Thursday, March 22, 2012

Not quite perfect

In an effort to make Bella feel better about herself, since she is, of course, the star of this show and riddled with a ridiculous lack of self-confidence, I thought I should follow up my Opposites distract list of Beau and Bella comparisons with a few wherein Bella actually comes out on top. For example:

The shedding situation:
I don't shed. I 'accessorize'.
Labrador Retrievers shed. A lot. And always. (Don't let anyone kid you with that "twice a year coat blow" thing - it's not semi-annual, it's eternal.) Their outer coat is stiff like little sewing needles that weave their way into any penetrable fabric. Their undercoat is soft and fluffy. It accumulates like tumbleweeds in various corners of a home, yard, garden, vehicle and neighboring town. Beau is responsible for the early demise of more than one vacuum cleaner.

Bella doesn't quite win this one outright but she definitely scores higher marks. She sheds less, has far less undercoat and her top coat is somewhat shorter and therefore less likely to get stuck in things. That said, while Bella "appears" black, her fur is only black-tipped and is brown underneath so what shedding she does do shows up on everything you wear whether it's light or dark.

The drool experience:
Bella will drool on occassion if we're having something especially enticing for dinner. But it's a very thin and watery drool that leaves just a little puddle of drops where she's been waiting while we eat.

Beau had shoe-lace drool. As well as watery drool. Oceans of it. Think "Turner and Hooch" drool. I never left home without a towel.

The lap-dog phenomenon:
Leslie, Beau and Frodo
Most of us get a kick out of big dogs who think they're lap dogs but honestly, 115-pounds of bone-crushing, nerve-damaging dog leveled directly on your legs can become a bit of a nuisance. To be fair, once he realized he was too big to fit in my lap, Beau at least conceded to only needing to have part of him on me at any given time.

Bella has no interest in sitting in my lap. (Heck, she has only minimal interest in sitting on the couch with me and I'm pretty sure whether I'm there or not doesn't really factor into her decision.) But at just 55+ pounds, would it really be an issue if she did? She has recently shown interest, however, in lap-dogging during such "scary" events as windy days. I don't know, should I be worried?

The velcro-dog thing:
We seldom trip over Bella in the kitchen because she patiently waits in her place on the steps while we cook.

Beau had to be right next to me - always, even when cooking. He was tripped over often. And he was unspeakably lucky given my reputation with knives.

More ME, please!
Bella gives kisses, Beau did not (well, in 14 years, I think I got 3). Of course, given Bella's penchant for eating things like slugs and other unmentionables, I'm honestly not sure which one wins this contest.

Oh who am I kidding - I LOVE getting kisses! :)

And then there's this:
Beau's command list:
Sit, stay, drop it, get him (Translation: "Go get the cat out of the garbage, please.")

Bella's command list:
Sit, stay, down, wait, off, up, hug, snugs, peek-a-boo, leave it, drop it (sometimes), trade, come, front, foot, other foot, both, one foot*, two feet*, jump, speak, quiet, touch, say hi, show me, bring it (sort of), look, go to mat, finish, tunnel, kisses, high five, there (Translation: "I want you to go sit there"), to me, in, finish your dinner... And she trims her own nails.

'Nuff said?

As has been noted with the many stories shared in the previous comments by folks who have had similarly dissimilar dogs in their lives, love is a funny and wonderful thing that comes in all shapes and sizes. And I'm honored to have been given the opportunity to share mine with so many wonderful animals - these two crazy kids not least among them.

* These are related to touching an object such as a tip-py board and teeter-totter.


  1. Shedding is the WORST

    Stop on by for a visit

  2. Georgia Little PeaMarch 22, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    Loved this post. I'll have to go back to read the earlier one having missed quite a few in my 10 day break. You dog bloggers are too prolific LOL!

    I get the lab or lab mix eternal shedding. I recently found Jordan's fur behind the bench and he's been gone 3 years. Of course, that may say more about my lack of housekeeping than his shedding. Bella eats SLUGS? Eeeew! That has got to be worse than fresh possum entrails and cat poop. How do you get the slime out? It's like the toughest glue ever! As for Bella's vocab - that's impressive. I like a dog that has good conversational skills :)

    Off to read the opposites now x

  3. Mileys Daily ScoopMarch 22, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    Great post! My sister Maggie is a golden/lab....her shedding is worse than mine! BOL!!

