Ok, folks. Buckle in your seat belts, get out your popcorn, silent your phone, it’s time for my final post. This one is about to get emotional.

I don’t know why I saved Coco for last. In my mind I told myself that I wasn’t going in particular order when discussing my dogs, though I knew that was a lie. From my previous posts you would think Bella would be my favorite dog, I practically shoved her on a pedestal like she was my own precious pageant child, so there would be some assumption as to which dog I loved the most. But a mother is never supposed to reveal her favorite child, and neither will I. However, a special place in my heart has always and will continue to belong to Coco.

My mom always used to tell me that Coco and I hated each other because we were too similar. I couldn’t see it when we first bought her, but now I do. The year was 2006, and I was seven-years-old. I hated Texas. Absolutely hated it. I hated that it was hot all the time, that it never rained, that I had no friends, and that I regretfully decided to paint my room Pepto-Bismol pink. The move was hard on all of us, particularly me and my older brother Colby. We had just lost Mandy a few years early, and felt a piece of the family missing, a void that could only be filled with the love of a dog.

So our family piled into our car and drove to a young couple’s house, who had just breed a litter of Shih Tzu puppies. We had heard about them through out neighbors, and they seemed trustworthy enough, so we went. Colby is the one who picked her out of the bunch. She clung to him from day one, and they made an instant bond. The same couldn’t be said for me.

She hated me, I hated her. That was it. She growled at me, bite at my face, wouldn’t even let me hold her. My mom had to lock her in the closest as punishment for biting at me, and eventually she stopped, but the hatred continued. Once Colby went away to college, she started to cling to my other brother Connor. Once he went away, she clung to my mom and my dad. At this point we had Chipper and Bella, so I was loved by others, but never by Coco.

The only way I can describe it is comparing it to the feud which Joan Crawford and Bette Davis shared. Coco was definitely Joan, no doubt about it, and I was Bette. Our What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? moment occurred when I got my wisdom teeth out. I was in a tremendous amount of pain. The doctor said he found five wisdom teeth instead of four (still never explained) and that because of this, he had to cut out more gum that he wanted to. Cutting out more gums led to more pain. More pain led to me being stuck on my sofa downstairs the whole month of July, watching RuPaul’s Drag Race on endless loop.

I said before that dogs, Shih Tzus in particular, have a certain sense of when people are in pain or if they are sad. I guess Coco sensed this, and sensed a feeling of pity for me, because she refused to leave my side. She slept with me day in and day out. She was glued to the blanket which was constantly draped over me. She brought me toys and let me hold her, and didn’t even growl. After I was better, and even until now, we have had a silent resilience towards each other. I now understand how similar we both are. Divas, dramatic, temperamental, but truly care for those who are closest to us.


Following up with last week’s blog post, I decided to write this one about my other dogs, focusing on them one at a time. Though it’s in no specific order, I am somehow unconsciously going backwards by youngest to oldest so I’m just going to keep going with that theme. So, without further ado, let’s talk about Chipper.

If his name doesn’t already tell you everything you need to know about him, then I’ll keep going, only because I love talking about my dogs. Whenever people come over to my house, Chipper is the first dog they’re drawn to, which I think has something to do with the fact that he is actually the sweetest dog in the whole world. I know everyone says that about their dog, but this is no exaggeration. He really is the kindest, most gentle, loving dog I have encountered. People also inherently feel bad for him because he walks with a little limp, a result of initial elbow dislocation, now elbow dysplasia.

His backstory is also tragic, and it was quite unintentional how we got him. I was in the fifth grade, and by this point we had only had Coco. My mom desperately wanted another Shih Tzu, and despite her pleads to my dad and our efforts to convince him, he never conceded. I guess my mom finally decided to say “Screw it” because around the time of her birthday in April, she came home with a new little pup. I had just gotten home from a friend’s house, and there sat my mom on the couch, cradling a puppy with a teddy bear face and a heart-shaped patch of fur on his back.

