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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

R turns three!

Our Black Lab, R, has a birthday today. He was born three years ago, and landed in our pack shortly thereafter. As you can see, Ring arrived at about the same time, and R had a flare for the dramatic even way back then. The ring dwarfed R!
R held his own in a tug war over Ring, against his brother and sister. The trio was wearing their fancy Christmas collar covers.
He learned the nuances of play under the gentle tutelage of K.
R arrived in the middle of winter so he quickly learned about cross-country skiing in our snow-bound forest. He's spent the past three winters biting our ski poles and ski tips as we try to make forward progress. Last year, he refined his technique so he acted like a mature dog until I was precariously careening down an icy slope. Then, he'd rocket toward the ski tips to bite them while making loud snarling noises. By then, he was strong enough to wrench a ski in whatever direction he wanted so I'd end up skiing one-legged while trying to wrestle back control over my ski.
Although he's tended toward the wild side, he learned to stay in a sit long enough for a photo during that first winter, with his brother S and sister K. S crossed the rainbow bridge about 18 months later but patiently endured R's puppyhood and even seemed to enjoy him.
Although today is R's day, I started it with a walk through crunchy frost with my sweet K. She's acting as if her paw hurts much less all of a sudden, despite a tapering of her pain medications - an encouraging sign to me. However, it is tough to keep her from doing crazy things like jumping over bushes with no provocation.
K, ever the philosopher, contemplated how her world has tilted slightly on its axis due to R's energy over the past three years.
After K and I walked, R got his second outing of the day. He started his birthday with a short run and then he joined me for a short mountain bike ride. We climbed up to Hug Hill to see a new layer of snow coating the Divide.
He posed for me with his front paws on a stump as he gazed at the mountains.
Then, he turned his deep brown eyes toward me. Our bond has grown exponentially in the past few months as he's taken puppy steps toward maturity. R comes from field lines, and I'm told that field Labs often don't mature until they're 4 or 5 years old! Oh my!
Before heading home, we found a yellow aspen for a photo. Aspens with leaves are becoming scarce!
Just before arriving home, R sprinted through a grove of aspen skeletons, and his ears pointed straight toward the sky as he skidded to a halt before bowling me over.
It's also the Two Year Anniversary of R's elbow dysplasia surgery, a stupendous success! Tonight, it's filet mignon for dinner for the birthday boy!


  1. Happy Birthday R!! You are very handsome. We enjoy reading about your adventures with K & your Mom too & seeing the wonderful pictures. Filet Mignon for dinner!! Nummmmy!

  2. Happy Birthday R!!!

    Pugs & Kisses,

    Yoda & Brutus

  3. Happy Barkday R!!!

    Here's to yummy KHAKE!

    Khyra and Phyll

  4. Happy Birthday R! Enjoy your Dinner this Evening, it sounds very yummy.

  5. Happy Birthday R. And don't worry - Rusty is at least 7 years old and shows no intention of maturing.

  6. Happy Birthday, R - enjoy that filet - wish we were there for a taste too!

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara


    Only three? I thought he was older since he does seem to be growing up. Labs and Goldens do have a LONG adolescence, especially the males. At five our Lucy still thinks growing up is way over-rated.

    I'm truly amazed at R's progress, especially given his youth. You must be doing things right.

  8. Happy Birthday R! Sounds like have some fancy treats coming your way!

    Your pal, Pip

  9. Happy Birthday R!!!
    We love you :)

    Emma Rose and the Duchess

  10. Happy Birthday R!! I loved your post about R and growing up with him. I love the wild side about him. I can relate because all of my dogs are like that.

    Hope you have a wonderful R and it sounds like K is feeling better-Yeah!!

