In a post a few days back I mentioned something about letting the dog out or feeding the dog.
More than one person in the comments said, "You guys have a dog?"
Why yes, we do.
For those of you who haven't had the pleasure, say hello to Lily. She's nine (just a bit older than Simon) and she's been with us since she was 6 weeks old.
Here she is with our second black lab, Wyatt, and Simon in 2003:
And here she is in 2004:
Lily is the reason we will always have female dogs from now on. She's kind and gentle and loyal and just gets a tad-bit excited when someone comes to visit.
My Dad had a black lab growing up: Mac The Knife.
I grew up with a black Lab - Mac The Knife Jr.
Labs have always been a part of my life.
Lily is the third black lab to live with Chris and me.
A couple years after Chris and I were married we brought our first black Lab pup home: Eddie. Eddie was killed in an accident before he was two. It was a terribly sad, heartbreaking experience.
After Eddie, we knew we wanted another dog. We found Wyatt online and drove to Northern California to pick him up. Wyatt had more of a "person" personality than any of other dogs. Seriously. He was four or five when picked him up and he lived to be about nine. He got to live out the last few years of his life at the beach with my parents.
Lily came to live with us right around the time that Wyatt did - so for a number of years we had two dogs. Which was interesting in our small living quarters with a new baby.
Lily is awesome. She's really all you could want in a dog.
Once a year Lily goes bird hunting with my Dad in eastern Oregon.
This year, before heading to the other side of the state, Lily went to Grandma and Grandpa camp for some conditioning work. She's getting up there in years and needs a bit of physical training to get her in shape for the rigors of hunting. When she goes to Grandpa and Grandma camp she goes crabbing in the boat with my Dad. He throws tennis balls for her over and over again. They go out exploring in the sand dunes.
Needless to say, when she sees my parents pull up to our house she gets really excited and I think she probably wants to go home with them.
When they get over to the east side of the state it's all business.
Some years there are other dogs along for the adventure.
She totally loves it and she's great at retrieving the birds.
After a long day of hunting out in the crazy weather she usually gets a nice warm bath and then gets to sleep with my Dad on the bed.
Around here, Lily is my daily companion. Most of the time you can find her here with my in my office or she follows me around the house as I do this and that.
Neither of the kids have an extra-special bond with her. It's more of a co-existence. Simon's gone through periods where he wanted to cuddle with her (and she's happy with that for sure) but it hasn't been an ongoing thing.
As I was looking for photos with Lily in them I had to laugh because we have lots of photos where part of Lily is in the photo. Photos like this:
And this one where she's in one of her favorite spots under the table (in our old house):
Most of the time she's hanging out waiting for a snack:
Here she is on the move (that's Wyatt in the foreground) back in 2004 or 2005:
She's definitely a people dog. She wants to hang out and she wants to stay close to home (both Eddie and Wyatt were always interested in wandering). She barks really loud to let me know when someone is out the door and then wiggles and wiggles and licks the person who ends up on the other side of the door.
She's an awesome dog. Love you Lily-girl.