She explained to me that she drove to PetLand and found him buried underneath a group of his sisters, as he was the only boy in the litter. One of the store employees told my mom that they rescued this litter from a puppy mill, so not a lot of people wanted them, and soon they would be sent to the kennel. My mom, softie that she is, scooped him up from the bottom and instantly knew, I guess, that this dog belonged to her. My dad was furious. She didn’t care.

We later found out that they were all adopted, so no need to freak out. All of his sisters are ok.

This was my mom’s dog, that we all knew. She had bought him for herself, named him Chipper after his happy yet dopey personality, and babied him throughout his puppy years. But he loved all of us just the same. He sat on any lap with any blanket he could find, chewed on any toy, never once caused a problem. Until one day he jumped down from the couch, and he let out this loudest cry you had ever heard. My mom rushed him to the vet, frantic and overcome with panic. I remember being in the car with her, cradling Chipper like a baby and holding his arm to take the pressure off of it.

The vet had said he dislocated his elbow, but that it would have eventually given out anyways. He said that sometime when he was a puppy, his elbow got tweaked in a way which wasn’t enough to cause pain, until it was. With time, it got better and worse. He became a favorite at the vet’s office and spent days there, while they tried to figure out what to do with his arm. He couldn’t stand on it. I don’t know when they finally concluded that his dislocation had led to dysplasia, but I remember his surgeries. He’s had five in all, expecting another. He has to take daily pain medication, has to go get weekly pain shots, and is at the vet practically every other week. However, he is still the happiest puppy ever. You wouldn’t even know if he was in pain, and if he is, he doesn’t show it. He’s a playful pup, mischievous and clever, and as chipper as he’s always been.

My mom still holds him on his bad days, comforts him when he needs it, but we’re just lucky that he’s here.


As you all may know, I love my dogs. Some may say I love them an unhealthy amount, though I disagree, but regardless they are my heart and soul. I have previously talked about Bella, but only in relation to the generic labrador. I decided to make these posts a little more personal, I would talk about her as a whole so you can get the big picture of what a great dog she is. Is this just my super-discreet way of bragging about my dog? Maybe. Is this post serving as an outlet for my love of my dog because everyone around me is tired of hearing about her? Definitely. So, without anymore delay, let’s dive right in.

My family did not want a labrador. We had a lab in previous years, one my parents bought when they first got married and was basically their first child. They named her after their first dance song at their wedding: “Mandy” by Barry Manilow. Mandy was practically my dad’s dog, but we all grew up around her. She was the most gentle and loving dog ever, so much so that I still have fond memories of her even though I was a kid. She was in our lives until I was six, but she died at eleven. It tore my dad apart. My brothers couldn’t stop crying, and neither could my mom. We didn’t want a lab after that, afraid of losing another great dog like her.

Well, it only took six years of convincing for him to finally give into another dog. We had already had Coco and Chipper, and though we were anxious to add another dog into the mix, we knew a lab would be the perfect fit. We picked Bella out through a local breeder who had great reviews. Me, my mom, and my dad went to pick her out. I still regard this day as one of the best days of my life.

Warning: it gets super cheesy and emotional.

It was around May when we picked her out, doubling as a birthday present to me and my brother, whose birthdays both fall around the same time. The breeder had three types of dog: hunting, show, and family. Obviously, we wanted the family, and specifically requested for chocolate labs. He contacted us when a new littler was born, so after many months of waiting, we finally got to go pick one out. The new litter was in this little corral and all of them were yapping loudly. The breeder opened the gates and a few of them ran out towards us, but the smallest one ran right to me and into my lap. I didn’t care what my parents wanted, or which one they thought we should get, I wanted the one I had in my arms. She refused to be put down and wouldn’t leave me alone. We argued about it for an hour, even made cases for why we wanted the one we wanted, until they finally gave in.

