This essay has a happy ending…..the dog does not die! Many of my readers share the same affinity for all things dog that we do. I am careful these days, and generally avoid any dog story that does not end with the pup happily wagging his tail…….I suppose it is my age and experience with mortality that is a significant part of a law enforcement officer’s life.
We had just moved to the condo at LOZ when we left for a vacation in Florida. Our black lab, Truman was boarding at our vet’s office and we were at the beach when we were called back to tend to Truman who had developed laryngeal paralysis……which inevitably led to our acquisition of Taz’m, the yellow dog.
He was the only yellow pup in a large litter of otherwise chocolate and black labs, the first born and pretty distinctive, as you might guess. We were drawn to him, and our breeder, Susan Swem, promised yellow boy to us. We decided to name him after all of our other labs, using the first letter of each of their names. T for Truman, A for Abe, Z for Zeke and M for Micah. I was still numb from the loss of Truman and wasn’t sure if I was ready…….Taz’m quickly changed my mind. It is a rare individual who can look a puppy in the eyes and not feel the warmth and peace of mind the Master built into them for just that purpose. I was all in.
Tazzy, as he came to be known as, was a dominant pup and presented us with issues related to his misunderstanding of who was actually the boss. We were sufficiently concerned that we visited a behaviorist, a veterinarian who was a dog whisperer if ever I have seen one. She prescribed a very structured approach to managing this independent fellow, and we dug in. Her recommendations worked beautifully and we could watch the transformation on a daily basis…..Tazzy eventually became the doctor’s pet of the week!
Are we the pet owner that is over the top with our approach to our pups? Yep, we are indeed. We bought a car, a Toyota Sienna, primarily because Tazzy and our luggage could co-exist in the room it provided. Condos are tough on pups. Many of the folks who live there are not “dog people” and when we began our search for a new home, a fenced yard and pet friendly neighborhood was a prime consideration. We were able to score both considerations with a bonus city/county farm park a block away…..perfect! Taz-man is now getting the exercise he needs. He has befriended the farm dog and they enjoy their morning visits as Taz checks on the well being of the critters on the farm.
We have spoiled Taz, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. He travels with us, and we plan to very much enjoy avoiding the motel selection process that is centered around the motel’s pet policy by traveling in our new RV where Taz will quickly assume the role of CEO that he enjoys at home. Labs are hair producing machines, and while we own every “guaranteed to pick up pet hair” vacuum ever invented, if you are violently opposed to an errant yellow hair on your clothes, we should do our visiting on the porch!
We are over the top, unapologetically so. In exchange for our devotion to the yellow boy, he provides unquestioned loyalty and companionship. He smiles, I swear it, when we go through Starbucks and he gets his puppacino. He could care less about the politics of the day and sees the KC Chiefs game as another opportunity to stretch out on the couch. We are the center of his universe and accept the responsibility that accompanies this single minded devotion to us…..
Good stuff……..believe me!