Mulling things on my morning ramble
with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.
On a practical level, the meathead is worthless.
Worthless as a cat, any cat.
And I had such high expectations for him.
When the kids picked him out, I had visions of a faithful hunting dog, versatile as Labs can be. I envisioned a big strong dog as capable of swimming down a duck as he would be in chasing down a winged pheasant.
Those dreams seemed reasonable when the kids picked him out the litter. He was easily the pick of the litter. He was the one he came up and was first to nuzzle the kids. He was by far the biggest pup, the alpha dog.
Watching all this reminded me of Trover, the last good hunting dog I had. And that was back when I was a teen.
Then reality came.
Storm was no Trover.
He was virtually untrainable. Even the woman, a specialist in training Labs, who helped our oldest boy with Storm as a 4-H project, conceded he was nearly untrainable.
We finally had Storm fixed, a thought that still gives me the willies. That helped slightly, but it was not a miracle cure.
But he loves the family. Truly loves us as only Labs can, more so than any other pets I know of.
And he is fiercely loyal. Our home is within his no-enter zone. In his protective mode, his body swells up, his bark deepens into something so ferocious that we sometimes start laughing at him.
But that is a useful trait when people come to the door or into the yard.
Woe be the fool who tries to enter our house without one of us giving approval.
So maybe the meathead is not completely worthless.
He's a protector.
And, most importantly in the end, we were left with a dog who truly and fully loves us.
Sometimes, all you need is love.
Ramble on dog.