We had to wait a few weeks until we could come back and take her home because she needed to be properly fed and taken care of, and that was actually the longest wait I’ve ever experienced. When we finally took her home, it was as if she had been there the whole time. She was able to make herself comfortable and explore the backyard, become acquainted with Chipper and Coco, and pee everywhere. She’s always been energetic and chewy, but especially as a pup. She ate her way through five remotes and numerous leftovers off the counter. She’s knocked off Christmas ornaments with her tail (which is very aggressive, by the way) and managed to break a lock on a door (we still don’t know how). In addition, the bond we first made when I picked her out became unshakeable. She followed me everywhere, would sit at the bottom of the stairs when I went up them, and would take every opportunity she could to be close to me. I’m the one who named her, taught her how to sit, speak, and shake, and even taught her how to swim. She really became an important part of my day. If I was ever sad, or angry, or upset, she would know. I think I read somewhere that dogs have a sixth sense about that sort of thing. I used to not believe it, but now I think I do.

That day changed my life because it brought me my very best friend. She’s a tad kooky but we all love her dearly. She’s the best snuggle partner, the best swimming partner, and the best of friends. I could go on and on about my infinite love for her, but surely it’s too much at this point, so I’ll just leave you with some adorable pictures of me and her.

me & Bella (I was young ok)

Great Dane

Given the superlative “World’s Largest Lap Dog,” the Great Dane is not only the tallest dog in the world, but the friendliest. They are known as the gentle giants of the dog world, and were once thought to protect people from ghosts, evil spirits, and nightmares. You may be able to recognize one Great Dane in particular: Scooby-Doo. Lovable, charismatic, and regal-looking, Great Danes are one of my, and the world’s, favorite breeds of dogs.

Despite their name, Great Danes are not actually from Denmark. They were bred in Germany in the late 1400’s but were thought to have been stemmed in different forms earlier in places such as Italy, Egypt, and China. They are members of the mastiff family, but are mixed with greyhounds, hence their large size. They were bred to protect and to hunt, once being used as war dogs who raided camp grounds and destroyed enemy’s camps. However, over time, their drive to hunt and fight has mostly been bred out of them, and now they prefer rest and relaxation to fighting and combat.

They are huge lap dogs, also known as “leaners” and will tend to step on, lean against, and climb all over their owner and virtually anyone in sight. Despite their love for the couch, they also need constant exercise. It’s recommended not to put this dog into any small space like an apartment, as it needs room to stretch and play. Another thing to note about the Great Dane is that they have many health issues. Of all the dogs, they have the lowest life expectancy which is around seven years. Due to their large size, they often have many joint and hip problems, but the number one leading cause of death among Great Danes is a disease called bloat. Like most dogs, the Great Danes stomach is not attached to its ribcage. As a result, when they exercise on a full stomach, their stomach will bounce and flip around, ultimately causing internal bruising and often for the stomach to wrap around itself. It is recommended to prevent this that you make sure to wait at least an hour after a Great Dane has finished eating to exercise it. Otherwise, it will experience major health issues in the future.

In terms of training, they are fairly easy to train if you begin early. Like most dogs, Great Danes have a tendency to either feel like wanting to learn, or not feel like it, so you really have to pay attention to their mood.No need to groom them because they’re very low maintenance, all you need is some soap and water and they’re good to go. They’re great family dogs, especially around babies and small children, despite their large size. Again, they do like to snuggle and lay all over people, so if you’re a person who doesn’t particularly like that, then this may not be the dog for you.

Overall, Great Danes are fantastic for all kinds of families who are willing to sacrifice personal space for love. However, because they aren’t expected to live long, treat them well while you have them– they deserve it.

Pit Bull

This week I decided to talk about the dog I think has the worst reputation of all breeds, though they don’t deserve it at all: the pit bull. I tend to get very passionate when talking about this, often times I can be very aggressive, so put on your seat belts because this is going to be a wild ride y’all.

First and foremost, I would just like to say that there are no bad dogs, just bad owners. The way certain dogs are raised can impact their behavior majorly but it is never, ever the dog’s fault. If you train a dog to fight, it’s going to fight. If you train your dog to be sociable and kind, it’s going to be sociable and kind. It doesn’t matter what kind of dog it is, any of them can “snap” in a moment because, surprise, dogs weren’t meant to be domesticated. Dogs are animals and often times I think we forget that, and instead want them all to be sweet and protecting. If you raise them that way, yes they will be, but if you raise them to be aggressive, they are going to be aggressive because they are animals and it’s in their lineage.

