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summie & murphy
September 2013

How did you come to live with your current family?

Summie:

I was living with my dog mom and my sisters in a big room where the nice man worked and lived.  The nice man would play with us and talk to us and love us; he let other nice people play with us, too, and there were other dogs, big and small, who played with us and taught us.  Sometimes the man would tell me that my Mom was coming to get me soon.  I didn’t know what he meant.  But one day my Mom came; she hugged me and held me and told me that she was going to be my Mom, and she took me away from my sisters and my dog mom.  Right away, though, she introduced me to lots of other people and dogs.  First there was my big sister, Dixie; she was a terrier, and was very tough!  Dixie did not like me being close to her at all, and Dixie yelled at me really loud when I tried to take her food the first day!  But I watched my new sister run agility the first day I came home, and I saw how fast she ran and how excited she was about it.  Mom let me watch other dogs, too, and meet the people who played; it looked like so much FUN!  But I was still very little; it was only my first day away from the nice man, and I later learned that we were not even home yet!

 

After agility, Mom showed me the camper where Mom and Dixie and I would stay at first.  I slept next to Mom on the bed, in my box; mom kept her hand on me so I would not be too scared.  The next day, and the next day, we went back to agility.  I met more people and learned how to be in my box at agility, and I watched the other dogs have so much fun.  I really wanted to play! 

 

After agility, Mom got really busy in the camper, then she put me in the truck next to my sister and we drove.  I did not dare get on my sister’s side of the truck!!  Soon we stopped, though, and got back in the camper.  And we did more agility and I met more new people and dogs.  It was great fun!  I also got to see terriers run really fast and go into hay bales and holes; my sister was REALLY excited to do the terrier stuff, and I learned that being around a hundred terriers requires REALLY respectful manners!

 

After a few days of terrier games and agility, we drove again.  Next stop was a big, big building with a LOT of really LOUD dogs.  I met even more new people.  By now I was really excited to meet new people, and these people were excited to meet me.  They invited me to jump on them and roll around with them, and I was happy to do that.  But that building was so loud that I was scared.  Then Mom sat me in her lap and I watched some really fast dogs run up and down and up and down and up and down.  They were picking up something and bringing it back to their people.  People were yelling and playing with dogs and it was crazy!  But even though I was scared, I could see the dogs were having fun.  And my sister had a really good time doing that game, too, so we stayed there a couple of days so she could play.  Then we piled into the truck again and drove some more.

 

Finally we actually got home; Mom had an actual house, with a yard and a comfortable sofa and everything!  Dixie would mostly stay on the top of the sofa, or be in the yard digging for mice.  Dixie showed me where the mice hide, and how to get them – but I was still not allowed to get too close to her hole, so I would just creep and creep up until I could see what she was doing.  If Dixie came out of her hole and saw me too close, she would lunge and snap at me!  I could see it was important, though, so I got as close as I could and learned what Dixie was doing.  And l watched Mom and Dixie practice agility and that other thing, which turns out to be called flyball, and I spent lots of time being with Mom.  And that’s how we settled in to be a family.   

Murphy:

Well, one winter I was running and playing with my brother and sisters, in the big room where the nice man lives and works and all the other dogs play, and this lady came.  She played with us and stared at us; she took me and my brother outside to run and play in the snow.  That was FUN!!  My brother and I ran and ran; the lady could not keep up with us, and we were just 8 weeks old!  But she rounded us up and brought us back inside.  The next morning we played some more, and the lady hugged the nice man and put me in a soft little box.  Next thing I knew I was being jostled along; my tummy felt bad.  The lady let me out and we played in the grass, then she carried me in my box to a BIG building.  I got sick the way she was carrying my box, with it swinging like that!  But she cleaned me up and then things were really loud for a while – a loud, constant, SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.  The lady put my box on her lap and stroked my head and back until I fell asleep.  Then she carried my box again, and I got jostled and bumped some more.  Now I know I was riding in a car, and a plane, and a car again, but when I was a puppy I did not know.

 

The most exciting moment of my life was when the lady put my box down, and another dog came up and sniffed the soft box.  He was big and he sniffed so hard that he smooshed the side of my box in… and he looked like me!  When the lady opened the door of my box, the big dog sniffed me and sniffed me – then he became my brother, and I loved him so much, right away.  There was another dog, about my size.  She was white, but she jumped on the furniture and got away from me, and when I tried to jump on her, she growled at me.  She did not want to be my friend, but she became like my mom – she helped me learn what was ok and not ok, and I helped her learn that puppies often ignore instructions!  My brother, Summie, shared everything with me from the beginning.  I guess maybe I pick on him too much now, since he was so nice to me from the beginning.  But the lady became my Mom, and the big brown dog my brother, and I came to take care of them all.

