That I took that picture. The very day that we met Major for the very first time. Ever. And our lives were forever changed. We were lucky enough to come into contact with Crystal and Johanna almost a year before that day. They are Canine Hope for Diabetics. At the time that we found them, my wife and I were pretty insistent on using a rescue or shelter pup, and Crystal was the first person that didn’t laugh at us or tell us no way. Rescue is a pretty big deal in our house. So that was important to us. Crystal took on the challenge and went through several dogs before finally coming across Major. (His story is in that link). She initially rescued Major about 6 months prior to us meeting him. She didn’t want to introduce us to any pups until she knew that it might work out. Just over 1.5 years old at the time, he was gorgeous. A perfect size (Major tends to be tiny by lab standards, at just 59 pounds) for a girl to handle. And on that very first afternoon, we got our first alert while we were outside talking and letting him “air”.
I can’t begin to even pretend what Major coming into our lives has meant to us. I have always been a dog and animal lover, but until Major, I never had “that” dog. You know the one. The dog that every other dog will forever be compared to. The dog that loads up in your car next to you, ready for whatever adventure comes your way. He is my daughters protector. He is her best friend. Her keeper of secrets, and always available for a hug. For me, he provides one more member of the team, keeping an eye (or nose) on my daughter, alerting me to things that I miss. He has always got my back. He is my running buddy and fitness partner. And yes, he is my best friend too.
I had never had a lab before. My wife had them growing up, and I had always had a dog (if not 3), but never “a lab”. And perhaps if you’ve never had a lab, you don’t understand that either. But these dogs are smart. Loving. Protective. Loyal. Goofy. Fun. Energetic. And always up for anything. And if you have a ball, a treat, or a body of water around, you will forever have a friend. Don’t think your lab is smart? Shoot, Major can count. How do I know? Because he can tell when I have put 3 treats in my pocket and only given him 2.
I could go on for days about how amazing this dog is.What he means to us. To my daughter. I could post a slideshow, 1000’s of images long showing you how gorgeous he is. I could regal you with tales of amazing alerts. But at some point, for me, the tears start flowing when I think of how lucky we are to have him. How lucky we are that he found us. Instead I will sum up in 3 images (i could do it in 1, but I couldn’t decide) what he means to us. What he provides for us:
Those images were from the very first time he saved my daughters life. While she was in the hospital. That night is still so vivid. Crazy. And he was so adamant. If he stopped working the very next day, I would have been okay with that. But he didn’t. He still is one of our greatest tools in the diabetes fighting arsenal. And he will be for many more years to come. We love you Major. You are simply this: The. Best. Dog. Ever. We love you. And enjoy these last couple of pictures from our first weeks with Major: