Thursday, February 17, 2011


I recently brought home my first ever labrador retriever puppy that is all my very own. Sure, I've had dogs growing up, dogs found in the backyard, front porch, nearby shelter, but all of these were the "family's dog", never quite falling into the sole responsibility of one said Molly McLoughlin. Needless to say, all of these dogs found their fondness in some member of the family apart from myself. Sparky, the backyard mutt, paired up with the younger sister Maggie, sleeping at the foot of her bed. Tessa, the front porch shar pei, trailed along behind my mum, while Chloe, the shelter pup, hung with my older sister Kate (perhaps because on her first night home I couldn't stand the whining and kicked her out of my room in exchange for a good night's sleep) regardless, none of my dogs actually were MY dogs.

So here I am, many years the wiser, bringing home one small six and a half week old labrador retriever. This was not compulsive. I was certainly not suckered into the little guy's cute face while walking by a pet store. I plotted. I plotted so much so, I created a savings account just for my dog's first year expenses. Hey, some people do college funds for their kids, me? I do savings accounts for dogs. And after scowering the classified ads, calling around to breeders, scanning through lab rescue, moving 12 times in three years and finally landing an apartment that 'agreed' to let me have a dog, I found my guy.

Sure he looked like those naked mole rats at the zoo when I first saw him, but I knew he had potential. Eyes closed, he snuggled his nose up to me and just like that, I knew I found my dog--Orion. And so welcome, as this is his story, as is it mine, in our adventures together as best friends (and maybe terrible enemies when he chews something I really WISH he hadn't) for the next ten (hopefully more) years. And for the record, I had a terrible first night sleep but stuck it out beside his crate, sleeping on the floor (had to deflate my air mattress), bruised all over from the lack of padding, but happy as anything because he was home, and he was mine.

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