  4. Awesome post! My last dog before Nola was a lab (and a black one at that) and my couches/chair were white. Nuff said LOL! 
    Nola is defiantly a velcro dog, always by my side and follows me from room to room. Bella's vocab is quite impressive! I found Nola learns through challenges and working to get what she wants, where my lab was "what do you want me to do, I'll do it pick me pick me!" 
    Dachshund Nola's Mommy

  5. Well, Bella, you've come into your own now! Fortunately, Sage doesn't 'blow' her coat...I just find it in every nook & cranny of our house.

  6. Hey Bella,

    It sounds like your pawfect to me buddy!! :)


    Your pal Snoopy :) 

  7. Oooh, slug-flavored kisses. Leave it to Bella to always give a little something extra.

    You, Bella, and Beau are all lucky to have found each other.

  8. Elka is my 71 pound lapdog, and prefers couch sitting and bed sleeping to other modes of repose.

    Bella's command list sure is extensive!

  9. You know what they say...."Shed Happens" I have a 90 pound yellow Lab and two beagles thank goodness I have a strong vacume cleaner. Every time I empty it i swear there is another dog inside.

  10. My husband would definitely agree.  I'm a bit more likely to lean toward the drool side of things. ;)

  11. Oh aren't they terrible with the shedding?  I had no idea.  And I have also recently found Beau's fur in closet corners, so whatever that says about our house-keeping skills, I like to think of it as surprise souvenirs. ;)

    And, if you must knows, slugs really aren't the worst thing we've seen Bella eat, we just try really hard to forget about that other stuff. (Let's just say we've gotten very good about cleaning up the yard after walking her....)

  12. I bet together the fur you two put out is a force to be reckoned with! ;)

  13. LOL - how do we never learn to match our dogs and our furniture?  Life would be so much easier. ;)

    Bella learns much like Nola - 'working to get what she wants', too.  They're so smart.  Beau knew a few more commands but I didn't really have to teach him too much because, like yours, he was just so willing to do what you needed at any given time.  And ftr, the only reason we're teaching Bella so much is because if we don't keep her entertained, she'll find a way to entertain herself. ;)

  14. I would think Sage's coat gets everywhere. Kind of that tumbleweed sort of fur, right?  Gotta love it. 

  15. Yup, she's perfect to us, too, Snoops. :)

  16. Yeah, the first time we saw her 'stalk' and 'pounce' a slug, we definitely gave a second thought to the kisses she had been bestowing.  (The mighty hunter she is not. ;)

  17. Isn't funny? Why is it always the big dogs who have to sit right on top of us?  

    The only reason her list is that long is because if we don't teach her stuff, she comes up with her own ideas and we usually don't approve. ;)  Simply put - we have to keep her busy.

  18. LOL - yeah, we've had that thought on occasion as well.  Oh but I can't imagine having a Lab AND 2 Beagles - guess you'd definitely need a heavy duty cleaner!

    Do you have a blog, Olddog?  I'd love to come visit.  

  19. I like the purpose of this post --- some affirming love and attention for sweet Bella.  I'll add to the theme of the comments above --- the shedding!!!  I'd never heard the saying "Shedding Happens" but I like it!  Having a German Shepherd (also known as a German Shedder) I totally empathize.  I sometimes feel that sweeping and vacuuming are my part time jobs however there is something great about opening my wallet during the work day and finding a single, gentle sliver of fur inside and being reminded of the love of my life.  

  20. LOL - "German Shedder"!  I love that.  My sister is a Shepherd fan so I do appreciate the sentiment.  But yeah, I'd like to not have to deal with but love why it is we do. 

    And don't worry about Bella.  She had a hard act to follow but she is her own little bundle of wonder.  Her stories are so worth sharing, she's the reason we started this whole mis-adventure  of blogging in the first place. ;)

  21. i have been way way behind on blog posts these days, so i'm only reading this now, but i freakin love it! bella is so very cute. you're lucky to have had these two great dogs in your life!

  22. LOL - you're funny - and probably about as far behind as I am these days...  I've been blessed with so many good dogs, really.  It's always different.