Tuesday, April 26, 2005


If you're a regular reader you know that Ridge is our four-year-old yellow Lab (fox red end of the yellow spectrum) who came to us just a year ago as a three-year-old adoptee. With strong hunting lines, incredible athleticism, warm people orientation, and eye-catching good looks, he was our breeding investment (our stud). We expected he'd add much to the family; we had no idea how much.

Ridge is our vocalizer; he groans with complete and utter satisfaction when he stretches his legs or plops down for a nap. He sighs with delight when we rub his belly, his sigh sometimes turning into a pleasure-filled moan.

He's our affection grabber. He loves to nestle at our feet and nudge us with his nose. He'll butt his way between us and the other dogs to make sure to get his petting fix. If I'm working at the computer, and he's feeling overlooked, he'll bump my elbow with his nose until I give him attention (the same elbow of the arm that controls the mouse--try using a mouse with a dog nudging your arm; it's impossible!). Sometimes he get so excited by our touch he sounds almost human.

Ridge can also be our most vulnerable of the three. He hates thunderstorms. He needs reassurance. He needs us in ways the other two don't. It's nice to be needed.

Ridge is our watch dog and aspires to be our great protector. He alerts to strangers and car doors and cat meows and the postman far more vocally than Elsie and Baxter. And though he'd never hurt anyone, he can appear rather intimidating when he's alerting us to certain danger. ;o)

Ridge is also our always-ready-to-please-and-work-for-you retriever. He loves to train. He thoroughly enjoys doing whatever we ask of him. And he accomplishes it with an attentiveness and eagerness that puts the other two to shame. His athleticism and grace marvel us.

He's just an all-around great dog (thanks, Barnes family, for giving him up).

It's funny how each canine kid, even within the same breed, is distinct in personality. Baxter is our gentle, lumbering giant; Elsie is our old-souled imp with impeccable retrieving instincts and heart-warming affection; Ridge is our loyal, emotional, protective, hard-working companion. He's more "dog" than the other two combined.

Ridge and Elsie will make a great pairing when it's time to breed them; I can't wait to see their pups (we still have over a year to go before Elsie can be screened and cleared for breeding).

I'm glad we have them. I'm glad we have all three. Each brings his own set of life-enhancing traits and peculiarities. Life is fuller because of them.

'Til next time,

No comments: