Monday, November 4, 2013

Life With a Lab

Meet Wilson.

He’s our super sweet, lovable Lab capable of whirling dervish-sized trouble and mishaps. These 90 pounds of love find trouble in every corner and can’t be trusted unsupervised - even at age 3.

I work from home two days a week and during this child-free time, Wilson has freedom to roam without getting all riled up by his favorite little humans. Even then, much of my time is spent calling to locate him and removing the most coveted of my sons’ bed buddies from his jaws. This usually involves him slinking past me, head hung low and big brown eyes looking up as if to say, “I wonder if she sees me?” Meanwhile, a toy that’s not his own is draping from his jowls. To his credit, I did find one of the limbs of his own monkey in my son’s bed. How kind that he left E something in place of his favorite stuffed tiger.

Here is an hour’s worth of the toys removed from said jowls. It’s my daily record that I share with my husband. “Only five today! We’re making progress!”

The other factor to Wilson’s freedom being limited is his inability to refrain from terrorizing the cats. Truly, he just wants to play, but he can make Marley go from this:

To kung fu cat:

in a flash. (Wilson's the only one who can bring out this alter ego, and for the record, this is the BEST shot I have ever taken.) They really have a pretty good relationship and tolerate each other well, until Marley taunts and Wilson responds. In fact, a few weeks back, they spent a couple of unexpected hours together in Wilson’s crate (eeek!) and neither had a scratch on ‘em when Greg realized it. Oops!

Maddox (whose face could at times earn him the title of Grumpy Cat II) is an entirely different story. There is no love in this relationship. Maddox goes from this:

to growling like a pit bull and hissing like a feral cat whenever Wilson comes within ten feet of  him. 

(And at random intervals at the gate to his room just because he can.) 

I must admit that Wilson’s antics can be helpful at times, though, like last week when he found E’s missing slippers and how he manages to continuously teach me that I have never picked up as well as I think I have. (Company coming? Release the dog and see how well we cleaned up!) And additionally, that while I may play with him for what seems like ages to me, his mischief and energy tank are never empty.

Life’s not complete without a dog, and I dearly love mine. I mean, how could I not? My day wouldn't be full without him looking up at the high cabinet over and over where his treats are kept, asking for his daily bone.

And it certainly wouldn’t be the same without him dropping a tennis ball on my foot, carrying it to the back door, then looking at me expectantly.

Sometimes you just need to drop everything and play ball with your dog. Wilson keeps my hectic life in perspective. 

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