That being said, pit bulls have a really bad reputation because of this. Pit bulls were bred in England and Ireland, and they mixed “Old English Terriers and Old English Bulldogs together to produce a dog that combined the gameness of the terrier with the strength and athleticism of the bulldog.” Because of this mixture, they are incredibly strong and athletic. They were used to pulls carts, to hunt animals, to serve as police dogs, etc. Today pit bulls are banned in the UK and New Zealand, as well as Denver and certain parts of Florida. They are seen as fighting dogs and are often times the dog that is commonly used in dog fights. The reality is is that pit bulls are probably the most gentle breed out there.

They are smart, loyal, kind, and insanely protective dogs. The United Kennel Club released this description about the American Pit Bulls Terrier:

“The essential characteristics of the American Pit Bull Terrier are strength, confidence, and zest for life. This breed is eager to please and brimming over with enthusiasm. APBTs make excellent family companions and have always been noted for their love of children. Because most APBTs exhibit some level of dog aggression and because of its powerful physique, the APBT requires an owner who will carefully socialize and obedience train the dog. The breed’s natural agility makes it one of the most capable canine climbers so good fencing is a must for this breed. The APBT is not the best choice for a guard dog since they are extremely friendly, even with strangers. Aggressive behavior toward humans is uncharacteristic of the breed and highly undesirable. This breed does very well in performance events because of its high level of intelligence and its willingness to work.”

Pit bulls are known for their love of children and their willingness and need for sociability. The key when raising a pit bull is to socialize it as much as possible. Even a daily walk around the neighborhood is enough socializing as long as they are around people. They do require a lot of patience, but overall, they really just big sweethearts. My cousin owns a pit bulls and has four children, two of which grew up as babies around the dog. Seeing the way the dog interacts with them really changed my perspective on pit bulls because they are so gentle with children and are overall just truly amazing dogs.

If you still need convincing, check out this link to a BuzzFeed article .


Siberian Husky

Hello friends, and welcome back to this week’s edition of Tales & Tails. I decided to make this week’s post about what I consider to be if not the most beautiful, then one of the most intimidating dogs out there: Siberian Huskies. One of the most popular and in-demand dogs today, Siberian Huskies have remained at the top of best-ranked dogs for a long time and for many reasons. But before we get into that, let’s discuss their background.

Huskies were bred in, you guessed it, Siberia. They were bred to work in hard, arctic conditions and love doing so. They were brought to Alaska in 1909 and have spread throughout the world, and the United States, since. Primarily known for their great dog-sledding talents, a group of Siberian Huskies actually saved the entire town of Nome, Alaska. An outbreak of disease spread throughout the town and a group of Siberian Huskies mushed their way through snow to deliver the medicine to the town. Today they are staples in the dog-sledding world. Husky’s are the only dog that can change their chemical metabolism, being able to run for hours and hours while still reserving their fat storage so they don’t become fatigued. They were also first chosen for sledding because of their adaptation to the cold, but also because of their howl. A Husky’s howl can be heard from ten miles away, something that may be useful if ever stuck in a dire situation.

Siberian Husky Walking On Beach Against Cloudy Sky

Physically, Siberian Huskies are striking. If you ever think of a Husky, you are more than likely going to be able to recognize their eyes first. They have striking blue eyes only highlighted by their either prominently white, or black and white coat. Huskies are one of the only breeds where the dog’s eyes may be two different colors and luckily, it doesn’t affect their vision. Huskies have a dense undercoat beneath their top coat, designed to withstand temperatures below -50 degrees. This makes them perfectly ideal for cold areas, but it doesn’t have to be the arctic.

