Success Stories
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Safe Harbor Lab Rescue successfully places about a dozen labs a month into loving homes. Adoptive families love to share their joyful experiences with us. Over 2,030 of those success stories are listed on the following pages. We'd like to thank these very special people for sharing their stories with us!

Charlotte

Marcie The gorgeous Lab girl who can be found warming hearts and sofas at John and Deb's house these days is the lovely Ms. Charlotte. After some time on the streets, five-year-old Charlotte is relishing her new role as well-loved family Lab. Her fabulous new family also includes a couple of feline siblings, and a horse, of course. "Who knew life could be so grand?", the divine Ms. C asks herself each and every morning as she stretches and greets the new day from the comfort of her forever home.

Charlotte's new dad, John, tells their story:

Well, here we go. As the (my) saying goes; "Every Labrador is wonderful, one is just different from another, and everyone knows theirs is the best!”

Charlotte is a fourth generation Labrador rescue for Deb and myself, and after Lucy’s (#3) passing in September another search began. Our search was extensive spanning several months and with a number of rescues. Emails and photos of our previous "perfect girls" had been shared with the Safe Harbor Adoption Team and when Charlotte appeared on their website, we set the wheels in motion and trekked to Denver as our girl had been located and we could call her our own. A special thanks to Mike, her foster Dad, for his accurate portrayal of this girl and directions to his home. Charlotte, of course, was thrilled with the prospect of a long car ride!

Miss Charlotte truly is the perfect girl (see above). Stays on her padded areas in the house (self-voted a spot on the couch), great off leash (except when wishing to be the greeting committee), loads quietly into the back seat of our trucks (then promptly upgrades to the heated front seat co-pilot). Oh, then there is the horse barn where Deb rides her Thoroughbred. Charlotte is quiet, responds well to voice commands, and stays out of trouble (until she discovers the manure pile). This girl even comes to my semi-retirement work gig every day and is simply a joy to all. Cats, you ask? No problem (but for the initial “they run, I chase, right?”) routine. Topping it off, she loves broccoli and bananas, but turns the muzzle up at green beans.

We so love our latest addition, and are looking forward to many years of muzzles, adventures, and surprises. Thank you for rescuing the best Labrador, maybe ever (see above).

Bless you and keep up the good work!

Marcie (formerly known as Merci)

Marcie Linda already had one sweet chocolate girl at home when she decided it was time for a second helping chocolate love. As soon as Linda met the lovely little Miss Merci, she knew she had found the perfect new addition to her family. Merci, now known as Marcie, is an adorable 7ish-month-old chocolate pup who melts in your heart as soon as you meet her.

Linda sent us an update on life with Marcie:

I met Marcie 3 weeks ago and fell in love immediately. She has a sweet disposition and has adapted to my family perfectly. Riley, my 21-month old chocolate lab, and Marcie bonded within the first couple of hours of meeting. Riley has learned to share and I have been diligent on making them both feel important and loved equally. Marcie loves my grandchildren and plays really well with them. I have had no problems with her at all.

I've started basic training at home and she is very smart and catching on quickly. Her big sister is helping a lot and showing her the right way of doing things. Riley just looks at her and waits patiently for Marcie to complete the task. I'm encouraged with her progress and look forward to doing more with both of them.

At this point, Marcie's favorite toy is the ball. She loves fetching and is getting good at returning it to my feet. Marcie and Riley have learned to cooperate and take turns fetching. Marcie also loves to play with the ball by herself. Tossing it, batting it with her paws and protecting it. Tug of war and chasing are their favorite games.

I'm so happy to have this opportunity to give her a special home. She has already given Riley and me a new purpose and I look forward to many years of adventures and wonderful companionship. Thank you so much for bringing us together.

I’ve included a picture of Marcie and her big sister, Riley, on their favorite place: their bed.

Archie (formerly Jake)

Archie Archie is home forever with Mike and Heidi, and this handsome two-year-old charmer couldn't be happier! Archie, formerly known as Jake and/or Amigo, still can't believe what a lucky boy he is to have been chosen to join this wonderful family. In addition to his fantastic new parents, Archie has a new canine sister, 12-year-old Zoe, and an 11-year-old canine brother, Lugnut. Archie tells us that his new siblings are the best things on four paws, and that in addition to having the coolest name around, his new bro, Lugnut, is a super fun playmate. All of the pups love hanging out together and enjoy family walks, playtime in the yard, and car rides, but, of course, everyone loves snuggling with mom and dad best of all!

