When we first got Dutch, Duke was only 2 years old. We thought it would be a wonderful idea to get a playmate for Duke. So, on impulse, I called the pet store at the local mall (yes, we were 'wonderful' pet owners who rescued dogs from pet stores...whatever) to see if they had a FEMALE black lab. They didn't have a female, but they did happen to have a male black lab. So, we decided to just go and 'take a look' at him. STUPID move. What dog lover can just go to a pet store and take a look at a dog that they know they will want to take home? We can. Sure....we'll just take a look-see and then come on home.
So, we got to the pet store and there he was, all cramped into this little cage, covered with POOP. I just about came unglued! They took him to the play area for us and we played with him and he kept looking at us with his puppy eyes begging to come home with us. I looked at The Man and he looked at me and we KNEW he was coming home with us. I demanded that they gave him a bath, and while they cleaned him up, we shopped for a new cage, collar, leash, and bowls for our new baby.
The entire way home we were calling him by his new name, Dutch. If he was a girl, he would have been Duchess, so we just shortened it and made it more 'manly' for him. Wouldn't Duke and The Boy be so excited? No...and YES!
When we got home, Duke looked at us like we were nuts. Well, he looked at me, but wouldn't acknowledge The Man, since he was Duke's 'person.' He kept his head down as if he couldn't believe we brought a pet into this house without his blessing! Dutch, however, fell immediately in love with Duke! He jumped on him, bit him, and tried to get his attention however he could.
Duke, our wonderful yellow lab
When it was time for The Boy's bus to come home, I walked the new puppy to the bus stop to surprise him. The Boy got off of the bus and was immediately over the moon in love with Dutch. Wow! Another dog to play laser tag with, sleep with, lasso with his new rope from The Black Hills, dress up, blame things on, etc. When you don't have siblings to blame things on, a dog comes in handy! ;)
The Boy dressed him up and took pictures of him...he was such a good sport!
I won't deny it, Dutch was a PITA when we first got him. But really, what puppy isn't? However, he didn't chew or destroy anything like Duke did, but, he wouldn't leave poor Duke alone. Lucky for Duke, Dutch still had to sleep in his crate, so Duke got The Boy's bed all to himself...and he even left a little room for The Boy.
We had many great years with those two dogs. Two years ago, this month, poor Duke starting going downhill. He became incontinent and was really having problems with his hips. It was heart wrenching. I had to make the ultimate decision (with the help from the vet) to have him put down. Hardest day of our lives. We miss him, but have many happy memories of him.
So now, Dutch is at the age Duke was when he left this world. We always teased that he'll live to be 15 or so because he was full of life. The reality of the situation is that he is slowing down at light speed. He spends most of his time sleeping or just lying around looking at us. He doesn't seem to be in pain, but it's so odd to see him like this. AND, the day after we got home from vacation, I found one of his teeth on the floor in the dining room.
This picture was taken a few months ago...it's hard for him to get onto the couch now
So, for now, we'll love him and enjoy him. He's my 'baby' and will always be my baby. Time marches on and as much as I'd love to push the pause button, I know I can't.