Sienne Secord is serious about dog ownership

At 16, Sienne Secord is one of the youngest, but also one of the most responsible dog owners I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing. 

“No, we don’t need a dog” had long been the response of her dad, Sean, to her constant requests for a puppy. Secord had been asking for four or five years, ever since her childhood dog, Pogo, died at age 20. When her mother and stepdad bred their dogs, Secord decided it was her chance. The father is a purebred German short haired pointer and the mom is a grand ol’ mix of rottweiler, pit bull, golden lab, beagle and German shepherd. 

“I feel like I put in an order for a puppy from the mamma dog. I wanted the same markings as her, but the body of the dad, and I wanted her to have short hair … and she delivered!”

Sienne strategically took home her puppy, (the runt of nine) during March break so she could devote one hundred per cent of her time to the pooch. Coincidentally, her father was away, but she insisted that he fell in love with Kahlua as soon as he got home. Sienne fell harder. The brown and black pup, with its ears that can’t decide if they want to be perky or floppy, was her dream come true.

“I wanted a puppy for so long and I’m obsessed with her. She’s my favourite thing in the world.”

Sienne named her Kahlua, with Lua as a nickname. She also calls her “the annoying little sister” because Kahlua is always following her siblings and other dogs around, wanting to be included in whatever they’re up to. 

“She’s always getting left behind but she never gives up … She learns really quickly and I’ve taught her a bunch of tricks.”

Tricks? Already? Yep. Sienne hit the pavement running when it comes to puppy training. At just six months old, little Kahlua already knows “touch,” (she touches her nose to your hand) “middle,” (she runs between your legs from behind then looks up at you) ”sit,” and “lay down.” She’s also been crate trained and will start formal puppy classes this fall.

“I wanted to put in all the work to have a really good dog. My aunt is a vet and she helps me with some of the training. When I brought her home, I ordered a puppy training book on Amazon. I also follow this celebrity trainer on instagram (@allthingspups) and her YouTube channel.”

I commented that Sienne had taken things seriously. 

“Yeah. That first six months, if you put in that work, they are going to be a good dog,” she said.

One thing that impressed me about Sienne is her aspirations. This girl is going places and she’s got a plan. One that includes Kahlua. She’ll be completing grade 12 this upcoming school year (she’s happy to have several spares in which she’ll be able to go home and play with Lua) and then she’s going to take psychology at UBC in Kelowna. Her Dad really is smitten with Kahlua and offered to keep her during Sienne’s first year, when she’ll be living in residence. In year two, she plans to rent a dog-friendly house with friends. Further down the road she wants to adopt a rescue dog who would benefit from Lua’s solid training.

Right now, she said the biggest challenge of puppy ownership has been “mom guilt.”

Sienne laughed, recounting how, the first time she went out of town, she left Kahlua with her brother and sister-in-law. 

“I was driving them crazy, I was checking in like every hour.”

Like any proud new mom, Sienne loves to share pictures of her “baby.” Readers can follow Kahlua and check out more pics of this adorable pair on Lua’s own Instagram account @little_lua_.