and extremely mellow – unless a ball is bouncing,” Holly says. “Because he LOVES playing ball and his favorite toy is a tennis ball, the moment he spots one, he’s laser focused on getting it. So, watch out!”

Spicey, on the other hand, has a special way of playing ball. She’ll catch the first one, plop her belly on the ground and bark for a second ball to be tossed to her. She’ll chew on it a few times, drop it and then bark for another one. Nothing makes Holly and Alexandra chuckle more than seeing all of those balls around her.

As much as Spicey loves tennis balls, soft doggy toys come a close second. She loves getting one out of the box in the garage and bringing it into the house. Within a few minutes, that toy is abandoned. It’s “mysteriously” replaced in the box until she returns to the garage and chooses another toy to bring into the house.

“Both dogs are very patient, particularly LJ, and never is that more evident than during our neighborhood walks,” says Holly. “He’ll amiably follow our lead and then wait for Spicey to sniff around. Spicey, however, doesn’t return the favor. Once she’s satisfied, she’s ready to move on — in the direction she wants to go. What she lacks in manners, though, she more than makes up for in the way she makes me feel special, coming up to me and sweetly putting her head in my lap before walk time.”

LJ, who prefers to eat while lying on the floor, is now down to his ideal weight, after having lost over 50 pounds. He also has a new mealtime routine. It started one evening when his dish wasn’t placed directly under his chin. What did he do? He simply reached out and dragged the dish closer to him! Now his adoring adopters watch as, at every meal, he drags his dish over to him.

Spicey and LJ remain virtually joined at the hip, always going where the other one goes. Case in point: When Holly returned home after doing errands one afternoon, Alexandra came out to the car with LJ and placed him in the back seat to bring him to the vet. While Holly was retrieving her items from the front passenger side, Spicey suddenly appeared, pushed her way past Holly, climbed onto the passenger seat and looked back at her son.

“She was determined not to be left behind and determined to be with LJ. The look on her face was — ‘What, you thought you could go without me!’ — and it made us both laugh,” Holly concludes. “It took some convincing, but I finally managed to take her back into the house.”



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