Is your dog your best friend? Your guardian angel? Is your dog a super hero? I have a big yellow lab named Trooper. He is my super hero and SO much more!! It wouldn’t surprise me to discover that he sneaks out on Christmas Eve to be Santa’s not-so-little helper!
A couple years ago, I headed outside to unlock the back gate for our gardener, due to arrive soon. As I closed the sliding glass door behind me and started to walk off the step, my ankle rolled and I fell, slamming into the glass. Luckily for me, the glass didn’t break but I landed hard. I am pretty sure I was not wearing shoes, which didn’t help. Now, I am home alone and I am in pain. No one was there to help. When I fall, at first, it can feel very serious. I question if something is broken. My knees are going to be a mess in twenty years.
Trooper was outside playing with his chew toy and came running as soon as he saw me fall. He started to sniff me, assessing the situation. Then, he dropped low to the ground and got himself under my armpit. Keep in mind that he is a huge eighty-pound lab. Trooper maneuvered me up enough that I could get on my knees. From there, I pushed myself up, using my dog as a stability aid. More recently, Trooper also did this for my mother. She was recovering from cancer at the time and fell down out back. Trooper ran over and got under her armpit to help her up.
You could say, “Trooper just wanted to play.” No, it was more than that!
I know when he wants to play and when he is concerned! Trooper has never been trained for service, but he does come from a long line of service dogs. The breeder we got him from breeds for both service and nonservice.
We also have a cat named Buddy, who is a master escape artist!! That cat can find his way out of the house without a trace. He has figured out that he can sneak out by hiding behind Trooper when he goes out. Unfortunately, we have many packs of coyotes in our neighborhood, so Buddy is strictly an inside cat.
Well, when Buddy does manage to sneak past us, he gets discovered pretty quickly. We’ll notice Trooper herding something outside. It’s the cat. Trooper knows Buddy is not to allowed to go out, so he follows him all around the backyard. Trooper will even get up on the ridge below the fence to block the cat’s next level of escape.
As a puppy, Trooper would carry the cat around in his mouth, like a hunting dog retrieving a duck. It was very humorous. Despite his diligence in containing Buddy, Trooper doesn’t consider himself confined in any way. If he manages to sneak out of the yard, he will run the whole city, probably making all kinds of friends, before we get him home! Because Trooper has a very sweet nature, we’re not sure how he would fend off a coyote. So he is watched carefully, too.
Trooper can also tell time. His two favorite times of the day are dinner and bedtime! Around 2:30 in the afternoon, Trooper will start looking at you with puppy dog eyes wanting his dinner. Trooper’s puppy dog eyes are a super power all in themselves. We look at him like, “It’s-WAY-TOOO-early, Pup!!” We are shocked that he has not made picket signs to drag around in protest: “WE WANT FOOD NOW!!” If you feed him early one day, he remembers and will expect dinner at the exact same time the next day!!!
Then, he looks at you at 7PM as if to say, “Hey, it’s bedtime!!” He likes to start nagging early. Trooper sleeps at the end of my bed at night. It is a great comfort having a huge “polar bear cub” at my feet. I don’t sleep well without him. Then, he wakes up at 6AM and sits on me. Yes, 80 pounds of lab right on my chest, saying, “Hello! Time for breakfast!!!” He loves breakfast almost as much as dinner.
Trooper is more than a pet!! I have never had a more intelligent dog!
I should get him a Superman cape and some Clark Kent glasses. He is a character and a love. During my mother’s cancer, I was home alone a few times worried as worried can be. Trooper would come up and snuggle with me, as if to say, “It’s OK; I’m here!!”
Is your dog leading a double life as a super hero? Well, mine sure is! The day I picked Trooper out of the litter of pups, it was like a loving angel whispered, “That’s the one!” Always listen when an Angel whispers to you.
If you don’t have a dog, maybe it’s time to get one! Or get another one. With the holidays coming up, if it’s in your heart and in your budget, go find yourself a dog! There are so many rescues that need a good home.
A puppy might make a great gift! They are tons of fun! But if you aren’t set on a pup, maybe an older dog would be perfect. Regardless of the breed or skills, loving you is every dog’s super power.
As for me, I’m sure you realize by now that I’m partial! Labs will melt your heart! You never have to worry about their temperament. They are great with young children. Are you ready for your own adventures with a Labrador!?!?