Saturday, 13 April 2013

A Year of Tara

Warning, this post is somewhat image heavy, but they're all photos of a cute black labrador, so I think we can overlook that minor fault.

Tomorrow it will be exactly a year since we went to Dunoon and picked up our Tara-pup. We were only dogless for a few months after we moved in, but I honestly don’t really remember what it was like now. I’m so glad that we were able to adopt her.

Once we got permission to get a dog, we didn’t have to wait long to find her. Everything just sort of fell into place at the right time. I suppose it was meant to be that way, if we’d gotten permission sooner, we might have got a different dog sooner and it probably wouldn’t have been Tara.

We brought her home and she settled in pretty quickly. I don’t think I’ll forget that first night; we didn’t know what sort of schedule she would be on for bathroom breaks and we weren’t used to the sound of having a dog in the bedroom. I ended up getting up every two to three hours to take her out. In all the time we’ve had her, we’ve had very few accidents though, she’s very good at telling us exactly what she wants.

She’s one of my favourite models for taking photos now. Apparently taking photos of black dogs can be tricky, but it’s not something I’ve ever really struggled with. She’s a very photogenic dog, though I’ve got lots of photographic ‘outtakes’ from times when the picture hasn’t quite gone right.

When we got her she hadn’t had much experience travelling in cars but she soon got the hang of that. In fact she got rather too much of a hang of car travel which resulted in us having to replace a seatbelt in the back after she ate it. Now she patiently wears a muzzle in the back which has stopped her eating the fittings. She particularly loves the van, I think she’ll be the saddest of all when we finally sell it. When she realises that she can get in it, she gets so excited and just loves sitting up at the front between us on trips to the beach.

She’s got some of the funniest little quirks. She sleeps on her back a lot of the time; I’ve never really known a dog to do that, but it’s something she seems to have done since she was a tiny pup. She’s wormed her way onto sleeping at the end of our bed and she often lies there dreaming; she makes little yipping noises and kicks out her legs. She also frequently sleeps with her tongue hanging out, and sometimes with her eyes half open.

When we got her Tara knew a few tricks, like sit and giving a paw. She’s so quick to learn new tricks, but unlike my last dog she doesn’t like to do the same thing over and over again to learn a trick; you have to do it gradually. I must remember to get a video of her party piece (it’s a trick that I taught my last dog and so I was thrilled when Tara picked it up so quickly). I make a gun with my hands and say ‘stick ‘em up’, and she puts up both her paws; I say ‘bang’ and she drops to the ground and lies down; then I say ‘you’re dead’ and she rolls to her side'; then she gets up again pretty quickly to make sure she doesn’t miss out on her treat. I’m also trying to teach her to belly-crawl along the ground.

We’ve also done some big things; like having her little op. She never used to have a problem with visiting the vet, but now she leaves a little puddle there whenever she goes. It’s slightly embarrassing, as I mentioned above, she very rarely has accidents, apart from when she comes face to face with the vet. She also celebrated her first birthday. I put a big bow on her and she was thoroughly unimpressed.

She’s got everyone twisted around her chubby paws. My father-in-law told us that if we got a dog, they didn’t want it to be at their house all the time; it couldn’t go on the furniture; it wasn’t to be given titbits. Now of course she does all of that and my father-in-law is totally soppy around her. They spoil her rotten (she’s their grand-pup). She’s also a complete daddy’s girl and loves Mr Click. Normally when we watch TV on an evening, she’ll end up snuggled on his lap, fast asleep.

She’s made friends with the rats and the cat which my in-laws have adopted. She gives us hours of entertainment and since we got her Mr Click and I get a lot more exercise (if not walking her miles and miles, it’s chasing her round the house to wrestle junk mail or tissues off of her). She’s turning into a more grown up dog now, I don’t see her little puppy face quite so often now, instead she looks more serious. She’s calmed down a lot now too, she’s better at walking on her lead, and she’s gradually becoming more obedient.

I’ve really enjoyed our first year of Tara, I’m looking forward to seeing what the next year will bring.



  1. Replies
    1. She is pretty cute (and she knows it). ;-)

  2. She is adorable and I love the pictures you've taken.

    Dark Thoughts Blog

    1. Thank you, the year 2 post is going to have to be twice as long!

  3. My dog gives high fives when he feels like it, that's about it though! I need to teach him to do that trick, it sounds so cute!

    1. Tara's very selective about doing tricks. I must try and catch her doing 'stick 'em up' on video to post on here!

  4. Aww, I loved this post. And I loved all the pictures, the last one was one of my favourites. Labs seem like such great dogs.

    Have fun with a-z.

    1. Thank you. I'd definitely recommend labs as a breed, they've got so much character.


Let me know what you think. :-)