We are a dog family. We have raised many other animals on the farm and love the variety of life that farm-living supports. The cloven-hoofed, web-footed, three-toed, or any other creature imaginable has been enjoyed in our country abode for both their beauty and resources. However, the domestic canine provides a type of companionship and loyalty that cannot be matched by any other animal; thus explaining their supreme title of “Man’s Best Friend”. 

The history of the dog is believed by many people to have come from wild wolves, or specifically the gray wolf according to research by geneticist Greger Larson (ABC News, 2016). These voracious predators were once tamed from wild animals through a symbiotic relationship that was gained in primitive man’s world. The animal provided protection, security, and emotional support for man and in turn they shared warmth and food with their furry friend. Their pack mentality also made them easily adaptable to human groups or families as they are fiercely loyal to their leaders-the providers of meat. 

Over the years, many types of breeds have emerged. Dogs are bred for their physical attributes that lend to incredible hunting and agility skills. Or in more recent years, many hybrid dogs have become popular; hybrid meaning the combination of various breeds to produce aesthetically pleasing companions fit for the specific dog lover’s taste. However, one group that has consistently stayed at the top of the list for most popular breed is the Labrador Retriever (American Kennel Club, 2018). They are known for their physical agility and intelligence, some specifically bred and trained for duck hunting and others work as highly skilled service or rescue dogs. Their versatility does not stop there as they double as one of the most loyal and affectionate family dogs in their species. As incredible swimmers, they love the water and will enjoy a dip anytime the opportunity arises. The only potential downside is their abundant energy and willingness to play anytime and anywhere (disclaimer: you will run out of energy far before they will). Children and other pets are rarely a problem with these animals as they love everyone. Maybe not the best guard dogs, but they will often bark to let you know that someone has arrived at your home if only so they can run to them for a pat on the head. 

As you probably have noticed by now, I’m a bit partial to the Lab. I can’t help it. I guess I just love being greeted everyday with big sloppy kisses and unbridled excitement as if I am THE most important person in their universe. FYI: They treat everyone as they are the most important person in the universe, but I still enjoy the attention. 

(Written in gratitude of our best friends; those still with us or in memory of those gone over the Rainbow Bridge.)