Heidi and Mike sent us this great update on Master Archie:

We just love our new boy so much! We renamed him Archie and he is learning fast! He sits for his meals and takes treats very gently. He is a world-class snuggle pup and sleeps in our laps as well as the bed. Archie's having a good time at his forever home with new squeaky toys, chews, balls and playing tag with his new brother Lugnut - he is just a happy-go-lucky guy and a joy.

He has a new sister as well, Zoe, and she plays gently with him but since she's a princess and an older gal, she doesn't play tag and get crazy like the boys and Archie understands that.

He has infused a new level of activity for Lugnut which is wonderful! Lug never really knew how to play before but has found out how with his new playmate and they have a blast. Zoe and Lugnut are both rescues thru SHLR and GRRR too, and we can't imagine life without all our pups. Life is good for all. Thank you so much for rescuing him and allowing us the privilege in giving him his forever home. We've sent updates and pics to his foster parents - they are wonderful.

Bodie

Bodie After recently losing their best buddy, Buck, (an SHLR alumnus), Dan and his Jack Russell girl, Boo, came to Safe Harbor to find their new family member. One-year-old Bodie is the lucky pup they chose to help fill the Lab sized hole in their hearts, and while Buck can never be replaced, young Bodie has brought his own special brand of Lab magic into the family.

Bodie is fitting right in and having the time of his life in is new home, as Dan tells us:

BodieBodie is my second Safe Harbor success story. After many years and thousands of miles of hiking trails I lost my old chocolate lab last year. I contacted Safe Harbor in January and the rest is history. Bodie is doing great. Everyone loves him and he loves everyone. You’ll never meet a more affectionate dog. He has a new best friend named Boo who quickly taught him to use the dog doors. They enjoy 24 hour in/out access to a big back yard. This back yard backs to open space and is where they get their daily walks. Bodie has already climbed two mountains with me and loves to go hiking (what dog doesn’t).

Scooby (formerly Truffle)

Scooby Truffle, an overly plump chocolate delight, (who is working very hard on her new health and fitness program), has found her forever home with Dan and Ali. As happens every so often with our adopted Labs, Truffle, nka Scooby, got her paws on the computer, or perhaps even an old typewriter, in her new home, and took the opportunity to write her own story. Here is her tale in her own woofs:

I’m a female brown lab. That I know for sure. But what I’m not sure of is how to write a biography. They say to use your past and present experiences as guiding principles for your story, but hey, I’m a dog and I’m not exactly sure what that means.

You see, my past is a bit blurry, and when I try and focus on those memories my mouth turns dry and pasty. I know I once had someone who took care of me, who fed me and occasionally scratched my neck, but then something went awry, and things got really bad and that’s when my memory fails me. I had a name, too, but I don’t remember what it was. What is clear is that one day I ended up walking around by myself, my owner / family nowhere to be found, and so I became tired, hungry, lonesome and very afraid. I kept walking trying to find water and something tasty to eat, but everything I ate was yuck and probably not good for me. Then one day I was taken to this place they called a Shelter.

The Shelter isn’t a nice place for an extended stay. There were lots of other dogs there, none of them wanting to be befriend me. My area smelled funny, and had a cold, hard floor. My brown nose told me that other dogs had been here before me, none of them giving good reviews. Although I was grateful to be indoors, this place really gave me the creeps. Yes, I would have an occasional visitor or two, but that thought was overshadowed by the tension filled nights spent listening to other dogs whimpering in sadness. This place stressed me out so bad that I began to lose hair on my nose and my back leg. Yikes. I was here for what seemed like weeks until one day this woman from the Lab Rescue Society put a collar on me and took me to her home.

She was very gentle and nice to me, told me that she would clean me up and that I could stay with her family for a while, but I would be put up for adoption. That was their mission. I’m not sure what that meant, but believe me when I say her digs were so much better than that yucky shelter place! So I passed the day in my new, temporary home sleeping as much as I could, welcoming frequent meals, while periodically re-locating the man’s shoes just because.

