Readers of this blog who are familiar with numerous posts about our Yellow Labrador Retriever named Beau have an impression of him as an amusing trouble-maker. Today, I want to amend that view of Beau. Now don’t get me wrong. I am not taking it all back. The stories about him are all true. He is indeed a character with a funny personality. You might recall that many of Beau’s activities have involved “collecting.” He has robbed both a UPS truck and a FedEx truck. He has brought me tools from workers. He has “found” a hat of one of our guests. He has borrowed towels intended for hot tub occupants. He has helped himself to breakfasts of persons who negligently got up from the table to get coffee.
But Beau has revealed a selfless side recently. For acts of kindness, I nominate Beau as our Pet of the Year, an honor that has eluded him for the first six years of his life.
What changed? Beau has accepted responsibility as the babysitter of our new puppy, Gus. Beau patiently plays with the exuberant puppy. He is careful not to hurt Gus. He allows Gus to climb all over him. He seems to realize that it would not be a fair fight, so he tolerates the puppy taking Beau’s toys. He even coaches Gus about fetching and pottying outside. It is heart-warming to watch the two together.
Today, I witnessed something else that warmed my heart and inspired me to write this post. Besides Beau and Gus, we also have a female Lab, Sadie, who has tried futilely to teach him how to live his life. She comes when she is called, for example.
Sadie has always been the first to eat. No matter which bowl I put down first, that one is hers. Today, Sadie did not go to her bowl. Beau finished his meal and stood, waiting for Sadie to eat. I had to lead her to her food. Sadie is fourteen, almost. Her eyesight is going, I suppose, but not her appetite. I was amazed that Beau did not take Sadies’s food. He just stood and waited for me to lead Sadie to her food bowl and patiently watched her finish her breakfast.
And for that act of respect and selflessness, I nominate Beau as our Pet of the Year.