Blacky is my 6 year old black lab/Irish Setter/Golden Retriever mix boy dog. He’s been with us since he was about 4 weeks old. We aren’t really sure how old he was because he was a stray that Hubby found wandering down Main Street. One morning Hubby watched traffic swerving outside of where he worked and went outside to see what was in the road. What Hubby found was a little black fuzzy puppy. Hubby picked up the little guy and called me to see if I wanted to add him to our family. The minute I saw Blacky and he chewed on the hem of my dress, I was sold.
He was the center of attention for the first 6½ years of his life. Goldie was content to take a back seat to the little guy – who grew up to be a 98 lb. big guy. He’s the apple of Hubby’s eye and Blacky follows Hubby around whenever Hubby is working outside. Other than a little hip dysplasia and arthritis, he’s a happy, healthy dog. He’s a friendly, outgoing dog when you take him out in public, but if we put something new in the yard or someone new comes to the house, he’ll bark at the thing/person and run away until he can process what the heck is going on. Once he figures it out, then he’s fine.
Since Luci came into our lives, though, he’s had to switch from being the little brother to being the big brother. Overall, he’s adapted rather nicely, but I can tell that he misses the days when he could have all the attention. Sometimes he give me that look that says "Why did you have to get her?" Since he had never been an only child, he took Goldie’s sudden passing pretty hard. He liked having all the attention, but he didn’t seem to like being home alone when we went to work, and he was really tired of watching me cry every day because I missed Goldie so much. Part of the reason we got Luci was so that he’d be part of a pair again. He watches out for Luci, but he doesn’t want us to know that he’s watching out for her. They play and romp in the back yard and he’s happy as a clam to finally have somebody to play with. When he’s too tired to chase Luci anymore, he’ll sit in one spot, bark at Luci, and watch her run in a big circle around him. The funniest thing he’ll do is tattle on Luci if she’s misbehaving. He’ll come to the back door and stare at me until I go outside to see what she’s doing.
I do get to spend some time with just him alone – he’ll come and put his head on my lap when I’m watching TV or stand next to me when Luci is running around in the yard. I keep telling him that Luci is acting the same way he did when he was a puppy and that she’s going to settle down soon and things will be a little less hectic for him. I don’t think he believes me, though.