Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Tale Of Two Pups

I have some dear friends that have a horse farm.   They breed and show horses.  They also have a couple of dogs around the place.  My friends husband had someone at work that needed to find a home for their labrador, so he brought the dog home.  My GF already had an old geriatric lab and a jack russell terrier puppy to take care of, and had no patience for the rather 'enthusiastic' 3 year old New Comer.  He was merely tolerated and fed.

My other friend that is partners on the same farm took the new lab into her home, but she also already had an adult lab and a jack russell terrier puppy, and although she was good to the New Comer, he just didn't really get any attention.  Her dogs insisted on her attention, and that's just sort of how it went. He was tolerated, petted, and fed.

Any time we would go to the farm to help or work horses or whatever, one topic that always came up was how dumb the New Comer was.  Beautiful, but stu stu stu stupid.  I never thought so, I really liked him.  Although I admit, he was very 'enthusiastic' and was so affectionate that anyone that showed him any attention ran the risk of being plowed over by him.  

These gals had to be out of town for several weeks, and the second friend asked if I would dog sit for her, to help her out financially, and of course I agreed.  She took her lab with her and left her jack russell pup and the New Comer with me.  While the puppy drove me insane with bouncing off the walls, the New Comer would just hang out wherever I was, watching me and wagging his tail.   Pretty soon I was talking to him and teaching him little tricks and such.  I taught him to get his bowl and carry it out to put his food in it for dinner, and taught him to take things to the trash and throw them away.

Friends came back and I went over to help them unload from the trip and deliver the dogs.  Of course we stood around chatting some about the show they had been at, etc, and the dogs ran around playing and doing what dogs do.  When it came time for everyone to get in their trucks and head to the house, the New Comer made a beeline to my truck and plopped down, looking back at me and wagging his tail.  Friend called to him to get in her truck and he would run over and say hi to her then run right back to my truck when I headed over there.  I say "maybe he can stay just one more night then?"  this went on every time I would go back to the farm until one night when the Papooses and I went over to help collect hay bales from the fields and stack them in the barn.  After the work was done, Friend One wanted to buy everyone dinner in town, Friend Two said she was too tired and would watch the dogs at her place while we went.  As we pulled back into the farm driveway after eating, my phone goes off, I answer it and hear "Will you PLEASE come get YOUR dog????  He is going crazy trying to get out of the house and find you!!!!"  New Comer had decided I was his person.  I was mighty ok with that.

That dog was my best buddy and went everywhere with me for years and years.  He ended up being the smartest best dog in the world.  He carried feed buckets and hoses when I fed horses, he would go along behind me when I would collect the laundry and pick up anything I missed, I could point at something and tell him to take it to the trash and he would happily do it.  I can't even tell you all the things that dog learned.  He understood everything I said, I swear.

May of 2010 he stopped eating.  We spent dozens of hours and tons of money seeing vets, running tests, taking xrays. Nothing helped. Nobody could figure out what was wrong.  On  June 12th of 2010 I buried him under the tree out by the pasture where he carried feed buckets and water hoses for me every morning and evening for so many years.
New Comer/Mom's Best Helper

The New Comer

Fast forward to October 2010.  Some friends of mine breed, show and compete with labs.  One of them has his pick of the current litter that he intends to train as a hunting dog and do competitive field trials with.  Then his wife leaves him and he finds his life in turmoil and himself living in an apartment.  Can't see himself taking care of a dog.  They call me. I refuse to even meet the dog.  They harass.  I say ok I'll just see a picture.  Enter LabPup.  The last thing I needed when I am working two jobs.  But he is sweet.  As I have posted before, he's not overly people oriented, but we are working on that.  He is a good boy.  I do love him.

At first, when he had absolutely no interest in people at all, and me in particular, it made me miss the New Comer even more fiercely.  For awhile I even considered finding him another home.  But over the past week or so, LabPup is starting to come around.  Last night he passed up a prime cat chasing opportunity to come climb in my lab instead.  He may just end up being my buddy after all.  He has a big collar to fill........

LabPup/Rope Killer

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