Then one morning I woke up listening to continued coverage of Super Bowl 50 on TV and being told that there’s a family in Denver who wants to meet me this afternoon. O.k., I guess. So that afternoon Velma loaded me into the Mystery Van and we drove to this families home where I was immediately greeted by a yellow, slimmer version of me. They called her Astro, and she seemed very nice. She had a lot of spunk and moved across the yard with sucha graceful ease, much like I used to do when I was in better shape. Astro said something odd to me that day – ‘you’re not swim suit ready.’ Not sure what that meant.

Before I could bark twice, I was adopted by this new family. The nice woman from the Shelter eventually drove away in her Mystery Van as I sat in the grass of my new yard. The details of my adoption are blurry at best, but I was thrilled to be with this new family, yet a bit sad to see the Van drive away because I don’t think I had the opportunity to lick her face and thanks for everything she did for me. She saved me.

My new family consists of a mommy, a spunky younger daughter, and a tall man with stubbly whiskers just like the ones on my snout. And Astro. I was immediately taken to a dog spa and given a bath with a blueberry facial. Oh how glorious! Then the whole family agreed on my new name – Scooby! What a short, powerful name – how fun! I’ll take it.

My recent days have been filled with periodic health checkups, a dental cleaning, and a repaired dew claw. However, that’s the boring stuff. The good stuff is my new mommy feeds me my medicine every day with peanut butter. She carefully lifts me up into the car every day and takes me to her office with Astro. She’s so gentle and kind to me! The young daughter wears several different outfits a day but somehow manages to make time in her busy day to hug me and kiss my ears. Mommy takes me and Astro on frequent walks too, feeds me meals every day at the same time, and provides me with an endless supply of cold water. With this new training regimen…I hear I’ve lost 6 lbs in 3 weeks. Hooray! Oh, Daddy is also very nice, too – he brought home two stuffed groundhogs from PetSmart for me and Astro. Have you ever had a stuffed animal groundhog? Stupendous. Astro and I bonded over the complete destruction of the groundhogs on the carpet next to the fireplace. I have a new pink rhinestone dog tag too, a new collar, and my own private, super cozy dog bed just feet from my new owner’s bed. It’s great to feel like a dog again.

So that’s it. My family is super nice to me and they provide me with all the care and snuggles I need. I can now continue on with my mission, which is to love my new family to the best of my ability for as long as I can.

My name is Scooby. I’m a brown lab, and I will be swim suit ready!

Remmy (formerly Benito)

Remmy"Who knew there was so much fun to be had, so many bunnies to chase, such soft couches to sleep on...?", young Remmy mused recently, when asked about life in his new forever home. Remmy, formerly known as Benito, has been loving every minute with his new parents, Lauren and KC. After spending some time alone on the streets before making his way to Safe Harbor, this happy, 1 1/2-year-old Lab lad is thrilled to wake up in his very own home each morning, and is always eager for the new day's adventures to begin.

Remmy's new parents write:

After wanting to get a dog for a while we finally decided to take the next step and we are so glad that we did! Remmy - his new name short for Remmington is such an amazing dog! He is such a loving sweetheart that fills our days with joy. Remmy loves going on walks around the neighborhood and meeting new people and dogs hes a friend to everyone - except bunnies we learned he LOVES to chase them ha ha! His favorite spot in the house is the sofa he has basically claimed it as his. It took some time for him to get used to our cat but they seem to be okay now and he is still getting used to our routine but since he such a smart and go with the flow kind of boy I'm sure he will get there in no time! We are so glad we got the chance to adopt this amazing boy and get to call him a member of our family.

Buddy (2003)

BuddyUsually our success stories mark the beginning of a beautiful relationship between one our of wonderful Labradors and their loving, new forever families, but this story is an exception and is told from a different perspective. Rick and Joyce were the very proud parents of a gorgeous black Lab named Buddy, who they adopted from Safe Harbor many years ago; and as Buddy did not have a success story written at the time of his adoption in 2003, they recently sent us this lovely retrospective story of their very happy time together. Buddy's dad tells their success story:

Buddy, adopted 6-7-2003

When our old lab died unexpectedly, his friend and Lab mix mate (Galena) needed a partner quickly as her health was going downhill fast as a result of missing her partner. We checked all the nearby shelters and there were no Labs available. Then we found the Safe Harbor Lab Rescue website and they had Labs. We drove to Denver on a Saturday morning and met lots of Labs. That’s where we found our dog Buddy. He was just a pup about 8-9 months old. We took him home and Galena made immediate improvements. From that point on, they were inseparable.

