Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Labrador Zone, or, Canines without Borders

Our family has been blessed with two generations of Yellow and Black Labrador Retrievers.  Our first set was Chester (yellow) and Turbo (black) and now we have Blitz and Maverick, pictured above.

Living with Labradors is the source of much love, companionship, training and of course, humor.

Our family has come to learn that the yellow labs are mellow, love to cuddle, and follow their person's every movement.  The black labs will retrieve until they collapse, can tell time (as in when it is time for a meal), are very smart, and very funny.

In our house, we have an area of the kitchen counter tops known as the Labrador Zone.  That is to say, if you place any food item, or potential food item, within the LZ, it will be gone, perhaps even before you leave the room.  As time has gone on, the LZ has increased in size, making us think that Maverick stands on Blitz's back to reach all the way to the back of the counter.  Last week when Maverick consumed an entire bag (restaurant size) of Toastitos, three bags of cookies, a bag of wrapped chocolates, a bowl of creamed onions, and 1/4 cup of butter  (the last two were consumed out of the sink) he set a new record.

The clean up was a heroic task performed by yours truly.

To get to the food in the sink, Maverick stands to the left side of the sink, hooks an elbow in the corner of the counter top, and reaches back with his head.  Very reminiscent of the "Fosbury Flop" style of high jumping.

There are other Labrador Zones that don't have anything to do with food.  Really.

The sofas, for instance.  Both Blitz and Maverick rarely get up into them when we are in the room.  But there is ample evidence that they break that rule when we are not around.

The bed.  A new Labrador sized bed must be in the works somewhere, because our California King will not accommodate two humans and two Labradors.  Someone has to go.  The other reason to relocate?  Snoring.  From the canines....

Some of the other Labrador Zones: The fish pond.  Any muddy spot in the yard, which right now is the yard.  Anyone who is brave enough to come into the house.

And, yes, flute practice.  Blitz, my sweet, award-winning obedience and therapy dog, accompanies me each time I practice.  Long tones are his favorite.  Listen to the following clip, and you will hear that he does sometimes match pitches, and has a sense of rhythm.  Sort of.

This recording was made by my son, who had to sneak up on the performance, as Blitz will not perform if anyone else is in the room.  I was so grateful for Christopher's efforts on my behalf and the inspiration for this blog


From the kitchen, to the living room, to the bedroom, to the practice room,  the Labrador Zone is sometimes shared with the humans.  But in our house, Canines without Borders is the rule. 

Happy New Year to all!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Joan for your wonderful recounting of your "tale." As a first time black lab owner and future 2nd golden lab owner, this is great preparation. Lillian, our 2 yr. old black lab, has been aiding and abetting her friend Ripley, a dachshund/yorkie mix. At parties, when Ripley has been here, Lil does downward dog and lets Ripley climb up her back haunches to the coffee table to look around at the scraps. Lil just ate her first meal off our first LZ "the island", when we weren't looking. 3 pieces of sushi, the rest of the wasabi and the pickled ginger. The tray was left - looking untouched - on the island. Oh Lil...the 2nd dog Mary arrives in 2 weeks.
    Love to Blitz and Maverick and their human Sparks.