Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Why so Serious?

Happy Birthday to Max
That was the Joker's line. When he said it, it sent chills up your spine. When the Labs say it, they mean it with all their heart, soul, ears, tails, pads... Everything they have.

They are love incarnate.

Max and Ruby are just the latest Labs to live with us. We've had labs continuously since my wife and I were dating, starting back in 1982. And my wife had her first Lab, Rhett (for Rhett Butler), starting in 1979. Rhett, of course, became best Lab at our wedding.

Max was a rescue that came to us when he was five months old. He was living two houses down from us at the time. He'd been bought for the kids when he was eight weeks old. Labs are so cute at eight weeks. But they grow up quickly and are full of a wild energy that needs to be handled with exercise and discipline, both of which Max's family didn't know how to provide. Max kept breaking out of their yard and 'escaping' to the neighbor between the two of us. They were almost ready to take Max to the Humane Society until we found out about Max, and offered to take Max off their hands.

Saucy Little Bitch
So Max came to live with us. At that time we also had a chocolate female named Babe. Max and Babe hit it off and were close companions for seven wonderful years until Babe died suddenly at age 13 years. Max was without a companion for eight months, until we found a local Lab breeder. That's where we got Ruby.

Ruby came to us as an eight-week-old puppy, and immediately took to Max. Max, not so much. It took a while for Ruby to grow up a bit before Max would "allow" her to be his equal. Now Max won't go anywhere without Ruby, and Ruby won't go anywhere without her Max.

Max has become so devoted to Ruby that he'll drop a mouthful of his dog chow on the floor next to Ruby when he eats. Ruby will then sit a moment, looking at Max, as if to make sure it's all right. Max will look at Ruby as if to concur, and then Ruby eats Max's gift. But Ruby will not eat any food out of Max's bowl. Not one morsel

Having Labs (and Lucy the cat) is probably the best therapy I know of. No matter how hard I try, I can't stay grumpy around any of the animals. They just won't allow it.

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