Buddy was the definition of HIGH energy; you couldn’t throw the ball with the Chuck-it enough times to ever wear him out. I’m a caretaker of two high mountain reservoirs and Buddy, Galena and I spent our days at one of the reservoirs or in the truck going from one to the other. Buddy could run in front of the truck, or more often in the forest alongside the many mountain roads I traveled. He wouldn’t want to stop to get back in the truck. Watching him run and jump over logs and rocks, you could tell he was having the time of his life. He loved to swim and dive into the reservoir to retrieve his ball or stick. He loved to hike with me and was always out in front leading the way. He was tireless.

Buddy and Galena were excellent travelers. My wife and I took Buddy and Galena, and then sadly just Buddy, on many trips. It was amazing to see this energetic dog settle down in the back seat of the truck for a nap when he knew we were on a “journey.”

Buddy had lots of dog beds in many locations and he loved them all. His favorites were the Beasley’s Couch so he had a pillow for his head. He sure could make those beds look comfortable. He loved to have a bed in each room so that he was never very far away from us.

As he grew a little older and wiser, he learned how to tell us that a “treat” was expected whenever we left him alone for more than just a few minutes. There was a treat jar just inside the front door and he would sit down in front of the treat jar and look at it and then at me and continue this neck exercise until a treat was produced. The refrigerator was the ultimate source of treats, to him it must have been some kind of a sacred object the way he worshiped it.

We lost our beloved Buddy in February, after sharing our lives for almost 13 years, due to kidney failure. There is a large hole in our hearts and we miss him so much. Everywhere we look something reminds us of our lost companion. He will always share a place in our hearts, thank you Safe Harbor for making our lives better with such a precious friend.

Thank you, Joyce and Rick, for giving Buddy a very long, happy life and letting him know every day how much was loved.

Prince

Clyde Prince has become a huge Broncos fan and is looking forward to the upcoming football season with his new family. He had never known what it meant to be part of a family, but circumstances were about to change for this very lucky boy. After meeting five-year-old Prince for the first time, Alisha and Heath knew they couldn’t resist this gentle giant with the big smile, beautiful brown eyes, and the personality to match. They had been looking for a companion for their lab Winter, and hoped that she would accept him into the home - especially since they had already fallen in love with him.

Alisha and Heath gave us the rest of the story:

It has been over 2 weeks since Prince joined our family. We decided to adopt another lab after losing 2 labs to cancer in the past 2 years. Our little "mini-lab" Winter was used to having a buddy and we could tell she was mourning the loss of the last lab, Cosmo, pretty hard.

We met Prince and I was concerned at first that his fabulous foster mom Penny might not want to part with him! We actually had an appointment to look at some pups that day as well, but we could not get Prince out of our minds. We canceled the appointment with the pups and brought Prince home the next day.

I can't lie, the first week was a tad tough. Winter was thrilled to play with Prince, but at the end of the day when she realized he was not going home...she was not a happy pup. My husband I both took to reading about new dog adjustments, and put our learnings to work with scenarios. We practiced everyday and at the end of week one took a chance and loaded everyone up in our camper for a previously scheduled winter camping trip.

 

Nuggett (formerly Deogee)

NuggettOne-year-old Nugget (formally Deogee), has literally embraced his new life with mom, Virginia! We love the adorable photo Virginia sent, letting us know that Nugget is finally home, learning to trust and enjoying every moment with her. Nugget has become a constant companion, and for a Lab, life couldn’t get much better than that. Virginia plans to enroll him in obedience classes to enhance the bonding process. Sir Nugget has finally found the love and security of his own forever home!

