So, where have we been?
First, no worries: the canine crew is fine. Yup, that's the gang above, as of yesterday morning. :) From left to right it's Elsie (now 6 yo), Pinot (now 3 yo), Chessie (now 7 mos old, in front), Ridge (now 9 yo, behind Chessie), Tuc (in front right, now 2.5 yo), and Kenya (now 4 yo, in rear right behind Tuc).
All are healthy, thriving, and superbly Lab-ish (hehe...as they should be!). :)
Here's the Pinot girl (Ridge and Elsie's daughter). She's maturing nicely and is actually beginning to look like a grown-up! Can you believe it?
Pinot is every bit as driven to retrieve as she's ever been (more on that another time), but she's incredibly soft-mouthed and gentle, and she's finally becoming a snuggler.
That is, when Momma Elsie gives Pinot a chance. Elsie tends to be a lap hog:
As it's always been, Mamma Elsie's focus is reserved for her humans alone (above retrieving and playing and romping with the pack). Nothing has changed there. She's our snuggle bear. :)
Elsie's people-orientation, however, is nothing compared to Baxter's (remember the Boos?). Yes, Baxter belongs heart and soul to daughter Sarah and her hubby Chris now, but he occasionally comes to visit us. And, indeed, he is still every bit the couch potato and a lap hog he was when he was ours (even moreso!). Silly Boos.
Chessie, on the other hand, is still very busy. At seven months old, she's moving head-on into canine adolescence and forgetting (typically for this age) everything she's learned about manners. LOL...oh, but the older-wiser-higher-in-the-pecking-order doggies don't let her forget! Tuc, Elsie, Pinot, and Ridge keep her in line (unlike the ever easy-going Kenya, Chessie's mom). As do we.
And so far it looks likes she might have two different colored eyes: one more a gold hue; the other more green. I guess time will tell.
When it comes to needing to have something in her mouth, Kenya is Queen. Hands down.
Sweet, faithful, gentle, attentive Kenya always carries something (usually a bone or nylabone), and she's quite proud of herself when she does. She calmly follows us around letting us know she holds something quite special in that soft mouth of hers.
Though she's very calm, she still wags that tail a mile-a-minute. And because she bottom-wiggles so very much, it's next-to-impossible to get a clearly focused picture of her when she's on the move.
Then there's Tuc: sweet, smart, focused, people-oriented, and quite the handsome fella these days. Unlike Kenya, "calm" is not an adjective I'd use to describe Tuc. Boisterous, enthusiastic, full of life-is-good-and-let-me-show-you-just-how-good-it-is optimism--these are more Tuc's style.. He's goofy. He loves to be an imp (and he knows when he's being an imp). He's my Tuc Buddy. And he makes me smile.
We mustn't forget the Old Man: Mr. Ridge. Since his retirement (as studly) and his corresponding anatomical change (hehe... will he ever forgive us?), Ridge has become far less doggy-interested and is far more people-interested. He's giving Elsie a run for her money as Lap Hogger Extraordinaire!
The poor old boy doesn't much like competing anymore with the youngsters for retrieves (though he still loves to 1:1 with us). And he can't quite run as fast or leap as far as he once did. Ahh... but the others still seem to respect and mind him (except when a girl's in heat; that's another story).
He's a fine old chap. And he seems to enjoy this new role of his.
So... the gang is all here, and the gang is thriving. All is well on the canine front.
In fact, Puppy Chessie learned to water retrieve yesterday!!! (That's our next post.). :)
The answer to "where have we been" is a little less happy: the human front has been rough still. Suffice it to say the human side of our life with Labs has kept me from writing about them. But I hope, no more.
I'm excited about some of the tales we have to tell you (we've been accumulating stories for a while now), and am looking forward to writing about them.
Next up is Chessie's Great Water Adventure. :)