Downeast Dog News

Furry Words April 2021

Apr 01, 2021

I am having so much fun having a dog!!! I’ve had my sweet five-year-old chocolate Lab Syd since mid-November and every day is an adventure. One of the new challenges that just presented itself is mud season. Holy smokes that’s a delight, isn’t it? I live on a dirt road with a dirt driveway. The three mile walk we take almost daily is a dirt road, and it’s also covered in a spotty layer of melting ice that is covered in road sand and salt. In March, we have the fabulous first spring-like days where you hear the snow melting, followed by chilly days where everything refreezes, and it’s a toss up between needing hockey skates or boots for our walks. Today was a muck boot kind of day, but I unfortunately chose to wear my sneakers. I have an interesting learning curve because if I had thought about how muddy both of us were after yesterday’s walk, I would have put on more appropriate footwear.

After a filthy walk, I towel off her belly, legs, and wherever else is dripping muddy water. She’s very tolerant, thank goodness, and the reward of a cookie probably is probably her only incentive. Then I usually have to work, so I get situated on my couch with my laptop and notebooks. Syd is a spoiled pup, and she’s allowed on the furniture, which happens to be the first new couches I’ve owned in over twenty years. My new couches now smell like dog. Here’s the irony. Do you know what I do when my son comes home from hockey or football practice? I make him take a shower. He’s a gross, stinky, and usually sweaty mess. He’s not allowed on the furniture until he’s clean. But Syd, well, that’s a different story! “C’mon up sweet girl!” If she’s drenched, I’ll put a cover down, but more often than not she’ll hop up so fast I miss the window to protect the couch. Sigh. I can get them cleaned after mud season, right? I’ve read a lot of you, and I know I’m not the only one in this crazy predicament!

I was in a long-term relationship with someone who declared that when we got a dog, it would never be allowed to sleep in the bed with us. What?! I’m sorry, but when Syd was new here, she got spooked by the eight-pound kitty cat and refused to come upstairs. I was so sad knowing that she was downstairs alone, and I hoped that one day she’d be confident enough to come up and snuggle with me. Don’t get me wrong- I LOVE having the whole bed to myself and sleeping like a starfish, but having a dog on the bed is a different story. After a month of living here and bribing her with a ridiculous amount of treats, Syd cautiously started coming up to bed with me. She had figured out that my son’s bed, which was really high off the floor, was super comfy, but she’d only let me hoist her up if I was up there, too. It was a good excuse to hang out with my fifteen-year-old, and I even bought her portable stairs because when she tried to jump up, she toppled over. Would I have bought them for my son if he needed them? Um, probably not. But she’s Sweet Syd and clearly needed them! Either way, it took her a bit to realize that my bed was the best place ever to spend the night.

Five months later, when I go up, Syd races upstairs and claims her favorite spot- either in the middle or as far away from the cat as possible. Many nights I’ve had to physically move her, and one night she was so content she played dead, and I literally rolled her from one side to the other. Is this normal? Because I think she may be working me! The other interesting phenomenon that’s happening is that when I stir any time after five am, she thinks the day has officially started. Do you know how chaotic it is to have an 85-pound dog suddenly dive bomb you, lick anywhere she can access, and then lay completely on you while also in a full body wiggle? I’m talking head to toe laying on me, not just leaning on me. If it’s super early, I can tell her to lay down and she will, but once the sun’s up, forget it. The day has begun. What I find spectacular about this wake-up routine is that it’s almost impossible to start the day out grumpy when your sweet dog is beyond thrilled to see you, to know you’re awake, has all the faith in the world that you’re going to feed her, and that even if she’s a stinky muddy mess, you’ll let her hang out with you. Granted, my room sometimes smells like a foul goat and at first, I thought that was par for the course of being a 48 year old woman. Turns out, it’s not me- it’s the dog! Phew! Syd has definitely brought joy and a certain scent to my home, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Sara Moore currently offers long distance readings over the phone or FaceTime. You can learn more at and follow her on Facebook at Sara Moore Enlightened Horizons. All information given in a reading is not a replacement for licensed veterinary care.