Virginia shares about life with Nugget:

Nugget has settled in great and I'm convinced I've won the dog lottery with such a sweetheart. Nugget's favorite activity is snuggling and he loves to curl up in my lap in the evenings and watch TV. He's a very smart boy and he's learned a great deal in just a few short weeks! He now knows sit, stay, leave it, and lie down, and he comes when he's called! He also recently learned to fetch and is making great strides towards greeting dogs and people politely! When he's not snuggling he loves long walks with his doggie-friends Ozzie and Stanley Tucci, playing in the dog park, and making friends with everyone he meets!

Rocco (formerly Reese)

RoccoSay hello to two-year-old Rocco (formally known as Reese). Rocco had a very difficult start in life, having to endure many medical problems. We are grateful to Carol and Kirk, two of our Medical Fosters who helped in the rehabilitation process for Rocco to help give him a fresh start.

Vince and Rochelle were excited to meet Rocco. It was important to them to rescue a dog, and to share their home with one in need. They also wanted to find a suitable companion for Tia, their nine-year-old chocolate lab. They hoped that Tia would accept Rocco, but to find out, they would need to take her to Rocco’s foster home for the meeting. We are happy to say that it didn’t take long for her to give a “paws up!” Vince and Rochelle have been fabulous with Rocco, and he couldn’t be happier in his forever home!

Here is what Vince has to say about Rocco:

Rochelle and I were so fortunate to have Rocco come into our lives and we have now had him for six weeks. He adapted so well when we brought him home that most individuals think that we have had him since he was a pup. He is very well behaved and absolutely relishes his four mile walks everyday. My other Chocolate Lab Tia interacts and enjoys placing her nose in his ears and took to him the first time that we brought her to Rocco's foster family. He was at first a little apprehensive of being placed in his kennel at bed time but after the first two weeks he now relishes his sanctuary and does not whine, whimper or bark. We are so blessed to have found and adopt him and look forward to all the years ahead with his loving disposition and company.

Katie

KatieMark really loves dogs. So much so, he works at a doggie daycare. But he really wanted his own dog, a companion to come home to at the end of the busy day. He felt that it was time to start the search, but knew that the process may not be an easy one. After a short while, he met one-and-a-half-year-old Katie, a beautiful black Lab who needed that special someone to bring her out of her shell. This adoption was meant to be, said Foster mom Melody. Mark was so kind and gentle with Katie, she warmed up to him right away. There was no question for Mark or for Katie, when it came time for him to leave, that she would be going to go home with him.

Mark sent us this update:

I couldn't be happier with Miss Katie. She has such a sweet and gentle soul. While I've only had her a few weeks, I couldn't imagine life without her. We clicked immediately. She loves her Kongs, squeaky toys, long walks, and belly rubs. She has the cutest personality and is a perfect fit for my lifestyle. When I lost my previous lab mix Java to old age last year, I knew my next dog would have big shoes to fill. Thats why I contacted Safe Harbor Lab Rescue. I knew what I was looking for, and the fact the dogs were in foster homes made it much easier to find the right match for me. The description of her on the website was dead on, so when I finally had a chance to meet her, I knew very quickly she was the right fit for me. I just want to thank Safe Harbor for helping me find my new best friend. I wouldn't have sweet Katie in my life without people like you.

-Mark

Olive (formerly Lola)

OliveHere is five-year-old Olive (formally known as Lola), with her SHLR canine brother Otis. Olive is the chocolate beauty sitting with Charli, and Otis is the debonair yellow lab sitting with Eric. Charli and Eric are long time friends and Volunteers of SHLR. They were fostering Miss Olive when they made the decision to adopt her. They are committed to helping her slim down to a healthy weight, and to keep her healthy for many years to come. They are fortunate to be surrounded by lots of open space with trails for the dogs to enjoy. Miss Olive is such a lucky girl! Her family is committed to spend a lot of time with her, and will give her a home that is safe, secure, and full of love!

Charli and Eric sent us this update on Olive:

Miss Lola (now known as Olive), is doing VERY well. She’s super affectionate and wants nothing more than lots of ear scratches and belly rubs. She also loves stuffed animals and will carry them around in her mouth for hours and will even fall asleep with one in her mouth. She loves to play fetch with them as well, but has to hurry to beat our other Lab Otis to the prize. We usually tag team and throw one toy for one of them and when that one gets back, we throw the other toy for the other dog. It works pretty well until one of them decides they’d rather have the other toy, then it’s on. They get along really well so far, so no growling or hair raising but they definitely push each other out of the way when one is getting attention and the other one wants in. She does have a thing for shoes however, and I am now missing a lace on one and we’ve come home to any shoes left out being in random places around the house. Guess she thinks where she puts them is better than where we did? J Olive needs to lose about 20 pounds, but thankfully she loves walks and veggies (except spinach – she says no way to that!), so she’s already lost almost 4 pounds in the 2 weeks we’ve had her. Olive is just a very mellow, loving dog and we couldn’t love her more!

Clyde (formerly Edgar)

ClydeEdgar is home to stay with his new parents, Laurie Ann and Scott. This handsome Lab gent's official name is now CW, but "you can call me Clyde," he woofs. Clyde lists hiking, fetching, playing at the dog park, and swimming, as some of his favorite hobbies, however, a relaxing evening at home just hanging out with his family may be his tops on his list these days.

Clyde's new parents had many good things to say about their new boy:

In short: He has been a pure joy for us, and am sure he’d say likewise. As soon as we got him home that first evening on February 3rd, it seemed like he knew he was at his new forever home, and just settled right in – true to his Poop Sheet, he tried out several resting spots at first, and settled on his main living room bed.

Though he’s no stranger to our couch! Thanks to my doggy cams, I can check on him anytime I’m at work during the day and frequently spot him successfully navigating around the various pillow and doggy-gate barriers that may initially impede his foray onto the furniture. Fortunately, he doesn’t shed much at all for a Lab, so except for his re-arranging the couch pillows (and the doggy cams), we wouldn’t know he’d been up there.

A funny part of his story is that the foster parents told us that he showed no interest in rabbits in their backyard. Well, he has really shed that lack of interest and took right to them at our house! He loves to spot and point at them, and fortunately he’s a bit too slow to catch one. On walks and the at the dog park, he is a friendly and happy fellow, though doesn’t show much interest in other dogs once the initial meet & greet is over. He really came out of his quiet shell quickly at our house, and enjoys being the only pet. He likes riding in the SUV with us, and recently “helped” me put in a gate/barrier after the first weekend because rather than staying in the back, he really preferred sitting on the passenger row with his head between the front seats for the best view! But, that wasn’t safe for any of us, so he adapted quickly to staying in the back area.

Overall, we couldn’t have picked a better companion for us at this time. Having lost our 15 year old Lab to cancer in October, 2014, followed quickly by her 13 year old sister of a broken heart, we waited and thought for over a year before considering another furry family member. We looked at your website for a few weeks and spotted several good candidates this year. And then saw Edgar - something just lit up with him. He is a truly sweet and gentle soul...if only he could talk and let us know his story…

The first thing he did when entering our living room was walk over to the shelf by the tv that contained the boxed ashes of our two labs that died in late 2014 - he looked intently at them and smelled them!

Thanks for being there for us and taking in ole’ Edgar when you did. In hindsight, we are happy our first few choices didn’t pan out because we can’t see how any could have been better than this old guy!

Freddie

FreddieWhat could possibly be better than two beautiful Labradors? "Three(!)," Paula and Craig decided after one look at handsome Freddie's glamour shot on the SHLR website. Well, Freddie was dressed and ready to impress as soon as he heard that this great couple was on the way visit him, and before long he was packing up his bowl and heading home with his new family. Seven-year-old Freddie joins lovely eight-year-old Layla and ten-year-old Yeager to give this family a lucky Lab trifecta.

Freddie's new parents write:

Over a year ago, we adopted Yeager from safe harbor. He is a wonderful lab, as they all are. We always refer our friends and acquaintances to safe harbor. During one of our discussions, we looked at your web site and saw Freddie. He was an older boy that needed a family to love. We made a phone call immediately to try to adopt him. I picked him up the next day from Mike. I took Yeager with me. They bonded immediately. We also have a yellow lab, Layla we rescued 7 years ago. She and the boys have a great time running and playing on our 5 acres and sleeping on "our bed" when there is room. We love them very much. They have a home forever.

