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So You're Looking for a Dog?...
Maybe the picture in your mind is a cute puppy that will grow up to be a loyal member of your family, more human than canine. That is a wonderful dream and make no mistake, it's a dream that can come true. But along with that dream comes many of the parental trials and tribulations that raising a human child entails.
Puppies, like babies, are cute and cuddly but require lots of attention and training. It's a long road before they are actually responsible members of the family that can be trusted not to throw a wild party when you’re gone for the night.
That dream of a Labrador Retriever gracing your lives, fulfilling your mental picture of a loving, trustworthy, reliable and almost human member of your family can be achieved relatively easily with little or no effort by adopting a Senior.
As I reflect back on my own Senior Lab, I remember the dignity that emanated from her along with the almost perfect symbiotic relationship that we had developed. I think they call it a mature relationship when speaking of humans. The playful side never disappeared but she just seemed to know when I was up for it and understood the times when I just wanted companionship. She was always on the "same page" with me and that type of relationship only comes with age and maturity.
Dogs are similar to wine in that the quality of the grapes are important and with a Lab you are starting with the best grapes but wine needs to age in order to achieve the fullness that brings that subtle nod of your head and a smile to your face when you take that first sip. So it is with dogs too and a Senior Lab is as close as you can come to that perfectly aged wine tasting experience.
Every Senior Lab I've fostered has brought that same nod and a smile into my life as once again I taste perfection. Like wine, they all have their own distinct qualities and differences but that perfect taste has always been there.
So while you are considering adoption I am asking you to consider one other part of the equation: Are you the vintner or the connoisseur? Remember, there's more than one bottle in the cellar. Don't let a sprinkling of dust on a bottle or a few speckles of grey hair in the face make you miss out on one of the most sublime pleasures in life, a Senior Labrador Retriever, like wine aged to perfection.