When our last Lab, Penny, passed away we went out to find another. Penny had been a chocolate Lab so the Vet recommended that I get a yellow or black this time. She felt that otherwise my young daughter might have a problem with another chocolate one - the you're trying to replace Penny thing. Our son was 13 and our daughter was 8.
When I called about the new puppy, I told the breeder that I wanted a big male that looked calm. You see it coming already, don't you!
When we arrived, the breeder came out with a huge black lab puppy that looked half asleep.
6 or 7 more come walking out of the garage followed by a yellow blur. The blur hit my daughter mid -chest and started licking her face. I kept trying to get her to at least make eye contact with the black lump in my arms but no joy.
As I paid for him I kept looking over the breeder's shoulder watching my daughter chase this yellow blur running in circles and bouncing like he was on a pogo stick. Yellow one it was!
The ride home was all about trying to come up with a name for the puppy. My wife wanted Samson, Sam for short. His father's name was Bulldozer so my son wanted that. I came up with Diesel - like a diesel locomotive at the front of a 150 car train. The pup rode most of the way home inside my daughter's coat.
We compromised and used all the names. He eventually became Dozer or The Doze.
He was crate trained and became house broken quickly. It seemed like Dozer went from hiding under the couch to staring eye to eye with you as you sat on the couch in less than a year. We took his crate away the morning that I had to pry his butt out of it.
The Doze ate or chewed on everything - food, furniture, shoes, car tires; which he also loves to pee on. He popped his 1st soccer ball at eight months and was easily three years old before he stopped that pogo stick thing. He had better hops than most of our high school basketball team.
By the way, he was also the right fielder for the neighborhood wiffle ball homerun derby game.
The kids would hit the ball over the fence into our yard. Dozer would get it, run to the fence and drop it in a hole dug under the fence for the kids to use again.
The boy topped out at about 125 pounds. Every dog has away of telling you that they want to go out. Some bark, some stand at the door and wag their tail, Dozer places his big flat forehead against the door and rocks back and forth thumping the door until you let him out.
He is the master of his fenced in yard. No bird, squirrel , cat or dog better trespass though I've never see him catch anything.
The day we picked him up he came out of a big box that had old blankets thrown in it for the puppies to sleep on. Having noticed this we put a blanket in his crate. As a pup he would pull the blanket out of the crate and drag it into the familyroom to sleep on. He fluffs it up until it's just right and then and only then he'll lay down. Sometimes he'd ball it up and chew on it.
The Doze is now 14 years old, 98 in dog years, our son is 27 with a daughter of his own and our daughter is 22. As I write this , he's sleeping, with his blanket, every once and awhile his leg jerks.
I think he's dreaming about his days in right field.