  11. Happy, happy Birthday beautiful R!!! Love these photos of you and so glad to hear about your elbow staying right where it should be - WELL!!! And also glad to hear about K feeling so much better! Good news all around in that beautiful place where you all live!
    Hugs xoxoxo
    Sammie and Avalon

  12. Happy birthday, R! I luved that first picture. How very much adorable! And what a handsome boy he has turned out to be. This was a most wonderful post about a most wonderful, one-of-a-kind dog!

    Wiggles & Wags,

  13. Happee happee Birthday R
    Benny & Lily

  14. Happy Birthday R!

    Iloved reading your story and seeing your very cute pictures! You sound like a bit of a handful, but there is nothing wrong with that:) It adds a lot of fun times for your owners!

  15. Happy Birthday R!
    You were such a cute puppy, and now your so elegant and gorgeous.
    Thank you for sharing all those photos of your brother S, also.

    When you were out for your walk, I noticed that you were thinking,
    as you gazed out into the moutains in the distance.
    I think that you must have so much on your mind.
    What to smell next,, where to run to and of course,, the birthday meal of filet mignon .
    That photo of your foot looked like a bear foot for a minute.
    You and K are so beautiful.
    Happy Birthday

  16. Happiest of Birthdays to R! Many happy returns!

    I love the story of how he's grown up over the years. I've heard the same thing about labs and maturity. We're the only one in my husband's family who don't have labs. His parents have one and both of his adult sisters do, too. The field lab is huge compared to the other two and she's definitely an eternal puppy!

    I wish I was there for that birthday dinner!

  17. A little girl at our neighborhood day care home says she has a
    "bwack wab" at her house but doesn't think too much of him. I bet she'd like you, though, R! Have a fun birthday, whats for sweets though, cupcakes, doughnut holes what???

    Happy Birthday and don't forget to share with K!



  18. That top photo with the ring is a hoot. The essence of puppyhood caught in one frame. Frost already ! Reminder that it's nearly time to switch on the heating. Have a great day .

  19. Hey there KB...
    Happy birthday to R!!!
    He has grown so much since those early puppy days, hasn't he?! I'm sure you remember them like yesterday! What wonderful memories and what amazing patience from his human pack-leader! You do incredible work with your pooches!
    Sending lotsaluv for many more happy birthdays!

  20. Loved the photo of all three, especially the cute spunky tilt of R's head!

  21. A Happy Birthday (belated) to R! In his pictures he looks like he still has so much puppy in him, where as K does have that certain maturity/wisdom about her. Glad she seems to be feeling better!

  22. HELLO! I have seen your comments on other blogs, and wanted to thank-you for stopping by mine, I hope you’ll come by again sometime! I have spent some time looking at your blog and wanted to tell you that I have thoroughly enjoyed my visit, looking at your amazing pictures and getting to know you and your crew a little bit!! I look forward to that continuing as I am now one of your followers!! The happiest of birthday to your precious R, I hope you have many more wonderful years and fun adventures together!!

  23. Happy Birthday, R, you handsome fellow!

  24. Happy birthday, R! Such stunning portraits of both dogs, and now I've seen both of them as tiny tots! Even more attached than ever now!!!

  25. happy 3rd birthday to R!! :)
    i got a good laugh out of what you said about field labs not maturing until 4 or 5 years. my booker is a field lab as well. he will turn 2 on november 8th, and he is still very much the puppy...haha...

    the booker man and asa's mama

  26. Belated best wishes to the Birthday Boy! Did you say Filet? Why wasn't I invited? That pic of tiny R at your ski pole is priceless.

  27. Wow. He is THREE already? I love those baby pictures, and I remember him being such a tiny boy when he first came to class.

    Happy B-day, R ... my man. You are a very good boy.

  28. Belated Happy Birthday R!
    Hope it was a pawesome one! :D
    Kodi x

  29. Sounds like a fantastic barkday!!! Loved reading about your entrance to the pak, R! Wonderful photo of S, K & R!!! I'm field lines too....gotta keep our hoomans movin', right R?! :)

    Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
    Sierra Rose


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