Sasha the puppy was a wild girl. Mr. Wonderful and I suffered our greatest disappointment when she dropped out of behavior boarding school. No one in the family had ever dropped out of anything. Fortunately, she had learned enough that the house would not be destroyed.
A funny dog, she had us wrapped around her big paws, loved people but feared animals. The ultimate omega dog, she dropped in surrender whenever another dog was near. And, our cat could keep her cornered indefinitely.
Very soon after her third birthday, we noticed she had hip dysplasia She could not jump in the car without help or take very long walks. But, she could swim ... for what seemed like hours. She'd run out the back door to the pool gate and sit there waiting for it to open. Then she'd run to the steps on the shallow end of the pool, walk down into the water and swim or retireve toys.
Finally, after nine years, she could walk no more.... The house got quiet, lonely and too clean. Mr. Wonderful said, "no more dogs." Famous last words.
A few months later, I began looking at Internet sites for another dog. I found a rescue service that had unwanted Labradors for adoption. I filled out paper work, and the organization sent people to our house for an inspection. We passed their tests. Soon, Draga [meaning "dear one"] entered our family. Her name had been something different, but with a new life in her "forever home," we thought she deserved a new name too.
Draga came with a number of problems: she was very under-weight, shed huge amounts of fur, did not really know how to eat, or how to climb steps. She had been used for breeding and then abandoned. With a bit of effort, she quickly learned to run up and down stairs and how to eat from her bowl. She gained weight and quickly learned to answer to her new name.
Unlike Sasha, our new doggie walks around puddles and will not swim, although beach walks are acceptable. And, she takes no nonsense from other dogs but holds her ground even a bit aggressively. She likes people and frequently comes around for hugs.
Once more we find ourselves wrapped around a Labrador's big paws. A wagging tail and a bit of dog hair in the house, make it a good home.