Saturday, March 15, 2008

Ten Things Labs CANNOT Do!

Those familiar with the Labrador breed know well their incredible aptitude for learning. They're fabulous dogs. They can do just about anything we'd want a canine to do.

When I watch Elsie, for example, open our back door using the brass lever handle (something she figured out on her own) or Ridge "find it" (seek and retrieve a hidden or "lost" dummy), I sometimes wonder if there's anything these faithful friends can't do.

And, of course, that got me thinking (can you smell the smoke?). :o)

Here are ten things most healthy, normal Labs cannot do (or, at least, ours can't do) in no particular order:

1. Remain cool, calm, and collected when they hear the jangle of a training collar or leash being readied for them. OhboyohboyohboyohboyIgettogoforawalkandtrainmyhuman!

2. Ignore a new scent. Anywhere. Anytime. Anyplace. With anyone. In any weather conditions. A Lab version of Dr Suess might be "I like to sniff things in a chair. I like to sniff them in the air. In a rutt or 'neath your butt - especially another mutt. I like to sniff them in a park, I like to sniff them after dark. In a field or in a stream, I even sniff things when I dream. I like to sniff them here or there I like to sniff them everywhere."

3. Be cliquish or aloof. It's just not in them to condescend.

4. Forget the treat you left in your pocket. Don't even try to hide it from them. In fact, if you ever had any doubt about a Lab's memory, show them four treats, put four treats in your pocket, take out and give them three, and then see what they do.

5. Not come when called for dinner.
Not come for food? Are you kidding? Labs are even more food motivated than people.

6. Stay out of mud puddles, streams, ponds, marshes, lakes, swamps, rivers, bays, the ocean or any other natural body of water (note: a bath tub or shower is not a natural water formation).

7. NOT wiggle when they greet you. They just can't contain their joy. :o)

8. Hold a grudge.
Lab are the most forgiving, faithful creatures on the planet. They put humans to shame.

9. Lose hope. Talk about eternal optimists! Have you looked, as in really looked, into your Lab's eyes lately? That's the glint of hope-filled expectation you see there: always hoping; always expecting; always believing; always trusting. What a breed!

10. Grow old or weary in spirit. Labs are the epitome of childlikeness. Even when their bodies grow stiff and slow with age, their hearts still beat with joy-filled abandon and everything-is-new-everyday wonder. How I wish I were more like them.

Well, that's my first ten. I have a boatload more to save for another day. How about you? What CAN'T your Lab do?

'Til next time,


Jamie said...

Hi Joan,

Our girls can't stay laying down if they are at your feet and you get up to go to the other room for any reason. I even try to sneak away, but they can sense a change in the energy of the room even when they are asleep.

Mark says that Kylie can't not come running when she hears him getting ice out of the freezer. He will even forego putting ice in a drink if it is really late at night and he knows Kylie is sound asleep somewhere else in the house. He knows that she will wake from a dead sleep to get a piece of ice to munch on.


Mary said...

I'm so glad my lab isn't the only one that LOVES ice! A lab can not want to jump on you and cuddle when you lie on the floor. Our lab LOVES to cuddle and sit in our lap. Another one is, our lab can not run full force toward the door if she even thinks we are going for a ride in the car.


Me & my puppies said...

Joan ~ have you been peeking in my windows?! This describes my guys to a T!

juditudes said...

Our Lab granddoggie, Abby, can't help it; she knows everyone stopping by her house is there to see her and not the new grandbaby, Addison. She can't help but whip her tail and give you at least 3 hard smacks (entering and leaving). She loves all the new stuffed animal things lying around but can't quite figure out if the baby is one of them or something different.

It's not her fault, after all.
Addison's nickname is Addie and who wouldn't confuse Abby with Addie, esp. when the air is whirling around ones ears at mach speed?

Joan said...

Jamie, Mary, Judy,

Yup, far...they're all on the rest of my list:

*inability to stay still when their humans get up

*inability to resist the sound of ice cubes (or the ice cube maker/dipenser)

*inability to resist an available human lap (or available human feet)

*inability to keep their tails still, especially when greeting people

*inability to resist thinking anyone and everyone who comes to the door is their new best friend

LOL...isn't it funny how consistent the Lab breed is?! Labs can come in different shapes and sizes (American or British), but their behaviors are consistent across the board.'s one of the things I love about them!

So...anything else to add to the list?


Meesh said...

I LOVE your poem-so lab-like!! I just made a print of it to hang. My 16 month old Chester just "became a man" Monday night. He was walking with his dad and he got between a groundhog and the groundhog's hole. Needless to say, there was some barking and the contest was on. Chester won. We now call him "Killer". Sad for the groundhog but it's neat to see the wild instinct kick in. Keep up the great blogging and wonderful pictures of your fur-family!!

Richard Laplante said...

And 11: Never forget a kind face

The Swann's said...

I loved this "Top Ten"!!! :-) May I add that our lab does not know how to keep her tounge in her MOUTH! Or drink water in a clean manner?? :-) Oh the joys of having a lab whom we love and adore!

I also had a question in regards to the "lab tail" thing... Since she's had it, is it more prone to come back or what?? :-) I love reading your blog! So much fun!

My_Dog_Is_Better said...

Great blog and post :)

My lab cannot be in a different room than me. I used to feel badly that we live in an apartment (a good sized one, but an apt nonetheless) but I've come to realize it doesn't matter to her. I could live in a mansion and she'd be right by my feet.

My lab also cannot stay on the passenger side of the car when we're going somewhere. She HAS to stand in the middle and keep trying to stick her big nose in my way.

My lab also cannot resist a game of Hide and Seek. She plays this with everyone, the little cousins love it when they come over.