Huskies are amazing family dogs. Because they are predisposed to packs and that sort of lifestyle, they are incredibly loyal and are very clingy. My dad had a Husky and said that it would follow him everywhere and try to be as close to him as he could. They love, love, love their owners. They also have a natural affinity for kids and are super gentle, playful, and kind. Even as they grow they are smart enough to recognize their size compared to that of a baby, and adjust their behaviors accordingly. They are also smart enough to know how to be trained, and thus are easily trainable, but they also are aware of when they don’t feel like doing something. If they decide they don’t want to train on that day, they won’t.

Overall, Huskies are amazing and I highly recommend them for anyone who enjoys a true dog of a dog, a dog who loves to run and be outside, but can also be a big baby when needed.




This week I decided to talk about one of the most entertaining breed of dogs– the pug. Perhaps one of the most recognizable dogs, the pug has stolen the hearts of many around the world. With their bulgy eyes, curly tails, flattened nose, and funny personality, there is no doubt that this dog is hard to forget.

Originally bred in China, the pug became popular very quickly to Monks and landed itself the dog of choice among them. It then spread to Chinese royalty. The pug moved itself across the world to England and Ireland, where it  became a favorite breed to everyone, especially Queen Victoria. The pug is known for its gentle and sociable personality. Many people refer to the dog as “multum in parvo” which is Latin for “much in little,” perfectly describing the pug’s personality. Despite their small size, they hold a lot of character. They are most down for being a clown of sorts among other dogs not only for their looks, but because of their funny antics. To prove it, here is a funny dog video (of course I had to include one):

In terms of characteristics, pugs are probably most recognizable for their flattened-in faces and abundance of wrinkles. The wrinkles were actually bred into them in order to form a pattern on their forehead. If you look closely at their foreheads, the wrinkles will often form the Chinese symbols for the word “Prince.” Pugs’ bulgy eyes also give them a very cute, sometimes scary, look which people either hate or adore. In terms of their flattened faces, this produces probably the cutest thing about the pug: snorts. If you’ve ever been around a pug, you know that they cannot and will not stop snorting. This is because their flattened faces produce an elongated palette, which does cause breathing problems, but mostly just produces constant snorting. It’s best for pugs not to be kept in warm weather because of this, which may make it even more difficult for them to breath. They also are prone to getting infections in their wrinkles because of how close together and tight everything is, so it’s vital to keep their faces clean and groom them regularly. In terms of training, pugs are one of the easiest dogs to train. They are a very go-with-the-flow kind of dog and will adapt to any lifestyle which their owner has. They are often called the shadows of the dogs because they follow their owner so much and are able to adjust to any sort of lifestyle that particularly owner has. They also work with almost any family unit, which is very rare for dogs.

If you want a pug, I highly advise getting one. They are so comical, lovable, and loyal. There is no doubt that they will just want to please you and will do anything you want to do, truly defining the idea of man’s best friend.



These 13 Pugs Are Ready for Fall and They’re Not Leaving Until You Are, Too

Marnie the Dog

If you know me, you know I love Marnie the Dog. I love dogs regardless, I believe I have made that pretty clear, but this one dog in particular epitomizes everything I believe is good about dogs and the world in general.

You’ve probably seen her on the Internet but never realized who she was, she’s usually floating around on Twitter, but if you haven’t seen her, here is a picture:

Marnie is a fifteen-year-old Shih Tzu living happily in NYC. She’s adorable, she’s funny, she’s “famis” (as she calls herself,) and she’s Internet’s most beloved dog. I wish I could recall the day I stumbled upon her, most likely the day that changed my life, but I don’t. I do, however, remember the picture I first saw.

I have to admit– this picture changed who I am as a person. I honestly didn’t even know that dogs could be Internet famous, but of course I was proven wrong when I found Marnie, or Marn Marn as she calls herself. Naturally, I decided to look up her backstory, and like most people, became instantly hooked.

