Friday, March 31, 2006

Love and Labs

Breaking out of my blogging dearths to send some slobber-soaked felt ball love to Echidne, who recently lost her beloved chocolate lab, Hank to Cancer .    Don't open the comments unless you've got a box of Kleenex handy. You've been warned.
We recently had to make a difficult decision to let our beloved black lab, Jinx go live with Gramma and Grampa down at the beach, so this is especially poignant to me at the moment.  

While the Monkey absolutely adores his furry big sister, and she's come to enjoy playing with him (which she does ever so gently, usually...) the truth is she still has not resolved herself to the presence of a new helpless and apparently imbecilic sibling who requires the bulk of our time and attention, and has yet to grasp the meaning of the word "No" or learn the boundaries of the alpha's in the pack (like, the console buttons peeking from the entertainment center).   By the time she was 1 yr old, after all she was fully housetrained and understood that NO means NO.  Why he can't make that same leap of understanding by now she does not get.  That would not be so bad, except that she does have a hard time understanding that we're disciplining HIM and not HER.  So we start telling the Monkey NO and she starts cowering in submission, even though she's doing nothing wrong whatsoever.
So she feels insecure, which makes her very needy.  She is constantly underfoot and trying to lay on/against us, which interferes greatly with effective toddler wrangling.  The Monkey falls down, bumps his head you've got to extricate yourself from the 50 lbs of muscle & bone that has taken up station 6 inches from your right toe before you can leap to his rescue, examine for signs of concussion and provide the requisite comforting.
We put her outside and she feels abandoned. Then she gets jealous... the minute we begin playing with the Monkey she brings us a toy to throw.   The Monkey enjoys watching her fetch, and even tries to participate, but more often than not ends up on the business side of a whiplike tail that's wagging in excitement RIGHT at eye level.  And as Echidne so eloquently illustrates.... you can NEVER play fetch long enough or frequently enough with a Lab.
So I finally gave in and agred to let Mom take her indefinitely.  My retired stepdad takes her for walks to the beach every single day where copious throwing of sticks into the river/ocean for her to fetch commences.  Mom cooks her gourmet dinners - none of this Purina crap we have the gall to call "dogfood" here.
But I still miss her.  Maybe when the Monkey is a little older and better able to keep her entertained we'll see if we can tear her away from her idyllic life in the retirement capital of the U.S. But for now we'll have to make do with frequent visits.

No comments: