Bandit’s One Year Check-Up

                             Bandit wants to make sure he’s in the picture


I took Bandit to the vet for his yearly check up. I think the men in my household get a kick out of having me take him to the vet, because he is such a handful for me to take by myself. I put his shock collar on; he responds to the warning signal and doesn’t get shocked much, but don’t feel sorry for the dog. The controller was on a lanyard around my neck, but I was holding on to the leash with both hands. He dragged me through the front door, with his tail wagging like crazy. His tail is like a big stick, and when he wags it, I just try to stay out-of-the-way because it hurts when it hits you. I wrestled him onto the dog scale, and the help there was chuckling. I’m sure I looked frazzled. He weighs 103 pounds. Can you believe it?!

The vet told me that anyone who keeps a Lab through his first year of life, is considered a saint. So that made me feel better at the frustration I sometimes feel with this beautiful, sweet-natured dog who is into everything. He is so expressive, and is in love with Ed. He gets up with Ed at 6 in the morning, and plays and sleeps in the office with him. He makes regular rounds to every trash can, and eats something–paper, Kleenex, food, wrappers, whatever he can swallow. One time he swallowed an old sock.

He is driven by his nose, and is not allowed in the kitchen when I cook. We don’t feed him people food, because he is really Matt’s dog and that is his rule. And it’s a good rule. But it does seem kind of cruel, since he’s got the best nose in the house, and seems to truly savor the smells when I cook. So he lays at the edge of the carpet watching my every move, and jumps up, eager to help me when I turn his direction. His nose is in the dryer, on the table, on our plates, on Ed’s face, on the desk, on the bed, his brown face and big golden eyes and nose, are everywhere. If he gets a chance he will lick your straw, and take a bite of your sandwich. Then he lays down across the room watching to see if you notice. He wants to make sure he is in the picture.

Thank the Lord for the trainer who helped us get him under control. So he does have some manners. He will sit, lay down, stay, and get out. He likes to take walks, and is pretty good about not dragging us around. He doesn’t jump on people anymore, and we’re still working on getting him to stay, when we answer the door. We are trying to teach him some new tricks. He is learning to shake, and he almost has rolling over down. He’s a natural at retrieving and would do that all day if he could get you to throw anything that long.

He has a collection of rocks, and I know it’s not good for him to chew on them. But he does, and he likes to carry them around the yard. At first we got rid of them when he wasn’t looking. But when he couldn’t find them, he would dig holes in the yard until he found new rocks to replace them. We have toys for him, rocks are just his thing. So we let him keep his collection, and he has quit digging. At night he talks to us in a whiney voice, and usually that means he wants a treat, or our attention, and it’s almost time for bed. Ed and Matt have discovered, that if they hold onto his front feet while he is standing, he will fall over. He just gives up and falls over. He’s still a puppy at a year and 3 months. He is too funny!

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