Yeager (left) and Freddie (right) proudly show off their dad for the camera.

Lilly

Lilly“Look at all of the angels!” exclaimed Susan and Charles, looking around at all the doggy snow angels gracing their mountain property. These beauties could only have come from the wiggly, paw-raising, belly-to-the-sky joy that Lilly felt after being adopted by this wonderful family.

Sweet Lilly is one-and-a-half years old, and is looking forward to the many years of fun ahead of her.

Susan sent us this update:

Lilly has done a wonderful job adjusting to a brand new environment and a new brother. Since she led a rather sheltered life prior to coming to us, everything was brand new to her, and we had to be careful not to overwhelm her. Therefore, during the first week, we did a lot of supervising while she adjusted to her new environment, and to Bo – our chocolate lab. Bo was very patient with her and gave her space when she needed it. Lilly had a harder time adjusting to our young grandchildren than to other adults, so we hypothesized that she had not been exposed to kids in the past. They made her a bit nervous, but she was never aggressive. She just didn’t know how to interact with them.

Four weeks later, Lilly is thriving. She has adjusted to the grandkids, and is especially friendly during mealtimes, when she can anticipate them dropping an occasional piece of food on the floor. She will sit or lay right below their chairs waiting that one special treat. She is fully trained on our electric fence on the acre of ground that she has for her backyard. She loves to romp around in the snow and play chase with Bo. She is a much faster runner than Bo, so she enjoys running circles around him. Sometimes, she will take a toy and take off running, hoping Bo engages in the chase. She is not much for playing ball – although she likes the balls themselves, as a toy. She hasn’t learned to fetch and bring back the ball yet. However, the funniest thing that she does is to run through the yard and then turn over on her back and slide on the snow. She also likes to find a pile of fresh snow, bury her nose in it and then do snow angels in it – legs sticking straight in the air. She understands the deer, and often times can be found standing in the middle of the yard looking at the deer wandering through. It’s as if they have a shared understanding of how this works. Once the deer have gone, Lilly likes to utter a couple of barks, as if to say “goodbye”.

Inside, Lilly is a typical Lab pup. We already had our house “puppy-proofed” for Bo, but occasionally she will get a hold of something she shouldn’t have and tries to run and put it in her kennel (as if to hide it or call it “hers”). She quickly relinquishes possession when asked, and learns quickly what she can and can’t have. She and Bo are doing much better with sharing toys – in fact, Bo gives in to her as much as she gives into Bo, which surprised us a bit. They are both submissive to each other, and often times we will catch them giving each other kisses or snuggling together on the floor. They love to lay on the family room carpet and look at each other.

Lilly is learning how to do the dog park. She gets a little nervous when surrounded by a lot of dogs, so we take her and Bo when there are fewer dogs early in the morning. She does well until a dog tries something she doesn’t like, and then she gives them a friendly reminder to stop, but is never aggressive. She always makes sure that Chuck and I are within seeing distance, and looks for the reassurance.

Lilly is a cuddler. She loves to lay between Chuck and I on the bed and watch TV. It gets crowded with two of us and two labs on the bed during TV time, but we love it. Lilly and Bo have established where they lay on the bed, and sometimes they look at us as if to say – “Can you adults leave so we can have the bed to ourselves now?” They are so fun!

Lilly adores attention and petting. We are working with her on several commands (sit, stay, etc.). She is getting better every day.

Lilly still has a little anxiety when we leave. We put her in a smaller fence-like kennel (enough room to stand move around and play and see Bo) inside the bigger play area that she and Bo share during the day when we are at work. She does well in there, and we notice that her anxiety spurts have become shorter in duration while in the smaller area. We have tried to move her into the bigger pen with Bo, but it seems a bit much for her yet, and her anxiety is worse when she is in the bigger pen. For now, we will continue to work with her, but she is doing fine. Bo takes care of her and seems to be able to calm her – even between the kennel fence.

Finally, Lilly is a dream. She is a sweet girl, and has really taken to living in the mountains of Larkspur. She is a perfect partner for Bo, and Bo is a perfect partner for her. We have truly been blessed by Lilly and look forward to spending many, many years with her.

Thank you for the opportunity to bring her into our lives.

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