Hero is one of my best friends ever. But he’s moving away, so I’m very sad. He's not moving like Willow moved (from the West End to the Southside); he's moving all the way across the ocean.
|Me, sad that Hero is moving|
Mom, dad and I will miss Hero and his mom and dad very very very much. We've only known them a little over a year, but they quickly became great friends and hiking buds. They showed us lots of trails at Pocahontas State Park, cheered me on in tricks contests, helped out A LOT at Dog Scouts events, and Hero has been a star in our recent trick demos. Not only is Hero a great pup, his mom and dad are among the most delightful people we’ve ever met.
|Hero shares my passion for mud|
|Hero at Woof Wag Walk|
I met Hero through Facebook. His mom was friends with my grandma, who had given her a lot of great information about labs when she was looking for Hero. When I posted a particularly witty comment on one of my grandma's posts, Hero's mom sent me a message saying she just HAD to friend me and that her lab was on Facebook too. So I got to know Hero and his mom a bit through Facebook, then they came to watch my tricks demo at the Ft. Lee Puppy Bowl last summer, and we got to actually meet them! Mom liked Hero's mom instantly, but I wasn't quite as enamored by Hero. He was still very much of a puppy then, and puppies can be a bit much for me –- all jumpy and kissy and bitey. But then we started doing hikes together and we became great friends, and Hero has matured into a fine young lab.
|Hiking with Hero|
|Willow, Hero and me playing in the water |
at Pocahontas State Park
|THROW it, human|
|Did someone say treat?|
|Come on old man, says Hero|
|Hero on his first birthday|
Hero's full name is Doubleplay's Hero Lest We Forget because he was born on Veteran's Day. He is half American lab and half English lab – and we think he's the best of both. As you can see from his photos, he's one of the most handsome labs EVER. He's also one of the sweetest, smartest, and most talented labs around. He makes friends with everyone he meets, human and canine. He simply loves everyone, and everyone loves him. He knows lots of tricks, and will swim far out into the water to fetch a ball none of the rest of us can find. He has started hunt training (which is how he knows how to find the ball – his mom gives him some signal that means swim out further to look for it). He has also been learning agility recently, and he's picking it up quickly.
Did I mention that he can fly?
A couple months ago, Hero’s mom entered him into a dog show. She said she didn’t know what she was doing, and some thought her crazy to try it, but mom and Willow’s mom encouraged her to do it. Hero had never been to a dog show before and didn’t have any training or practice as to what you’re supposed to do. But he wowed the judges with his looks and poise. He even won some ribbons and metals, and now he has letters after his name like some of my other friends. He won both the National and International Puppy title along with Best Labrador Puppy, and he came third in the Best Sporting Puppy. In his first show ever. We were so proud of him! (Of course he has always been the Best Labrador Puppy as far as we're concerned.)
|Hero with his new medals, looking very solemn|
Hero’s mom and dad (especially his mom) have spent lots and lots of time with Hero, teaching him things and bringing him up to be a model canine citizen -- and it shows. We admire Hero and his mom very much and wish that every puppy parent was half that devoted to training their pup to be a delightful companion. Hero's mom recently shared a photo on Facebook of a bunch of very well-behaved pit bull-looking dogs posing for a camera with the caption "Good Dogs start with Good Owners". This so true, and Hero and his parents are prime examples.
Hero and his mom are always taking other pups along on their hikes, which we think is extremely nice of them. They take Willow hiking with them when Willow's parents are out of town, and I know Willow appreciates it. She has so much border collie energy, she needs to hike A LOT, and her grandparents can't take her hiking. A whole lot of doggies are gonna' miss Hero and his mom.
|Me and Hero -- and Ozzy pretending he doesn't know us|
And I too will miss my pal Hero. Hikes will not be the same without his fun, silly, exuberant labness. My mom is gonna' miss Hero's mom terribly. We're secretly hoping that someday they will be able to move back to the U.S. (Meanwhile, we’ve got a spare bedroom and an extra dog bed, so we are hoping they visit!)