 

What Silly or Little known facts should we know about you?

Summie:

I am Mom’s “Best Boy.”  She told me that she knew about me even before I was created, because she asked the nice man – her friend, Dan - for a boy chocolate lab out of his dog named Zip – and Zip is my dog mom.  So when my dog mom was going to have puppies, my human Mom got to pick the best boy.  I was the only boy, so clearly I was the best boy!  Mom had my name before I was even born.  Mom told me about the lady I was named for, about how intense and competitive and honest the lady is, and how smart and tough and strong.  And without even trying, I became like the lady I’m named for, Pat Summitt of the University of Tennessee Women’s Basketball Team.

 

(Mom told me that Pat is in trouble right now, because she got sick.  Pat got Alzheimer’s at age 59; Mom says that’s really young for people to get sick like that.  But Pat is fighting, and has created The Pat Summitt Foundation to raise awareness and money for a cure.  Mom says that we have to support Pat’s work, because if Alzheimer’s can be cured in people, then it will also probably be cured in dogs.  Mom says that Dixie got the same kind of disease that Pat has, and that Dixie became afraid and confused all the time, until she died.  Mom doesn’t want that to happen to many more dogs, so that’s why We Back Pat.  Mom and I tried to support Pat when we did Dock Diving in Whistler in July.  We were thinking of Dixie, and of Pat, when we competed.)

Murphy:

I love soap!  When Mom gets in the tub, I shove my way in and try to steal her soap and lick it off her arms.  When I was just a puppy, I would crawl into the big tub with my Granny, who was taking care of us for a few days; Granny and I had fun swimming in the big bathtub!

 

Besides Day Care… what do you love?

Summie:

My favorite pastime is retrieving, but very close to that is hunting.  At home, I spend my days down in the pasture, digging for mice, just like my sister taught me.  Just like Dixie, I will find the scent and dig and dig and dig, and stay right there at that spot with the scent, and will dig and dig until I find the varmit.  Dixie could dig in one spot for hours, and so can I.  I hate coming home when Mom or Dad calls me; sometimes, in fact, I get in trouble because I don’t come home when I’m called.  Mom does not understand how important it is to get the mice.

Murphy:

I love fruits and veggies!  I leap into the apple tree and grab branches to bring down apples, and I crash through the corn and cucumbers – even though my dad has built cages around them – to pick and eat the corn and cukes.  I have taught Summie how to jump into the apple tree, but he can’t jump as high as I can.

 

What are your favorite toys or games?

Summie:

I love ANYTHING athletic, but love it more if it involves retrieving something.  I can retrieve anything for hours on end:  balls, Frisbees, sticks, my water bumper… anything!  I love chasing the chuckit Frisbee, and I love leaping into the water to get my bumper.  I LOVE flyball, which I now play as much as Mom can let me.  I love agility, though we don’t practice it enough, according to Mom!  Anything Mom asks of me, I will do and will love.  I even love going to obedience class!!  Anything that gives me personal time with Mom is a good thing!  But most of all, I love retrieving things.  I can pick up or go get things for Mom if she needs me to, kind of like a service dog, and I also know how to find things when I’m asked to.

Murphy:

I love being chased and wresting really hard, especially with my big friend Edith.  I love to body-check other dogs when we are running really fast (even though Mom yells at me when I do that).

 

If you had a major in college…what would it be?

Summie:

I would be a Sports major.  I would have scholarships in all the big sports:  baseball, basketball, and football.  In all three sports, I would be the defensive stopper:  I’d play safety in football, and no one would be able to catch a pass in my area because I’d get there first and intercept it.  I’d play outfield in baseball, and get to any hits SO FAST that no one would ever get more than a single.  In basketball, I would be so fast into the passing lanes that no one would even try to throw past me, plus no one  can dribble around me - Mom and her friend Abby have tried, but I made a steal of the ball and Mom had to buy Abby a new basketball!.   My skills, intensity, and work ethic make me good enough to play for Pat Summitt.

Murphy:

I would go to clown college, because my job is to be the entertainment.  Mom always says that I simply do not receive negative information!  So I’m always cheerful and joyful, and always having fun.  Even when the little white dog would growl at me when I was a puppy, I just ignored her because I knew I could make her laugh again soon.

 

If you wrote a personal ad… what would it say?

