Gas Pains

Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.

The Runt of the Litter

Girlfriend, Sister, Labrador Retrievers, Raising a Puppy, Why To Pick the Runt Of The Litter

It has been an interesting week - and speaking for myself I am eternally grateful for the approaching end of the 24/7 coverage of the royals.  The royal wedding, the queen, Lady Diana, the giant crazy hats, Billy and Kate and the wedding gown.  Sheesh.  For gosh sakes they've been flatmates for years.  It's about time that fella made an honest woman of her.

Over the years my pal Braumeister and I have discussed this nonsense of the royal family at length and our conclusion is that we kicked King George and his family out of this country more than 200 years ago for good reason. 

Royalty serves little useful purpose in the modern era.  I guess I am just unyielding on the subject of palaces - both here and abroad.  So give the dang subject a rest.

Nevertheless, we now have a queen residing in our household.

Königin Erdnuss von Shamrock Acres

Between the holidays late last year we contacted the breeder where we obtained Girlfriend and inquired about the possibility of an additional pup.  Sally said that springtime looked promising and that we should call and check-in with her about availability.

Last Tuesday another pooch joined the Gas Pains household and Girlfriend has had her nose out of joint ever since. 

On top of that, any number of people have concluded that Jill and I are crazy. 

We now have two Labrador retrievers in our tiny Tosa bungalow - an eighty pound adult and a pup.


I think we're going to figure it all out - but before that happens I want every dog owner to always remember to be careful about what they ask for.

The new pooch shall be known as Sister.  This is because she is related to Girlfriend.  Sister's mother was sired by Touie - the same dog that sired Girlfriend - and while I'm no expert in genealogy I think that would make sister's mother a half-sister to Girlfriend.  Which would make Sister, Girlfriend's niece.


Anyway you figure it a two syllable name is always better with canines so we've decided on Sister instead of Niece.

The blood of any number of Best of Breeds, Companion Dogs, Master and Junior Hunters courses through her veins which explains the fancy pedigree name for her AKC registration.

To be fair I will admit to sometimes addressing her as Piglet or Miss Piggy because she scarfs her three meals a day like each one was her last.  Have you ever observed a Lab pup's delicate and refined dining habits?

Snarf, crunch, slobber, clank, smack, gulp, shove, snorf, hiccup!

Nonetheless, she's a sweet dog and a fast learner.  Potty training is moving in the right direction with a sunrise visit to the yard, back to the crate, back to sleep, breakfast served in the crate, followed by more outdoor exercise and a nap in the crate.  Same routine for lunch and dinner.  She responds to whatever name we're using at the time.  She is well-behaved - heeding the deep voice leave-it or no!   And the high voice which is full of praise good dog!  She fetches and returns just about anything you can skitter across the floor - tumbling over her big, awkward feet, again and again and again - a blur of bounding and stumbling flubber.

Just the other day, while cleaning out the flower beds, she gleefully delivered a couple of very dead mice to Jill.

I have a good feeling about this dog's hunting abilities.

As for the top dog if you were to talk to Girlfriend the adjustment has been - shall we say - trying.  If she could talk she would tell you that her crate was moved first to the dining room and than back to its rightful place in the kitchen.  There is a little blond snot competing for attention.  An annoying little dog that only recently has learned to avoid entering the personal space of her crate, stepping upon her comfy bed in the corner of the living room, grabbing her peanut butter bone when she's not looking or playing with the prized tennis balls.  And taunting her with yips and leaping.

Girlfriend would tell you that it is all so undignified.

That's why we picked the runt of the litter.  She's had to fight for every last mouthful from the teat or the communal bowl.  This is a pup that doesn't take nuth'n from anyone.  She's got some attitude.

And she and Girlfriend are gradually working it out.

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