One of our Labrador Retrievers, Bo, can be a perfect gentleman. He takes treats with the gentlest of touches. He sits and waits patiently for food, or a bone, or to petted. When he comes in from the outside he trots immediately to his dog bed until his paws dry off before he seeks out attention or playtime.
He is a listener. When I let him out and if I smell a skunk nearby, he will immediately come back into the house when I call him. If he gets off his leash, and I yell the command, he immediately lays down and waits for me to hook him back up,
The fur on his head is soft. He has the history of being a rescue lab--we pulled him from a kill shelter in Ohio several years ago.
When he naps, Bo snores like the oceanic crust grinding against the continental crust. Our floor trembles.
Bo is clumsy. The hair between the pads on his paws grows so fast and long that he often slips and tumbles on bumbles on hardwood floors. When he sits waiting for a treat, his paws slowly slide away from his body and you can see him straining to be so good and do what is being asked. The look in is eyes is I can't help what is happening please give me the cookie--fast! I'm going to fall!
So much about him is sweet and good and lovable.
But there is this one thing.
Not so lovable.
Bo can be known to bark me out of a sweet and heavy dream at blue o' clock in the morning. Like he did last night. I'm deep deep deep under the sand and slumber when all of a sudden:
Loud enough to wake Julius Caesar...and Bo is at the other end of the house! He sleeps in the family room. My wife has yelled at him from bed. Each time it is like a full-broadside of 16-inch shells from the USS New Jersey thundering through the house: Bo, go to sleep!
Yet, Bo will do it again in a few minutes.
Until I get up.
When I have, I've let him out in the yard. But he usually doesn't have to do anything. Often he will stand and stare at the door, come back in, lay down, and go back to sleep. If I don't get up he will bark once every fifteen minutes or so until I get up. Just one bark.
The bird catcher has often to be up at 'blue o'clock in the morning'. The rime is on the grass when he lays his nets. It is bitterly cold standing about in the fields. --D.N. 12th October 1886.