I was born a hyper, happy, ADD, spastic, and very hungry sister of seven. Why are you looking at me that way? All us labs are born that way. And we generally live that way our whole lives. Some of you think we will out grow it all, but it is not in our natures. We do thank all of you lab lovers for over-looking these strengths and giving us homes anyways. Speaking of homes, I was born without one. I could tell that my mom was not very happy about this. She didn’t plan on having her babies out in the wild without shelter, without food, and with thousands of scarey monsters with big fangs all about. She didn’t tell us directly, but we could tell from the way that she acted around people, that she must have been mistreated. She was very mistrusting and skiddish which made us cling to her all the more. She loved us very much and made sure that all of us got as much nourishment as she could give us. I don’t know if you have ever loved someone so much that their joy became your joy and their sorrow became your sorrow? That is probably the experience of every mother, and it was also the experience that I had for my mom. I could tell that we were a burden of love for our mom and being the oldest, I just say that I am the oldest now since there is no one to argue with me, I decided to do my part to lighten the load.
We were hanging out in the woods of South Carolina in a small town near Charleston called Summerville. Very beautiful country if you are ever out that way. Our normal daily routine was to wake up feeling the pangs of hunger and to pounce all over each other as we made our way to mom. She survived this onslaught on a daily basis. Actually, several times a day. But being more observant then the others, I could tell that she was worried. I would hesitate before diving in and my and my mother’s eyes would meet. I could see and sense the pain that she felt. I knew she had a tremendous burden on her shoulders. I felt her pain, the pain that comes from knowing that some of your babies are going to go hungry and probably die of starvation. I needed to help.
I started devising my plan to help improve the chances of survival of the others. I only pretended to drink the milk when my turn came, and I did everything I could to just blend in and become unnoticeable. At some point everyday, we would wander near the edge of the woods where my mom would look for food. I noticed that she would stick her head in the garbage cans, and it was during one of these times that I made my ultimate sacrifice for the others. I turned and ran without looking back. I was so fearless in fact, that I ran straight for the first person that I saw. A beautiful woman was stepping out of her car and I ran right up to her. I was only four weeks at the time, but I remember that day like it was yesterday. You don’t easily forget the last day that you see your mother. The young woman’s name was Laura Evatt. Laura was a dental hygenist, was going to dental school and was the nicest person in the world. How do I know? Because she picked me right up even though I was dirty and bloated with worms. She took me to the nearest vet and then picked me up later to take me to her home. A home. My attempt to give to others, turned into a door to heaven. You should all remember this in your lives.
Home was a small apartment and although Laura spent many hours at work and school, I was not alone. Laura had two others of my kind at home as well. Their names were Buckwheat and Duke. These guys were young, which made it all that much easier to establish my inevitable female dominance, but instead of naming me Princess or Queen, Laura, being a fan of the TV Show ‘Our Gang’ decided to name me Alfalfa. I don’t even think that is a girl’s name, but no one ever teased me about it. Once I tried to get Duke to lick my hair up on top, but he couldn’t ever get it quite right. It felt like my entire head was covered in doggy slobber, thank god for the couch.
Did I mention furniture? This is how we found out that Laura really was a saint. I don’t know if you know how labs express their love to their masters when they are away, but it is by over-exuberantly trying to carve our initials on everything in the house with our teeth. We carved our initials on Laura’s couch, on Laura’s shoes, on Laura’s grandmother’s antique table. We loved Laura so much that we even carved our initials on the linoleum floor in the kitchen. Trust me, we did not know she was renting, I swear.
When Laura graduated from dental school, almost homeless herself, we all decided to move back to Florida. Laura was from Florida and I pretty much spear-headed the decision, knowing that it would make HER mother happy.
Laura was going to start her new dental practice and we were excited to express our love all over again in a new house. Laura decided it was time for a family meeting. Laura explained to us that she was going to be gone for long hours and she didn’t feel that it was fair or nice of her to leave us alone all that time. She really meant it. I can’t begin to tell you how loving she is. She is the best.
I thought it over and decided very quickly to step up to the plate and opt to be adopted out. A) I was already experienced in self-sacrifice, B) I knew that the two numbskulls that I was with couldn’t survive on their own and C) Laura told me behind their backs that I was the best behaved and deserved the best home. It was settled.
Laura was a master at finding good homes as you will see reading this book. She found me the perfect master who was home all day and best of all, lived on a lake. He was great. I said goodbye to the boys, let Duke have one more chance to get the hair thing right, and was on my way. I heard my new owner talking to Laura after the first night that I stayed there and he told her that he let me sleep with him in his bed. It was lab heaven. Laura knew I was in the right place.
I will never forget Laura and I will never forget my mother. Please say a prayer for her and my other brothers and sisters. I was lucky and my guardian angel was a dentist.