“The sweet-faced, lovable Labrador Retriever is America’s most popular dog breed. Labs are friendly, outgoing, and high-spirited companions who have more than enough affection to go around for a family looking for a medium-to-large dog.” – akc.org/dog-breeds/labrador-retriever/
My cousin Lavinia and her husband, Dr James Hart, finally made the move from Detroit back to her Pierce County roots. Lavinia still has one more year to go teaching drama and directing at Wayne State University before she can fully retire. However, some of the work and teaching can be done via the internet with an occasional trip back to the mid-west.
As Lavinia and James got somewhat settled in with the help of our relatives and friends, we learned of Rufus, their yellow Labrador retriever. Before the move, a new home for Rufus had been found near Detroit, but in getting used to his new family, he became agitated and nipped the new owner. Lavinia wanted to do what was best for the family pet, but the new apartment didn’t allow dogs. To help find a solution I contacted Kathleen Olson, who had been in charge of the Tacoma-Pierce County Humane Society for decades, and Cassandra Day of Circle B Ranch (Labrador breeders from Eatonville), and a couple of other friends and associates. The solution was new to our relatives.
I had never heard of a service that provides private, ground, door to door professional pet transportation before. Hedda, Dr Hart’s daughter, found the small and personal delivery service. Several relative homes considered adding Rufus to their family, but in the end, Patrick and Wendy Doman won the lottery. Patrick is our youngest son, (Peg Doman and me). Rufus was delivered straight to his new home. Patrick says, “The guy who delivered him actually lives in Florida. He and his wife have 5 Golden Labs. They were dropping off a cat in Michigan, when they got the call about Rufus. He was interested in seeing the Seattle area. After he dropped off Rufus he headed to South Dakota to pick up another animal. He mentioned that most of the large transport companies will load up a truck with 15 to 20 animals and put them in cages for the entire the trip. They feed them once every two days and keep driving. That can be very traumatizing to any animal. He had a crate for Rufus in his van but Rufus had the run of the van behind the front drivers seat. Rufus went into the crate a couple times and sat down and slept.” – uship.com/service-provider/270167715-low-cost-shipping
As I child I had two dogs and a Shetland pony. My dog Pal, a collie mix died while I was in class, my sophomore year at Clover Park. My parents had him removed before I returned from school. My mom was even more upset than I was. I chose him from a litter when I was six. My wife Peg had allergies and so, our family never had pets. Patrick and his wife, Wendy, still have two children living at home, but their son, Riley, who just graduated from Puyallup High School may soon move out on his own. Rufus was a surprise.
Patrick had a chance to prepare their backyard and meet Rufus before the rest of the family returned from a trip to Montana. Brother and sister (Riley and Laci) fell immediately in love with Rufus. Patrick and the kids are lining up to run Rufus on long walks every day. Patrick is delighted to have a companion. He has already given Rufus a ride in his pickup truck. I think Patrick missed having a dog as a child. I know his brother (who now has several) did, also.
Rufus is getting use to a large back yard and teenagers. I think Rufus will wear out Laci and Riley before they wear him out. He’s a friendly addition to the Doman clan.