I was raised with four Labradors for most of my life. I enjoyed having one or two around and didn’t mind taking care of them too much. But my sister was always the one all the dogs loved. And she was really good with dogs and very patient…I was not! When I was younger, taking care of that many dogs was a pain. Making sure they had enough exercise, food, water and cleaning their kennel wasn’t something I enjoyed. I was what you would call a lazy kid! I hated doing my chores and would procrastinate and never do the chore right the first time. I like the dogs but it really wasn’t my thing. I didn’t like the responsibility.
As I became older I still liked the dogs and didn’t mind over much helping to take care of them but it was really not on my mind to get a dog of my own. I knew the responsibility it took to make sure the dog was well behaved and not a pain in the tush. Nobody wants to be around a dog that jumps all the time, barks, doesn’t listen and chews up all your stuff.
We had this old chocolate lab, Jake, who was so stubborn but very loving that passed away when I was about 10 years old. Jake had been designated as my dog so when he was gone, Dad, who is an avid hunter and trains all of his dogs for bird hunting, decided to get a English Pointer as the new pup. English Pointers are known for being superb bird dogs. He didn’t have much experience with the breed but thought that she would be a good dog for me as well as being a great hunting dog.
I named her Lucy because “I Love Lucy” was my favorite show! I was very excited about this dog but my excitement was soon replaced with dread. This dog was a little terror and never listened until she was good and ready. We laugh at this now because she had a good spirit and was loving when she wanted attention but English Pointers are not a sweet and cuddly breed like labs are. Lucy was eventually know as “Lucifer”! I can’t tell you how many times she ran away and would only come back when she was hungry or cold or wanted a bath because she had rolled in poo or swam in a disgusting pond. So you can imagine that once I was in college and had a place of my own, I didn’t volunteer to take her! She passed away sometime during college due to health issues. We have fond memories of her and still joke about her being a “Lucifer”!
With the experiences I had with dogs growing up, I wasn’t too keen on the idea of getting my own dog unless I was able to put in the time and energy to make sure the dog was as enjoyable of a dog as I could possibly train.
A few weeks before Christmas 2014 I get a call from my mom about a friend’s lab dog that was unexpectantly pregnant . I had been thinking about getting a dog because I was actually renting a house, not an apartment, so I figured I could actually easily house train this dog since I could just take it out the back door. I told my mom that I wanted one of the puppies, a black male. We had the best black lab male growing up who I just adored. He was one of the family and was just the best dog ever so I understandably wanted the same type of dog.
The adorable babies were born in December and I had a work trip in the Rapid City area so I was super excited to see the babies and pick out the one I wanted. I was home for about a week so I had a good amount of time to play with and hold these little cutie pies! As I was nearing my final day home I had to decide which one I wanted. As I was talking with my mom, I said that I just couldn’t decide on which male I wanted but that there was this yellow female that always seemed to respond to me every time I picked her up. As you may know, two week old puppies all look the same! So the only way I picked this little yellow female out was by her responding to me more than all the other ones that I would hold.
My brother in law has the best lab who absolutely adores him. I asked him how he lucked out with such a great dog and he said she picked him out! I guess she ran right up to him and he knew she was the dog for him! So I figured this method was a good place to start and decided to choose the little yellow female that was more skirmy and responsive than all the others. I am getting ready to leave for my home in Minneapolis and I have to decide on which one to pick. My philosophy with the wiggly puppy was still in my head and so I had to find this same one amongst all the puppies that looked alike and hope that I was choosing wisely. Mom helped me paint the little toe nail bright pink so I could recognize her when she was old enough for me to come back to pick her up. I had my mom take a picture to capture the moment. I hold up the puppy to my check and smile big and at the same moment the puppy licks my face! I was just delighted by that and knew she was the right choice! My mom just happened to press the video button instead of camera button, so it is really special to have that moment on video. All the puppies at that time were not licking or moving around much, they were too little. So for this one to lick me was a solid confirmation that she was the baby for me!!
Fast forward to February 2015…I got the call that my baby puppy was ready to be picked up! I had named her Pippie, after Pippie Longstocking, because she was full of spit and vinegar! The 10-1/2 hour car ride back to the Cities was an adventure for sure because my sister and brother-in-law asked if we could bring back the black male they chose as well! My boyfriend came with me and we had quite the adventure bringing these two 12 week old puppies home!
It took some time to adjust to having a puppy but her adorableness really helped with all the times I became frustrated! At the time I had a job where I was on the road a lot so I was able to bring Pippie with me in her kennel so she was not only able to be with me most of the time, but I was able to build a really strong relationship with her.
She will be turning two in a few months and as I look back on our time together, I realize I just can’t imagine my life without her. Pippie is my best friend and we just love being together. I am an avid backpacker and also love to rock climb, travel and pretty much just enjoy life! Pippie comes with my boyfriend and I almost everywhere we go. And she just loves it! She has her own pack for when we go backpacking and she rarely even needs to be on a lease because she listens to well. She just has the best personality and is so kind and loving to other animals, kids and adults. As most labs, she loves her ball and is a great retriever. I always feel like such a proud mother when people compliment her! But I just think to myself …well I just really lucked out ending up with such a great dog but then I realize that she actually chose me!