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A Loving Letter to my Leggy Labrador

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My friend Gary, from Gary’s third pottery blog posted a letter he wrote to his cat, Spike, yesterday. It moved me to tears.

Yup. A simple letter to a beloved pet moved me to tears, because I’m sappy that way.

His premise for this writing exercise was asking his readers who they might write a letter to.

 “The celestial rolodex is always open” Gary mentioned in his post, and that’s certainly true. We are always free to write letters to anyone we might choose. Historical figures, deceased family members or friends we were close to, as well as people living today: the possibilities are endless. And, we can send them or not. Burn them or publish them or read them to the recipient, should we so choose.

How proudly the Leggy Labrador retrieves the firewood.
After reading Gary’s letter to Spike, I decided I wanted to write a letter to my loving, leggy, white chocolate Labrador, Deacon D. Dawg. He’s a white chocolate Lab, because we’ve heard tell that chocolate Labs are the craziest of all the Labs, and we KNEW that just couldn’t be true. Or, if it WAS true, that we had either purchased a genetic aberration, or that Deacon must be SOME flavor of chocolate.

Because Freaky Deaky is about as crazy as they come. At least he was, in his salad days. Which, for a carnivore would be more like his prime days. (heh heh…that was a good one!) These days, he’s a lot more like an area rug. Or a polar bear rug. Or like having a large beached walrus lying around on your floor. A large beached walrus that RACES his arthritic joints hell-for-leather to the food bowl, three times a day. Three times a day, the Phoenix rises from the ashes, and new life comes to him. We might be the only place in town that could host a thrice-daily resurrection. We should charge money. To the unbelievers.

When Deaky was just 8 weeks old, we went to see him, and his brothers and sisters, with an eye to choosing a great dog for our son to grow up with. What we got, was Deacon. We brought him home, and he proceeded to eat/try to eat every plastic toy in the house, underwear, socks, gloves, tiaras, Play-Doh, used feminine hygiene products, animal feces, and corners of furniture. And then to throw up what he’d ingested, so violently that he’d get to the point that he couldn’t get stopped. And then there were those trips to the vet to stop the throw-ups because he was about to die from dehydration. And he continued these behaviors for about three years. It was a long three years.

Moving to the Boonies was quite an adjustment for Deak. No more marinating in the creek in the backyard, no more daily dips that caused his collar to sour to his neck, and that earned him the title: Mr. Stenchy.

Labs love their creeks.

Instead, the Boonies brought frequent encounters with larger wildlife: the deer that we called “Big Dogs”, and the turkeys who provided a new hue of fecal material in which to roll.

Deaky Decorated in Turkey Poop

And then…there were the snakes. And the attack by the neighbor’s pit bull. That was an awful experience. .Moving to the Boonies brought us to the autumn of my big boy’s life: to a more sloth-like season. The mature Labrador cherishes his “down time”.

Having lost both my folks, both my parents-in-law, and after almost losing my husband back in May, I am a big believer that it’s important to say the things you want to say to your loved ones NOW, while they’re still in the land of the living. (Or at least on this planet, anyway.) And even though Deaky Boy can’t read, he can still hear the tone of my voice when I tell him how I feel about him. So, today, I think I’ll sit myself down and write my Lab a little letter.

Dear Deaky,

You’ve been a good, good boy.

I remember when you first came to us, all soft and fuzzy and cute and cuddly. You were the puppy that sought me out, and wanted me to snuggle you. I pointed you out to your Boy: you were the little fur ball  with the black collar. Five year old Boy was enchanted, and was convinced that you chose him, and that sealed the deal.

In your time, Deak, you’ve battled the beaver and the snapping turtle.  And the day you took on the copperhead, and saved The Big Bison’s life, you earned Favored Dog Status. And rightfully so.

You still bring the paper, every Saturday and Sunday morning, without fail. You’re always so proud, and we’re proud of you, and grateful, too. What a good retriever you are! You do your breed credit.

The Delivery Boy Brings You The Verdict

You announce the presence of visitors better, louder, and with more enthusiasm than any door bell ever could. And it’s entirely possible that your huge heralding bark has scared off an intruder or two, at some point. We owe you, pal.

Each day, you faithfully accompany your Rock and your Fortress, Daddy, to his studio, and while he composes music, you slumber on, oblivious to the music that peels the paint off the walls around you. Could any musician ask for a more loyal, faithful friend? I think not.

On the studio balcony, The Labrador Keeps Watch.

You eat each meal with joy, and without complaint, even though we all know you’d love some more. For you, the key is always: “Volume! Volume! Volume!” You gobble your glucosamine chondroitin like it’s candy. You’re a GOOD eater, DeakyBoy. The kids could learn a thing or two from you, when it comes to your gratitude and cheerfulness in regard to their kibble.

 I know your joints must hurt, but you never complain. You wag instead, and pin your ears back for joy whenever we talk to you. It’s a beautiful thing to see.

Mr. Happy pins his ears back for joy.

You’ve earned your senior slumbers, my friend.

Dream sweet bunny-chasing dreams of halcyon days-gone-by, when you could race through fields filled with myriad scents, charging joyfully wherever your nose led you, with no pain in those joints, and only the thrill of the chase in your mind.

I love you, Deak. You’re a good, good boy.

Yours forever,

Your Susie-Girl

I love you, too, Susie-Girl.

Got any letters you need to write, my Bloggy Buddies?

Black Labrador

Saturday 25th of January 2014

Lovely letter you have written for Deaky. He is really a good dog. :)