Wednesday, January 13, 2010

West vs. East ~ Weirdness ~ What's a Yellow Lab??

So here is something I have noticed since living here: East coast people don't know what a Yellow Lab is.... apparently. At least they aren't familiar enough with them to recognize one without it's tail. See, our dog hasn't got a tail - just a silly little nubbin that makes her do what we call "Wiggle Booty". She had a tail once... and she was a voracious wagger! When she got happy - which was mostly always - she would wag from the ribcage back. The problem was her Yellow Lab/Golden Retriever mixing... most of her tail was thick-and-heavy lab tail, but the final inch or two was fine-boned Golden tail.... so when she wagged like that, she'd break the end of her tail open on the door frame or whatever - then the continued wagging would, well, make a pretty gross mess of blood splatter on the walls as she wiggled around. We tried for nearly a year to beat this, with splinting and wrapping and whatever we could think of. Finally, our vet just said our best bet was to amputate her tail. To be honest, I haven't missed that thing, or the constant bruising on my thighs that she gave me with it.

Now, in Idaho, (where Labs are about the #1 or #2 popular breed) when I'd be out with my dog, people would just ask me "Why did you dock your Lab's tail?" I mean, they recognized what she was - a tailess Lab. They may have found it strange, but not, like, frightening.

Here in Virginia, when I'm out walking my dog, people will look at her with obvious fear, and - sometimes - ask me "What kind of dog is that?" What is that about?? I think - and I'm guessing sort of - but I think that they assume she's some sort of pitbull mix, since that is probably a more "popular" breed around this area, and I guess only mean and aggressive dogs have docked tails....?! I mean, seriously, look at this dog's face and tell me how scary she looks, lol! But I can't tell you how often I get the frightened look, or if I have her off-leash and someone sees her, the "OHMYGO_!!" exclamation as though they expect her to be eating their face within seconds. I find it really irritating. 'Cuz she's about the sweetest dog on the planet.

(the blue in the pic above is me - you can kinda see my hands in my hoodie pocket - she's fully laying on top of me!)


  1. LOL!
    You just need to meet more "dog" people. We do have them here you know, you just have to know where to look.
    Actually your whole docked tail story is VERY familiar to me (greyhounds are notorious for "busting" open their "happy" tails- and they have VERY thin skin and tails.)
    We know SEVERAL people who make wide circles around Hero because he is "a big, scary, dog". HAHA
    Um, Truthfully, I think a "snuggie" is more dangerous.
    But sorry- even I, the quintessential dog person, have stooped to the level of looking fearful when meeting up with an unfamiliar dog (even a gorgeous- goofy Lab). There are just SO many unfriendly, poorly socialized, dogs running around!! Sure some are "Pit" mixes and they particularly frightening , but even if they are something as non-threatening as a Terrier mix- I still don't want them going after me or my dogs.
    Over the last 9 years we have been on the receiving end of these attacks SEVERAL times.- It even drove me to buy and carry "dog repellent".(After one particularly bad attack my Jack Russel Terrier/ beagle mix ended up needing to be stitched back together - internally and externally.)- And no, the attacker wasn't a Pitbull.
    (getting down off my soap box now.....)

  2. Sorry - I wasn't neccessarily singling out JUST Pitbulls.... I know, I know, they can be great dogs. And I know other dog breeds can be aggressive (my husband's job takes him into peoples' yards, and he's been bitten twice; once by a Lab. So, I know. It's more the AMOUNT of times I get this look and question that gives me pause....

  3. Hi Ann, Thank you for stopping by my place today. I also remember .5 cent cones from Thrifty. Those were the days. I remember being able to let dogs run free but not now. I love your dog-labs are so adorable. I'm down to one dog now, our other sweet lady got deathly ill on Christmas, such a shock! I was a native Ca. girl until we moved to Colorado; it's much colder here but so beautiful.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  4. Did it come across as if I was defending Pitbulls? (actually, I was trying to defend fearful Virginians LOL!)
    Actually, I apologize if I came across as defensive at all.
    My question was more, are there more unfriendly dogs in Virginia than in Idaho, thus prompting people's reactions-(*out of curiosity, were the dog bites your husband received here or out West?)

  5. Your lab does look like the sweetest dog on the planet and wouldn't scare me a bit...but then again, I have a yellow lab, 13 yrs now, but her tail is still intact. Where in Idaho? I used to live in Idaho Falls and now in Valparaiso, IN, but tonight, I'm in Wash DC, somewhere in your neck of the woods?

  6. ROFL! How odd! Apparently yellow Labs are more common up this way. :)

  7. What a sweet face, how could she be threatening or scary?! Lab/Golden Retriever Mix is a great match!
    Maybe you could just say, "she had an accident that left her tailless!" End of story!
    But I know what you mean, people are so nosey!!