#AtoZChallenge | D is for Dogs from the first hello to the last goodbye.

Sitting cross legged on the living room floor as puppies with sporadic control over their limbs climbed all over us, jostling one another for high ground so they could lick our faces, is a treasured memory.

The parents of this rambunctious lot were both black labs with loads of energy, which in hindsight should have been a deterrent. The litter was a Neapolitan mix of three chocolate, three black and three yellow labs. We knew we wanted a smaller dog and as soon as we walked in my daughter, who was only six at the time, found a perfect little chocolate female pup. She probably would have been wonderful, but instead one of the larger yellow labs stole my heart and in a decision I occasionally regretted, I overruled her choice.

Moose, as the owners called him, was friendly, outgoing, and full of personality. During feeding time, he would lay down, covering as much food as possible, as it scattered across the floor while his brothers and sisters raced to the bowls. Then he would simply stand and eat the food he had captured. Turns out that was all for show. Once we got him home, we learned that he was the only lab on the planet who actually was not motivated by food. For the first two years of his life, we could actually see his ribs.

Continue reading

#AtoZChallenge | D is for a Determined Dog Chasing Snowballs

My dog was built for water. He’s a swimmer. During a few tentative minutes his first time in the lake where his head spent more time under water than above it,  I thought we may have gotten the only Labrador Retriever on the planet who was about to drown. Fortunately, he caught on and has never looked back.  He loves living on the lake and swims any chance he gets.

But, what does he do in the winter with the lake frozen over and temps hovering around zero? Fortunately, he’s also built for the cold so the temps don’t bother him but getting exercise in during the more limiting winter months can be more challenging.

Continue reading

U is for U. Smelly Dog | Now my dog is going to smell better than I do.

There are two types of dog people. Those that let their animals sleep in their bed and those that do not. We don’t share our bed with our dog; he shares it with us. As he’s gotten older, he likes to go to bed earlier these days. He’ll pace around in front of us at night impatient that we’re not ready to head up at the same time as him. Eventually, he’ll give up and head up on his own which inevitably means pushing him off the pillow when we do finally make it upstairs.

It does a number on our sheets. I wash them regularly, but it doesn’t take long before they start to smell like my pup again. It’s a small price to pay for the snuggles we get each night, but it is an ongoing challenge.

Continue reading