Marnie was found on the streets of Connecticut when she was ten, and was taken to a shelter where they named her Stinky because of her smell. Marnie was a senior rescue dog and wasn’t adopted by her current owner, Shirley Braha, until she was eleven. Marnie had fourteen of her teeth extracted because they were decayed, but still manages to put on a smile. Her most notable features include her constant left head tilt, and her tongue. Marnie’s head is always tilted to the side because of a disease called vestibular syndrome, in which dogs experience stroke-like symptoms, but recovery quickly and usually end up with a head tilt. As for her tongue, Marnie simply has an extremely long tongue for a dog, and thus she always has it sticking out.

Marnie’s favorite activities are eating snacks, posing for pictures, and sleeping. Her owner says that Marnie absolutely hates being left alone and usually will suffer from extreme anxiety if this occurs, so she takes Marnie with her everywhere. And I do mean everywhere.

She’s been to France, as the first picture shows. She’s met a plethora of famous people: 

She’s well-desired by both humans and animals alike:

Marnie with Doug the Pug

She’s socially aware:

She’s overall just a really happy dog, and a gift to the world. If you go on her Twitter or her Instagram, you’ll understand. Her captions are made up by her owner, obviously, but they remain hilarious. The best part is that her owner stays out of the posts as much as possible, giving into the illusion that Marnie is really the one writing all the posts, though we know she clearly isn’t. Her personality, however, shines through and makes everyone smile. I’ve been following Marnie for about three years now and have retweeted every picture she has put on (I’m serious, if you don’t believe me go look).

I advise that if you’re ever feeling sad or just need a quick smile, visit Marnie’s social media. She is truly a treasure to this world.


Shih Tzu

Continuing the cycle of what are my hands-down favorite dogs, I decided to talk next about what I believe is the most underrated breed: the Shih Tzu. Pronounced shee-zoo, this breed of dog looks just as funny as it sounds. They are primarily show dogs, known for their long coats that may often grow out to look like mustaches. Shih Tzus as show dogs are often very successful because of their petite frame and ability to remember commands, tricks, and skills very well. However, Shih Tzus are also bred to be family dogs, at which they are immensely talented.

Me & Chipper

Shih Tzus were initially bred in Tibet by crossing the Pekingese and the Lhasa Apso, and were used mostly in royal families as lap dogs. Because of their soft, pillow-like fur, emperors would sometimes use them as foot warmers when they slept. These dogs were loved by everyone and charmed people everywhere, becoming one of the most beloved dogs of its time. However, after the British invasion of China, practically almost all of the Shih Tzu were wiped out, leaving only fourteen. Today, each Shih Tzu in the world can be traced back to one of those remaining fourteen dogs.

Me & Coco

Despite their descent from royalty, Shih Tzus are perhaps the most loving and kind dogs there are. Of course I own two, Chipper and Coco, and love them more than I can even say. But, as usual, I am very biased. I grew up around both of them so I have been able to witness the attributes which are harbored in almost all Shih Tzus, all of them being wonderful traits for a dog to have.

1. They are Couch Potatoes 

As most dogs love to lay on the couch and snuggle up with their owner, Shih Tzus are no exception. In fact, they may be the laziest of dogs. Of both of my two, neither one of them particularly enjoys going on walks or swimming nearly as much as my lab does, if at all. I will sometimes come down from my room and find them in the exact same position on the couch as I left them four hours earlier. They are certainly one of the most laid-back dogs, very low control in terms of worrying about if they are going to chew on something or destroy something. They rarely have the energy for it. It’s not necessarily that they don’t enjoy to play, in fact they love squeaky toys the most, but they have to be in the mood for it. If you try to exercise them or play with them whenever its convenient for you, they won’t budge. They call the shots, and unfortunately, you just have to roll with it.

