It was only a few hours ago when I realized that my precious Labrador Retriever, Midnight, was turning two today! Hmmm how does one celebrate a dogs birthday?
Midnight was a sick little puppy when we got her (Nov, 23, 2007). Oh she looked healthy enough to brand new dog owner eyes, but by the next day we knew we’d purchased a sick puppy! She had diarrhea, a gastrointestinal infection, eye infections and even ear infections. I think during that first month of having her we weren’t all that sure she’d make it this far!
Of course, as new puppy owners -experiencing the highs and lows of puppyhood (boundless energy, nipping, accidents, shedding! and of course her illness) we weren’t sure we’d make it this far either! It can be exhausting taking care of a puppy, let me tell ‘ya!
Our little sweetie is healthy now and has been pretty much since her last birthday (but the first 9 months with us she needed lots of extra care!) and she’s been a fantastic addition to our home.
I’d really miss her if she weren’t here. We got her as a companion for me since I’m stuck at home sick with Crohn’s and she’s become my best little friend. She keeps me up when I start to feel down and she makes me laugh several times each day. Hey, they say laughter’s the best medicine, don’t they … so it’s great that my dog makes me laugh and smile.
It’s hard to believe she was ever this tiny!
I think she only weighed about 8 lb when we got her and now she’s around 70 lb! Big change!
You can see how much bigger she is now that she’s fully grown if you look at her beside the 8 inch high stones in our raised bed garden above, and in the picture below.
Midnight is a happy go lucky dog. She thinks she’s a watch dog – growling or barking through the screen door or window at people walking by our house, but really, she’s one of the friendliest dogs you could ever hope to meet. Barks and growls end as soon as she reaches a new person or dog and happy noises, frantic tail wagging and back end wiggling ensue. People who know her say they love how she “dances” when greeting them.
Our dog has lots of quirky habits – including a lust for chewing on cardboard boxes (we give her empty pop cartons to satisfy her urge), rolling on her back and yipping with joy (we call this having “fun fun”), backing up to us for a bum/ thigh scratch rub (constantly!), doing somersaults on the couch when she wants a rub, and a foot fetish (lick, lick, lick!).
She also has a never ending desire to play “dog Hockey” which consists of her dropping one of her favorite flat Nylabones at our feet so that we can shoot it across the hard wood floors for her to try to catch. If we get the bone past her it’s a goal for us. LOL She makes a good goalie though so we don’t get that many pucks er … bones past her.
Like most Labs Midnight is true water dog. The first time we took her to the beach and set her loose (right here in Toronto, Cherry Beach) she went right into the water and didn’t want to come out. We had other dog owners admiring her swimming skills asking us how long she’d been swimming – we’d look at our watches and say “oh, about 15 minutes. It’s her first time in!”.
Dripping dry on the sandy beach:
Here she is on a recent swim in Lake Ontario with a new doggy pal:
She also loves taking a dip or splash at the pond in another dog walking area we take her to regularly … of course she’ll pretty much roll around in any water she finds … but oddly enough if it’s just rained or if I’ve watered the lawn she doesn’t like to walk on the wet grass and get her feet wet, but give her two inches or more of water and it’s a whole new story! Strange dog!
After the day is done and all the playing is over Midnight likes to become a lap dog … or in the case of the picture below a chest dog! Here she is cuddling on my husband!
Of course she has also taken over the lazy boy chair in our living room. Curling up in the center of it with her head and usually one paw thrown over the side … here’s a typical sleepy pose:
One of my favorite things about Midnight is the Wookie noises she makes – Whoogh woogh woo gahh … strange noises, but that’s the way she talks to us. LOL She also makes a kind of soft clucking noise when she’s looking at people, dogs or anything out side.
I’ve added lots of pictures to this post … perhaps too many! However, if you’re a dog lover and you’d like to see more pictures of our Midnight from 3 months old to two years please visit her Flickr page. She’s also got her own category on this blog “Our Puppy” if you want to read some of the stories about her and see more pictures in context.
So … I guess we now need to figure out how we’re going to celebrate her birthday. Maybe a special treat at dinner? Yeah, I think that’s a good way to celebrate.