Lola is quite a special dog.
For a start, she is a labradoodle. Specifically, she is an Australian labradoodle. She does not smell of dog, even when wet. Sometimes she smells of warm, sweet biscuits. And she doesn’t shed. Nary a hair. I keep her clipped fairly short, so she doesn’t get too many tangles, and she just needs a comb, and her hair brushed away from her eyes in the morning. These are brilliant attributes to have when in the home of someone who does not like vacuuming. And who finds it tiring, and whose blood sugar falls alarmingly while doing it!
Her achievements in this area are to do with how good she is while I groom her – she lifts her paws, she puts her head back and allows me to do under her chin – this is the only bit she really enjoys. She adopts her ‘long suffering’ look while I groom her. Her being calm and cooperative during this process, despite not enjoying it much, is a real help.
Of course her main achievement is her alerting – during the night in particular, she is a wonder. She has woken us many, many times by ‘talking’ which she does when my blood sugar is too low or too high. She has saved me from becoming unconscious many times – and once, when we were all tired, and slept through me actually becoming unconscious, she woke my partner up by barking. It is an achievement that she knew she had to ‘escalate’ her alert to gain attention.
It’s an achievement that she knows that she must be extra careful and calm around children. We tried to get her to sit whenever a child came up in public. We knew she’d got the idea when she kept sitting down in the middle of us going around a department store – I suddenly realised it happened whenever a child was passing and she was sitting, obediently!
Lola is very well behaved in any town or city or public place, cafe etc. but when in our village, she goes up on her hind legs to greet my friends, and gets very excited by the WI, where we go every Friday. She loves it there. And I think this too, while not ideal, is an achievement. She always recognises when someone is a friend of mine, and greets them accordingly. And they like it like that.
She eats her food tidily, does not spread her water round the place, and has never begged. Neither has she stolen food from the tables in the lounge, even if they are her treats. She once snaffled a chicken bone from the compost – but apart from that, she is reliably good. For a dog, this is an achievement!
But her latest achievement, whilst not being strictly HER achievement, made me happy. Another blogger, Britney Gulbrandsen, looking at my site with her baby, told me her son had learned to say ‘dog’ looking at Lola’s picture. Yay! What an achievement, an inspirer of words as well!
There is the slightest, faintest possibility she is a little smug about all this. Or is that me? One of the two. I think it’s her.