Best. Dog. Ever.

Some of the kids and I watched an old Lassie rerun. Of course this led us to researching the Collie breed. I was sure there was a different name than merely Collie. There is, Rough Collie. Big dif, right? Anyway...one thing in our searching led to another and before long we were looking at pictures of Border Collie Black Lab Golden Retriever cross dogs. That is what our dear Rascal is. It was like looking at snapshots of Rascal, except they weren't him. Owners of these dogs said the exact same thing about their beloved pets that we say about ours "They are the best dog ever." "I would have 10 of them." "If you ever see puppies, let me know." Well, ok, we aren't saying those last two quotes. Our dear boy is enough dog for us right now, but he is the best dog ever.

Our searching also led us to the information that the average life span for each of the three breeds is right around the age of our dear old boy. No, I didn't cry. I know he is old. Each day he is still alive and happy is a gift. I know this too.

When growing up, I had a dog named Pepper. I used to think that he was the best dog ever. That is what led me to get Rascal's mama, Baby; she looked so much like my Pepper. Dear Baby and My Beloved's parents' dog, George, together gave us Rascal. Now, I know that Pepper was the best dog ever as a child, but Rascal, he is truly the best. dog. ever. We weren't sure that Rascal would last through the winter last year. Not only is he here an entire year later, he still keeps busy on sunshiny days digging up and reburying all of his "stashes". I would be sticking my head in the sand if I didn't acknowledge our days together are less rather than more though. It's a reality our family knows but wishes we didn't.

Animals aren't as important as people, or they shouldn't be. My head knows this. But oh how my heart swells when I think about the way they enrich and fill our lives with love. How much comfort and joy their unconditional love brings. Since we're being so mushy gushy and nice we'll leave all of their little quirks out of the picture. How does that sound Rascal? Is it ok if mama doesn't tell everyone how you keep us up in the night letting you in and out sometimes? And what if we also "forget" to mention how absolutely, utterly spoiled you are? That little trivia is after all mama's fault not yours. Or how you drive us all bonkers the way you pace back and forth and go in and out in the evenings until all of your family is safe and sound at home? Is that ok, too? Thought so. Though we do love you for caring so much. We won't tell how badly you smell either and that you do so because you won't let us give you a bath or brush you very well without running away from us. It's too cold outside for a bath anyway.

So why did I write this? Who knows. Maybe it was all of that research about dogs, the pictures that look like Rascal, the owners' comments on their own dogs, or a combination of them all. Maybe it was because this is a great combination of breeds, and I want to get the word out about them. If you are looking for a dog, look for a Border Collie Black Lab Golden Retriever cross. Seriously, do. No matter what color they come in, they are truly the best dogs ever. Owners all across the world agree. Of course, Rascal is the very very best, but you will still be quite happy with your own I'm certain. If you have children or live in a neighborhood with children around, this is definitely your dog of choice. If there is enough Border Collie in them, they will even herd small wandering children, or kittens, back into a safe area within the yard without injuring anyone. It's true. I am a witness. They will also growl ferociously if they sense possible danger to those they love. Of course there is a very good possibility that they will be plastered against the front door scratching to be let inside in between growls, but that growl will sound fierce:) So, open the door and let in the best dog ever.

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