Friday, February 10, 2012

Project 52 {6}

My favorite thing about you is:
Your big, sloppy, wet nose.

f/2.8 1/50 ISO-500

Atlas is our first baby.  He was our wedding present to each other 8 years ago. We knew right away we wanted a Lab, the big debate was Chocolate or Yellow.  I wanted Chocolate.  When we went to the breeder in California, there was a whiny needy Chocolate and Atlas, who wandered the goat farm/breeder and didn't need anyone (there was $h!+ to be smelled... literally).  I made the first sacrifice for our marriage that day and went home the loser (you may note that we never did get a Chocolate,but that's another story for another day).  We thought we were smart in picking the independent one.  Oh boy.  OH. BOY.  Fast forward a couple months and this monster of a pup would look at me, steal the pillows off the (brand new) couch and run out the giant sliding glass door waiting for me to chase him down and corner him.  He would only drop something for a piece of tri-tip.  Screw you and your dog treats, Mom.  He was a handful who was gaining about 10 pounds a month.  Let me let that sink in... Ten. Pounds. A. Month.  He currently weighs in at a healthy 100 something pounds - that's enormous for a healthy Lab, his chin sits level with the dining room table.  At the encouraging of one of the parents I worked with, we joined up with a gun dog trainer and got to work.  It was comical, but he came around and became manageable at home.  His energy was spent running in a field, swimming in a pond, and focusing his attention on birds - what Labs are meant to do.  We (with the help of some professional trainers) worked with him so much that we (Jeff) eventually competed and titled him.  I called the breeder back that summer to let her know what a great dog he is, and she made the comment that a lot of his litter had behavioral problems, one was even returned.  We made the right choice with that independent pup with the huge GIANT paws that day, and  can't imagine our family without him.  Owning a dog takes work and commitment and he was the perfect primer for having kids.  Seriously, you've heard it:  Owning a dog is perfect practice for having kids, we totally believe it.  

8 years later we thought he would calm down and for the most part the picture above is his normal day (save for maybe a change in location from the on couch to behind the couch or on our bed).  But I dare you to ring our doorbell, or try to pet him (or worse, Bella).  He loves people.  LOVES.  He is 100% Jeff's dog, his doggy sun rises and sets with Jeff, as evidenced by the giant hairy flat spot on the carpet on Jeff's side of the bed.  He care's that I'm in this world only when Jeff's not around, obviously he's the 2nd in line Alpha Male and has to keep his pack in order.  His wet nose will sniff your butt, drool gallons of water on you, and make all kinds of funny snorting sounds.  He's our Atlas and he's amazing!  For all his goofball quirks we just wouldn't be the same family without him.

Want to check out some other super great Project 52 eye candy?
Can I link you too?  Leave me a comment.

1 comment:

  1. I love the picture about your "first baby." With us they aren't just pets, they are family. Thanks for linking up this week!