Saturday, February 19, 2005

The Retriever

Elsie is a retriever, heart and soul.

It's not that Baxter and Ridge don't have strong retrieving instincts (Ridge does, especially); it's just that Elsie acts like this is her life's mission. She'll retrieve with gusto until she's too tired to run anymore, and then she'll retrieve some more. She searches out and finds retrieving dummies, tennis balls, kongs, and anything else we throw even when their buried in a foot of snow. When I toss for all three dogs simultaneously, though outsized and less experienced, she out-retrieves the boys. I can count on Elsie to bring whatever-it-is home.

Ridge has strong instincts, but his nose doesn't seem as strong as Elsie's. When Ridge loses a ball, he'll search when I say, "find it," but Elsie will "find it" faster.

Baxter, frankly, gets bored. He'll retrieve for a handful of throws, even when we're working one-on-one, and then he'll lose interest. I think he's forever ruined for field work. He prefers the lap dog life.

Elsie, of our three, is the Retriever (capital "r"). Though every Lab we've owned has come from strong hunting lines and from reputable breeders, Elsie, by far, is the one who seems born to retrieve.

Funny, isn't it, how different dogs can be, even purebreds from great gene pools. Each has his strengths and weaknesses. Each adds something to the lives of those around him. Each is unique, special in his own right, and deserving of our love and care.

Sounds a lot like humans.

'Til next time.

1 comment:

Kiwi's Mom said...

Elsie looks like she is having so much fun in the picture posted above! We aren't allowed to play fetch with Kiwi - she's a guide dog in training. Even without purposely playing fetch, she still brings her toys to us all on her own. Your blog has been very helpful to me, thanks for writing it!