Coco Being a Couch Potato

2. They crave attention 

I mean, who doesn’t? We are all guilty of being attention hoarders at points, but Shih Tzus do it like no other. Both of my dogs get insanely jealous if I start to pet one more than the other, or hold one more than the other, or play with one more than the other, etc. They will often start barking or scratching at my leg, indicating its time to stop whatever I’m doing and pay attention to them. Shih Tzus always want to be held or have some sort of physical contact with their owner, as its how they show affection, and get envious when the owner may turn that affection to another dog. This leads to my next point:

3. They love, love, love their owners. 

It’s a simple fact that dogs have no bad intentions, no hidden agenda or personal vendetta against anyone. They simply want to provide love, and want to be loved in return. Shih Tzus have this quality more than most dogs I’ve met, I would say. I’m almost positive this is true for most dogs, but it is certainly a proven fact among Shih Tzus that in order to show affection to their owner or even to other dogs they live with, they will lick them. My dog, Chipper, will sometimes just start licking my hand or my leg out of nowhere. Even if you tell him to stop, he’ll come back and do it again. He will lick our lab’s ears if she’s laying down, my mom’s arm if he’s next to her– it’s pretty bizarre. However, it’s how they show affection. Shih Tzus have probably the biggest hearts of all of the dogs and the emotional capacity to fill it, always aiming not to please their owner, but to make sure their owner know that they love them.


Although I have so much more to say on Shih Tzus, as they are probably my favorite breed, I’m going to continue next week with a specific Shih Tzu, one who I am completely obsessed with. I won’t give anything away, but if you haven’t already seen her or heard of her, you really need to.



The Lab

America’s most beloved dog, as I have heard the labrador retriever called numerous times, is certainly the perfect definition of everything a dog should embody. Though I am biased, I have never met a person who isn’t completely enthralled and in love with a labrador upon meeting them. I decided to begin with the labrador because it is personally my favorite breed of dog and has a very special connection to me.

Bella as a puppy

The lab was first bred in Newfoundland, and quickly became a hunting and retrieving dog, hence the name labrador retriever. The reputation of the lab as a hunting dog is still renowned today, but different types of labs have emerged to be bred for specific functions. Most labs are known in threes: yellow, chocolate, and black. As a whole, labs are one of the most active dogs there are. They love to run and swim and can often do both for hours at a time. However, as much as labs love to exercise, they love to eat. I can attest to this fact with my own lab, who can eat for days on end. Labs are also one of the most “chewy” dogs, especially as puppies. Anything they can pick up with their mouths, they will chew. My lab, Bella, ate five different remotes and some select ornaments off the Christmas tree as a puppy. She plunders around the house, looking for anything to gnaw on, and will always find something. We’ve learned to never leave leftovers on the counter and put up gates on the stairs. Labs are very nosy in this way. 

In terms of training, labs want to please their owner. Whereas other dogs will pick and choose what they want to learn and when they want to learn it, labs will learn anything no matter when or where. When I was training Bella to swim, she was so eager to get into the water and picked up on it quickly. When I taught her basic commands, she learned them within the span of a week. Though I know this isn’t the case for all labs, it does seem to apply to most. Along with being so easy to train, they are also the easiest to love. Labs are pure family dogs. Around children, they are probably the most gentle dogs there are. Growing up, I had a yellow lab from when I was a baby until I was around six. Labs have a natural affinity for being able to love and wanting to be loved in return. We always joke in my house that Bella is a big baby. If we leave to go to the grocery store for twenty minutes and then we return, she acts as if we’ve been gone on a week vacation. She runs to the door with a toy and wags her tail so hard it actually hurts when it hits you, and makes a loud smack against the wall. Cuddling is probably her favorite pastime, as she will often climb into your lap if you’re on the couch, despite the fact that she’s seventy-five pounds. Around other dogs, labs are also very friendly, which is an important thing to many families. We have two small shih tzus along with her, and size never seems to be an issue during playtime. She is so self-aware of her size compared to the others, that she ropes back her own abilities in order to let the small dogs have the upper hand. If the small dogs ever have to go away to the groomer and we leave Bella behind, you can see her looking lost and genuinely upset without them. Labs have a compassion like no other, and are completely full of heart.


Again, I am biased because I do own one, but I am a firm believer that labs are one of the best breeds out there. Dogs don’t need to understand you or who you are, they just simply need to be there in order for you to love them and for them to love you. Though it may sound a bit extreme, Bella is one of the most precious things in my life and I couldn’t imagine who I would be without her.