Summie:

Athletic and adoring lab seeks human with a car and nothing but time and money, for playing fetch with various objects and driving me to and from dog sports events.  You must have a fenced yard, or a plug to charge my gps collar.  You must be able to tolerate the frequent presence of dead small animals and birds.  Pond or pool preferred.  In exchange I will bring you lots of ribbons and prizes, and constantly fill your hands with toys to throw for me while you are eating or cooking or watching tv.  I can be your whole world – can you be mine?

Murphy:

Fun-loving Chocolate Lab seeks any dog or human for running, wrestling, lap-sitting, and knoshing.  I will always make you smile, always give you plenty of affection, and always provide for you by picking fruits, berries, and vegetables when they are in season and by catching critters when the plants are not in season.  I am a great protector with a booming bark, and keep a constant safe zone around our home.  But I will never stray from you or leave you, and whenever you call me, I’ll be right there.  If you want a loyal, loving, and joyful companion who knows that any chair is capable of holding a human plus me, then I’m your Lab.

 

Other information we should know about you?

Summie:

One Saturday at lunchtime Dad’s cousin Gene came to the house and said he was missing a calf that had been born the day before.  Gene said he thought that the cow had hidden the calf, which is normal and ok, but since no human had seen the calf in several hours, they were getting worried because it would need to eat.  Gene said they had been looking without success.  I heard Mom tell Dad, “Summie could find it.”  Dad wasn’t as sure, but felt like it was certainly possible.  Mom quickly finished her lunch and hooked me up with my gps collar.  We left silly Murphy in the house and headed towards the pasture; as we passed my agility field, Mom grabbed a 5 foot pvc jump bar.

 

About 120 yards from the house, we hit the area where Gene’s pasture bumps against my Dad’s woods.  The line is obvious, because the woods are thick there, and the fenceline is overgrown with blackberry bushes in a lot of spots.  Cousin Jeannie was already in that area, walking along one of Dad’s paths in the woods.  Mom asked Jeannie if we could help; Jeannie said they had been up and down that fenceline a bunch of times, but we could try.  Mom and I crashed into the thick brush.  Mom was using the jump bar to poke under logs and into heavy bushes as she made her way to the fence itself.  I took off up the hill at first, and then popped out into the pasture about 40 feet uphill from Mom.  Mom called me back to the wooded side of the barbed wire fence, and encouraged me to “find it.”  I wasn’t sure what we were looking for, but I got busy covering some ground.  I ran the fenceline down to Mom and past her; there was a HUGE blackberry bush in the way.  Mom had to move away from the fence to get around the bush, but I beat her around it.  On the other side of the bush, which was about 15 feet across, I realized what I was hunting!  I shoved past the brambles until I came face to face with a big black animal – the animal went “MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!” really loudly – we all jumped!  Mom came running, told me I was a good boy, and ordered me to get back; I thought, “No problem!” and backed way up.  I watched as Mom got my agility leash around the cow’s neck; I knew it was a cow because I see them every time we drive up and down the driveway.  But the baby cow did not know Mom, and was trying to pull and leave, and was yelling for its own mom.  Jeannie came running, yelling at Gene that we found it.  Gene also came quickly, but he was not the only one.  Suddenly, above the top of the huge blackberry bush, we saw and heard this BIG cow:  Mom was here!  The calf was pulling and bawling, and the cow was mooing, and my leash was still on the calf.  Mom was yelling at Gene and Jeannie for instructions and to me to keep back; just as Jeannie said to remove the leash, the cow broke through the three strands of barbed wire and came right to the calf!  It was so close that I almost had to go to my Mom’s rescue, but she got away just in time.  The mama cow knew Gene, so he was able to cut the remaining wire and call her back through the fence; the calf followed.  It was a very exciting few minutes!  Everybody made much of me because I was the hero, and the calf was named for me.

Murphy:

My Dad sells firewood, so lots of people come into our driveway.  I like to greet them all and bring them toys, especially if they have dogs!  Usually I check out the inside of their cars or trucks while they are talking to Dad about the wood, and I give out hugs when people need one – like Mr. Ron, who visited last week and said that his Chesapeake Retreiver was at Rainbow Bridge now.

 

I became the number 2 dog in the house right after I arrived from the snowy place.  When the little white dog got old and became afraid of things, I started taking care of her, too.  I grew up and learned to respect her space and her fears – and her food bowl!  She is playing at the Rainbow Bridge now, and I will see her there someday and take care of her again, if she needs me to.  My loyalty knows no limits.