I have to admit that, when we were thinking about getting a Labrador for a second dog and tasting room dog, that I was a bit snobby. I had grown up with McNab shepherds: focused, obedient, will-do-anything-to-please-you, energetic (to a fault) dogs who don't stray farther than then can see you. Labradors seemed a bit "generic" -- the average American family dog. I knew they had personalities better suited to tasting room life, but I still wasn't convinced of all of their merits.
As you can tell from the title of the post, a little over a year later, I'm convinced. So, here's why I love my Labrador:
- He always wants to snuggle, and he insists that all 85 pounds of him WILL fit on one square foot of sofa. He promises.
- He loves everyone. Kids always have food and every other dog in the world wants to play, even when they don't.
- Every time he sees you (if even just five minutes from the last time) he acts like he hasn't seen you in 3 years. Full tail wag, wiggle butt, licky tongue.
- He smacks people with his giant paws. Don't lay down on the floor, because he'll come lay down next to you and promptly whack you in the face. It hurts, but he thinks he's just showing the love.
- He tries to french kiss all our other dogs. Constantly. And they've all almost given in to it. Our other male dog, Dexter, growls at him while licking him back simultaneously. I didn't even know dogs could do that.
- He's a big baby. Try pulling a tick out of him.
- He wanders. Not so much to forbidden places (after a little training), but his nose catches a scent and he just goes, with no idea that he's doing it. Pretty soon he's in the vineyard and, oh well, while he's there he might as well take a dip in the pond too. Then he comes back wet and smacks me with his giant, wet paws. Good thing we have 32 acres for roaming.
- He has to sit and think about every hard decision in life. Stuck in the vineyard because someone closed one gate. Let's sit down and think about for a minute, and OH!, he just realized the other gate's open. Tada! Problem solved.
- He's an awesome golpher catcher.
- We call him our Labrador non-Retriever. He gets things you throw and they never return (although he often chews them into pieces, then drops them where they are and wanders off to do something less demeaning).
- He insists on going everywhere with me, then gets mad when I don't take him somewhere interesting.
- When he's lying on the floor and you look at him upside down, he looks like a bullfrog.
All in all, I love my Labrador.