Monday, April 13, 2009

An Overabundance Of Labrador Pictures, ...But I Can't Help Myself

The secret to a fun day.
Two smart, pretty girls and at least one smart handsome dog.
Just add water.

Emma and Laura were home from college for the big wedding, so yesterday we rode out to Shell Mound.
Shell Mound is a division of the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge and consists of saltmarsh, an enormous first Floridian shell midden, a fishing pier, and a sandy boat launch area.

The sandy boat launch was our goal on this beautiful spring day.

Bear attempting to jump into Laura's arms.

With our abundance of alligators, it's not really a good idea to take your Lab swimming in most Florida freshwater rivers or lakes.
As a result, sweet Bear had not had a true swimming experience in his first year on the planet.
Gators are much rarer in saltwater (not absent though!) so we figured the sandy boat ramp at Shell mound would be a perfect place for him to get his sea legs.

First, we emptied all pockets of electronics. I had a flashdrive on my keys, a cell phone, and extra camera batteries on me ... isn't that amazing how tied we are to things electronic?
We also shed shoes as this was an oyster free sandy shore.

We were all wondering how Bear would do. Would he be afraid of the deeper water ... a failed Lab?

We needn't have worried.

He took to it with the usual gusto with which he tackles everything.

Above: Bear is a clear winner in the Shell Mound Smackdown Tug-O-War contest.
Istarted off with a normal leash, but that was like a jerk-your-arm-off torture, so out came the 20 foot training lead and then the fun began.

We found a piece of dead mullet cut bait and tossed it for him to retrieve. It sank of course, but that did not slow Bear down.
He went under for it.

For his first time romping in real water, I was impressed by his ability and willingness to hold his breath and submerge his head so completely.

I was lucky enough to be the one closest to Bear when he decided to thank us for taking him.
On the way out to Shell Mound in the JEEP, he repeatedly thanked us all for taking him, so we were thoroughly dog kissed by the time we made it home.

Is he huge or WHAT?

When it was time to go, Bear left the water with the same exuberance that he entered it. Everything is a new adventure for him so even returning to the parking lot holds promise in his puppy mind.

He slept all the way home ... about a 20 minute ride.
I have a video of him swimming and the three of us all encouraging him as he does so. That will have to wait until I can access some of that newfangled broadband stuff.

It is a gorgeous day here at PFHQ and I'm off, so maybe I can get into something wild to share with you.


Sayre said...

I think I'm in love with Bear.

threecollie said...

Lab+Water=it is all good!

ImagineMel said...

what a strong handsome boy! almost as handsome as the other young man who lives at PFHQ! :)

Deb said...

What fun pictures! Bear and Sally would get swimmingly. :)

No Guy in the Sky said...

Great pics. My lab is 8 1/2 and she never slows down. She is always at full speed, and tries to drag me in any body of water. :)

Dee said...

He has grown to be HUGE!!!!

Great pictures --- I swear you could waterski behind that boy!

kathy a. said...

oh, if you could bottle that energy! he looks like the happiest dog on earth, and everybody else looks pretty darned happy, too!

CHEF TROLL said...

Labs are my second-favorite dog and I knew he wouldn't let you down as a swimmer. But sleeping in the car is a NICE bonus!

ChrisC and JonJ said...

We,for two,can never,ever see too many pictures of black Labs.Our most favoritest dog,in the whole wide world.

swamp4me said...

So, FC, how'd that dead cut bait taste when Bear thanked you?
He is a beauty. But I am still resolved NOT to get another puppy when Hannah goes on to swamp dog heaven -- no matter how many Labrador pics you tempt me with. ;)

Laura said...

Overabundance?? Never!!!
I can't get over how big he has become!

Laura said...

(back again, had to show Rick the pics of Bear, know, some reason (g) LOL!)

Floridacracker said...

Understandable. I know I am. :)

It's elemental.

Please do not expand his head any more ...

They would be hilarious to watch I'm sure!

No Guy,
Welcome to Pure Florida! Eight! You have years of fun ahead.

He just seems enormous in these pics. It amazes me too!

Kathy A,
It's infectious. He keeps us laughing constantly.

I didn't really worry too much either, but it was great to see him take to it so naturally.

Chris and Jon,
Trust me, he will get plenty of air time here at PF.

Tasted like mullet.
Here's hoping Hannah is immortal.

You are so funny. I almost ended this post with a shout out to you to hurry up and get that pup! Actually had it typed and then deleted it.
Silly me.

Island Rider said...

He looks so happy and so do all of you. Even after mullet breath.

LauraHinNJ said...

That photo of the two of you belongs on a mantel somewhere... gorgeous!

SophieMae said...

Check out that musculaturity! I'm trying to convince Duller to take Josie to the sulphur spring up the road. Maybe AFTER spring break.

Meanwhile, I'm gobsmacked by your wattle guess! !!!

Anonymous said...

What a handsome family! Furry and otherwise! I have never been to Shell Mound. Not sure why but it looks like it was a fun day!


Bill said...


It is great to all of you enjoying the water. I have one of those "failed" labs. He won't even go out when it is raining without me dragging him with the leash. Taking him to the beach is work because we want to be near the water and he wants to be as far away as possible.Of course he came from the pound and was very mistreated before we got him so I am just happy that he can catch stuff and runs around the yard like a crazy person.

Thanks for the pics.


Laura said...

I'm back.... and thanks for the shout out thought! We have the wheels turning on that one and I was going to tell you why, but I haven't typed a post in so long, maybe I should do that, instead. lol

Thunder Dave said...

Looks like a fun time was had by all! It's supposed to be sunny and mid 70's this Friday and Saturday up in these parts!

Floridacracker said...

I offered him a mint, he offered me the rest of the fish!

He is one hunky pup...especially for a cheap, paperless Lab.

Wattle I think of next?
Bear fairly ripples with muscle. We are trying to keep him that way and control the spoiling.

It's a neat spot both historically and naturally. Expect sand gnats and yellow flies though. Not uncommon for them to be around. We were lucky on this day.

You rescued him and gave him a great home. No failure there dude!
Love to meet him some day.

Yes, a post would be lovely. We are all VitaminSea deficient lately.

Ride dude, ride.

Kimberlee said...

Bear is just gorgeous and I am completely amazed by his size. I'll bet he practically fills up your Jeep!

The photos were great. Can't wait for the movie. :)

STEB said...

jellus! cold today in cin. this weekend is supose to be nice as thunder said. riding is in the process some time after side job

Ericka said...

can there ever be an overabundance of puppy pictures? i think not.

of course, you aren't helping me control myself - i am not home enough for a dog and i know it, but i WANT one. can i just borrow yours sometimes?

Kittikity said...

Dude, you are one buff science teacher.. lol

Everybody looks like they're having an awesome time..

Floridacracker said...

He does! His massive head blocks my view if he's up between the seats. I have to make him sit so I can see to drive.

I hope it's good riding weather for y'all.
Dave stop talking about China yet?

I'm with ya on the whole puppy pic thing. :)
Start training now if you want to borrow Bear. He's a like a freight train attached to a leash.

Bear keeps me in shape. Maybe I can market the Bearflex exercise system. LOL
Thank you.
We did have a blast.