Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"It's a Dog, it's a Fish, No it's a Laborador Retriever!"

Shortly after settling in Houston and desiring to make our house feel like home, my oldest son and I visited the local SPCA in search of a new member of the family. For those of you dog lovers out there, you know what an emotional experience this is. So many wagging tails, so many happy eyes asking to be taken home and, bottom line, way too many choices.

At heart I'm a true animal lover, however, I'm also a left brain thinker which is reflected in my methodical way of doing life. The dog only had to meet three requirements. First, it had to be completely housebroken. Second, it had to be fairly low maintenance in the grooming department. Lastly, it had to be big enough for me not to trip over in the kitchen which is where our canine friend and I spend most of our time, based on past experience.

Final drum roll please!!! Will it be the giant black Schnauzer or the black Laborador Retriever. Although I loved the 'happy' personality of the Schnauzer, adding another high energy entity to our already high energy house was a concern, as was his fairly long hair. The Lab won the day and my son's heart! We named him Hobbes after, you guessed it, Calvin & Hobbes. Only two months have passed since we brought him home but animals have a way of attaching themselves to us so quickly. It seems like he's always been a part of the family.

As you may know this year Texas experienced the most severe drought in history. We are just now feeling the relief from the heat as a few good storms have come our way. This is where Hobbes' nature really came out. During the first heavy rainstorm, he immediately ran out his dog door to play in the pouring rain. He darted back and forth in the yard like a little kid experiencing water for the first time. I truly never saw anything like it. Growing up in Southern California I always saw labs swimming in the ocean so I knew they liked water, but this was different. This was water falling from the sky, not a hole in the ground. He literally played in the rain for 30 minutes until the storm died down.

The following week while taking him on a walk I let him off the leash to see how he would do (He's an excellent walker which was, by the way, another criteria). He immediately dashed off for the nearby manmade lake in our neighborhood and dove in right next to the "No Swimming" sign. Was that meant for dogs too? I let him make two jumps in before I did the retrieving and put him back on the leash. Yup, Labs always find their way to water just like Hobbes found his way into our hearts!

Things are definitely starting to feel like home.