Labradors and Friends

Maggie and Dale-Our Life with a Big Blind Dog and his older sister

IMG_2136After our daughter Sarah’s wedding, we thought we would get another dog, not a puppy-a puppy was too much work, but we wanted a younger dog.  Maggie, our “mini-lab” at only 43 pounds, was taking the stairs a little slower than she used to, as was expected at almost 14, (now 15 1/2!) she got along well with daughter Sarah and Brian’s dog Ivy, so a younger dog would be just the thing.  My husband, John said “We had this idyllic idea of a companion younger dog to be with Maggie in her dotage.”  Yet there was this  FaceBook post, passed on by a friend…FullSizeRender (2)







We remembered this rescue organization.  Our sweet Maggie had come from this same one as a puppy!  John sent them an email, inquiring about Dale-Did they think he might get along with Maggie?  Meanwhile, we started looking at the website.  They had lots of dogs-smaller ones too, lab-mixes, and dogs they had taken in groups with labs.  I fell in love with so many!  John kept going back to Dale.  I think part of his reasoning was our learning curve would be smaller than most (my mom had macular degeneration for many years before she passed the previous year, and we understand food allergies because we all have them ourselves).  The main reason, he just loves Dale.  And I love my husband.  So, there you go…

Soon we were contacted by Atlanta Lab Rescue, and heard they’d been in the process of an adoption with Dale that hadn’t worked.  The crazy thing is, the folks had kept Dale less than one day!  Any dog would be upset the first day with new people in a new place—how much worse for a dog who can’t see anything.  Taking things slowly, John and I first visited Dale at his foster’s house on a Tuesday night.  Dale was a surprisingly big dog, (I’d known he’d be bigger than Maggie, but wow!) giant paws, soft brown fur, and that big goofy labrador smile.  Dale and John bonded very quickly.  I had a feeling John had found his dog.  We scheduled another meeting at our house for Thursday night.

Thursday we took Maggie for a walk early, then took her outside and sat on our front porch steps, at the appointed time.  Maggie knew something was up, as we don’t usually make her stay outside like that, even if we are gardening.  Good watchdog that she is, she barked when the car drove up, but when she saw the enormous dog coming out of it, she got very quiet.    We spoke to Dale and his foster as they walked up the drive, and he seemed happy to recognize us.  He quickly realized Maggie there, she was a girl dog and not a threat, so there was a good bit of sniffing as we walked around, sat and talked, and arranged to meet again Saturday.

That Saturday’s visit went very well, inside and out, and Dale came to stay.  I think it was a few days before Maggie realized he wasn’t just visiting.  But I will tell you more about that another day.

If you are thinking about sharing your love with a doggie friend, I highly recommend Atlanta Lab Rescue, for labradors and lab-mixes.





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