Sunday, January 14, 2018

☸️ "He Grew"

White Labrador Retriever laying on the floorI either hear or utter the phrase, “he grew again” at least once a week. Our little guy isn’t so little anymore.

Early on we were told, “he’s going to be a big boy,” “look at those paws!” And every few weeks, it seemed, Bodhi would go through another growth spurt, though he was probably growing steadily all along.

This past week, as he turned to look at Kelly and my eye caught him just so, I noticed how long his body had become and how tall he was at the shoulder. His head was noticeably higher off the floor when he stood.

I think he’s grown larger than Stella by now.

Meanwhile, he’s still just short of his “teenage” years; a little goofy, but settling down to a relative calm, and beside himself with joy when we walk in the door after a few hours away. My pal is showing the sweetness we’d hoped to see in him.

And he’s a sly boy. Look closely and you’ll see his side-eye look, keeping an eye on me as I take his picture. Each of our dogs gets a nickname or two unique to their behavior. “Side-eye” has stuck to Bodhi. He’s often seen scheming at how to annoy Stella, though I’m sure he thinks it’s play.

He loves to grab one of his many chew toys and offer it for a tug-of-war. It makes for easy entertainment in the evening: he tugs while we (barely) hang on, and goes from one of us to the other while we’re watching tv. There’s a trust in our relationship, too. We can take anything from his mouth short of a stick he’s picked up from the yard.

I’ve worked with him on obedience training over the past few months, but in a couple of weeks we begin a seven-week obedience program at a local Warrenton business. Bodhi can use the additional distraction of other dogs and people to bolster his focus.

I’m looking forward to working with him through that first class. Up in the air is whether we continue into the following one.

I had intentions to take both Zele and Stella into the second class, but by the time we reached the end of the first both dog and human were ready for a break from the six-days per week training work. We’ll see how it goes with Bodhi.

#Bodhi #LabradorRetreiver