Beau February 11th, 2008
I was working on the computer and some paperwork the other night, with the tv on in the background and my Labrador Retriever laying quietly asleep on the floor. The boy was taking his bath before bedtime and from down the hallway I heard, “Daddy! Daddy! Mommy! Mommy!” So using my holler-through-the-house voice I call back… “What is it…?” And then from the hallway again, the boy’s Mom calls, “Um, I think you need to come here… this is yours to handle!” And I yell back, “Okay, I’m coming…” as I get up wondering what all the fuss is about. And then I notice that the Yellow Lab is not where he was supposed to be. And with growing awareness I realize the Lab had snuck away to play with the boy (and that he loves water).
So guess who was very proud of the fact that he was sharing his bath with the dog? So proud in fact that he didn’t say a word (and closed the bathroom door!) until he was ready for us to see?! Arrgh!
Well, they both needed a bath I suppose. The pup’s expression was like “Oh, you found me. It’s really nice in here, can’t I stay?! Pleeease?!” By the way, he really likes the “green turtle squirty thing”.
Beau January 23rd, 2008
It’s hard to believe the yellow Labrador Retriever is 15 months old now. Actually, it seems like he’s been part of the family for a very long time. He and the young boy are best friends, and just love to romp and play together.
We don’t get out as much right now when it’s incredibly cold. Well, perhaps the dog does, but we don’t train as much as when it’s warmer. The cold doesn’t bother him a bit however, and last week we even did some retrieves in the cold water of the pond. He didn’t mind and was ready for more.
But while we’ve been spending more time indoors perhaps, I’ve found that I need a ready supply of “chewy toys” on hand. Now a lot of dogs like to chew, no question.
I’ve met few dogs that have the single-mindedness of this Labrador when he sets to work on chewing something. And it doesn’t last long! I bought one of those indestructible chew toys at a pet store the other day… it’s already in pieces. I don’t know what the best thing is, but we’ve found that thick rawhide chews last the longest. Maybe 2-3 days each, but that’s better than most of the other items.
Do you have a favorite item that your dog, or your Labrador can chew… and that lasts? I’d love to know. Oh, I bought him a nice thick real bone to chew on… about 18 inches long. He doesn’t chew that much, but likes to carry it around a lot- and he has a penchant for dropping things from the top of the stairs so he can run down to chase it. Well, he did that the other day with the big hard bone… Crash! That got my attention… I heard the bone hit the wall across the bottom of the stairs… he just looked at me as if to say, “Wow! That was cool!”
As much as he loves to run and play, he’s also a gentle, good-natured dog. No pretense… just an honest dog that loves to follow you around. Oh, and eat whatever you do… he’d be a regular garbage disposal if I let him.
He’s a loving, goofy animal that seems to fit in pretty well around here. Doesn’t say much for me perhaps!
Beau October 22nd, 2007
Okay, somebody bring back the sun! The day started out balmy, but the temperatures have been dropping steadily as the clouds and rain rolled in. We can’t complain though, it was such a beautiful weekend. This morning I saw several flocks of White-fronted Geese flying far overhead, tootling as they went by, heading south of course. In March a small flock landed on the pond on their northward journey and I wrote about them here. They are so different from the Canada Geese.
The roses are still blooming! Here’s a pink beauty looking toward the sky.
I can hardly believe how the pepper plants have grown this year. I took another 25 peppers off them this morning, and there’s at least that many still growing.
We also did a little retriever training today, and the Yellow Lab swam his heart out bringing the fake duck back. He loves retrieving, and as the duck landed in the water he was straining to leap towards the pond. I finally gave him the “back!” command, and off he went, going “Woof! woof!” and grunting with delight. We’re going to do this 2-3 times a week as the weather gets cooler. I’m curious to see if the he shows any hesitation with the cold… I know I would!
Beau October 1st, 2007
A big Happy Birthday to the Yellow Labrador today! He was born on this day last year, and is leaving his puppy days behind. He doesn’t mind however and is getting to be a big dog- I don’t even know his weight. I took him to the field yesterday with some other Labs for dove hunting. He has never met another Lab until yesterday… or a female dog. Suffice it to say he was very excited! He did okay though, he found the birds before I did, but wasn’t really sure what to do with it the first time. After that he made a decent retrieve, but is still a little mystified about the whole process. I didn’t have a chance to work with him with real birds yet this year, but hopefully he’ll pick it up quickly as the season goes on. But he’s just a great friend and fun to be around.
It was time to turn the garden under, clean it up, and prepare it for next year. We cut down all the stringy vines, and pulled up the old vegetation. After trimming everything back (except for one lonely tomato plant), I carted all of it off to a pile that I can burn in the months ahead. So then it was time to lay compost on top of the garden. The tractor was really helpful, especially since the fence encloses the entire garden. We could lower the bucket over the fence for filling it up, and dumping in the compost! Newspapers do the trick over top of weeds and such. We put them down and I used the tractor to scoop our compost and dump right on top. The compost is really just leaf litter and grass clippings that have been in a pile for the last 3-6 months. Hopefully it will help keep the weeds down, and we’ll add more leaf litter as top dressing over the fall and winter months.
Beau September 28th, 2007
What a beautiful morning! It’s cool and crisp, the moon was shining brightly before the sun rose, and a glowing mist rose gently from the pond and fields. I can’t help but become invigorated by this kind of weather. I wonder if there are places to live where the temperatures are cool all year long?! Soon the leaves will be covering the grass with a carpet of color, and we’ll be raking and mowing. And we’re already thinking about pumpkins and decorating for the season.
I love how the ground fog rises in the grassy fields… almost glowing with the first rays of the sun.
The young pup has been working to earn his keep this month. He’s doing really well on multiple retrieves, and loves to be in the water. Now we are working on hand signals in the fields. He follows my signals when he sees me, but I have a hard time getting him to look or turn around when he’s making a retrieve. We’re also using a whistle, but he is so intent on his retrieve that nothing seems to intrude to his focus. In the fields, if he runs past or away from a mark/bumper, he will turn and begin a search pattern with his nose. He hears me yell or signal usually and changes direction. It’s amazing to watch! In the water he has even started swimming in circles or from side-to-side if he doesn’t see the bumper. I’ve been working on trust in our relationship… meaning for blind retrieves, or the ones he doesn’t know that marks/bumpers are out there, he needs to run in the direction I tell him. Then as he gets out, he is supposed to turn to look at me on my signal, essentially asking, “Okay Boss… where to now?” He has finally learned trust in that he will take off in the direction I give him… but he doesn’t really look back. He starts searching about 50-100 yards out, and listens for my signal or yell. He always finds the mark/bumper, but I’ve still got a lot of work to do. Not bad for 11 months old however! He has a lot of heart.