The Tall, Leggy Blonde.

Lexi, after a pedicure.

One year ago today, I walked into a busy park in Seattle and met this beautiful blonde. Her gait was kind of silly. She loped around like a kid who hadn’t quite figured out how to use her legs, even though she was definitely in mid-life. At first, she didn’t seem very interested in me, but I got to spend a moment or two with her and I felt a connection. We were meant to be. I wasn’t sure I was ready, but this bombshell wormed her way into my heart and I just knew she would be coming home with me, I just didn’t expect things to move so fast! The day we met, was the day she moved in. The road trip home was long and she took shot gun, while I squeezed into the back seat with the rest of the clan, but she gave me my first kiss on that long road trip. I’ve been a sucker for her ever since.

Get your mind out of the gutter! I’m talking about my dog!

Lexi’s pictures reminded me so much of Lucy and to give Lexi even more bonus points, it was Lucy’s foster mom who found her listing on Petfinder for me. I wasn’t going to call them, but at the last minute I decided that it couldn’t hurt. Imagine my surprise when this beautiful yellow Labrador was still available for adoption. I got more info about her and the reports I had before I met her made me feel a little daunted. I was told that she suffered from anxiety and that she had behavior problems that sounded like dominance issues and those, if not nipped in the bud quickly can turn to aggression. Lexi sounded quite complicated, but then, I live with Jet. Jet is amazing and awesome, but he’s complicated too. Then there was the fact that he just doesn’t stop moving. Jet took that idea of “high energy” to a whole new level for me. At this point, I’d had five Labradors prior to adopting her. I’d dealt with separation anxiety, food aggression, fear aggression, leash walking issues, obedience issues over this thing or that thing. I felt like I had seen it all. So I knew that I could take whatever she could dish out. Imagine my surprise when her biggest problem turned out to be a complete lack of basic obedience training. She knew some stuff, but no one had ever reinforced the rules with her. It’s amazing how a dog turns around completely once you give them rules and demand they obey them. Less than a year later, Lexi earned her CGC.

It’s still one of the proudest moments of the last year for me, walking up with Lexi past all of those other dogs that no one, but me and my amazing support group on Facebook, believed she would be able to walk past without reacting and picking up her form from the examiner. Still so very proud of my girl for that day and that moment. Six years of pawing at people and crying and whining until she got her way and in 16 weeks of dog school, we turned that around. Talk about eager to please. I think that’s what I love about Labradors best and Lexi has got to be the poster child for it.

Most of the time, when you’re hanging out with Lexi, she’s this graceful and elegant soul. She looks sort of like a 1950’s starlet when she tilts her head to one side. I joke that we should have named her “Greta” or “Jean” and those names would have suited her so well. Then she gets hyper and excited and starts acting like a Labrador. Dear God, you should see her butt tuck. It is the most hilarious thing I have ever seen. Lexi is the

tallest Lab I’ve owned, so watching this big, normally graceful and easy going dog launch into a butt tuck is just awesome. I’m amazed that she still butt tucks at 7 years old, but age doesn’t seem to be slowing her down one single bit. In that way, she reminds me of Lucy. Nothing ever got my Miss Lucy down. She also has silly behaviors that are all her own. I’ve never had a dog that lays flat out on their back in the middle of the living room floor and actually sleeps in that position, let alone snores.

Lexi, thanks for picking up the pieces of my broken little family. Thank you for being Jet’s big sister and putting up with his crap. Thank you for showing me, and the world, that anything is possible if you want it bad enough. Most of all, thanks for being our silly, adorable, dorkulus retrieverus.

Happy Gotcha Day, girlie. We love you, and Jet loves you too.