It's hard to believe Polly and I have now been together for nine years...
She led me a merry dance at times when she was a youngster, diving into a river full of indignant geese without considering her exit strategy, then having to be hauled out unceremoniously by her collar, charging across wide open spaces to introduce herself to unsuspecting picnickers and their sausage rolls, toppling my husband down Bedruthan Steps in Cornwall and almost knocking him unconscious when she suddenly launched herself across a muddy field without warning with him at the end of her long line ... and the barking, oh my goodness the barking! Polly is an expert guard dog, taking her job extremely seriously ... until anyone actually enters the house, then she becomes a most welcoming waggy tailed, licky, hostess, eager to share her teddy! If there was ever a swamp to dive into and become stuck in, Polly would always find it and she has never failed in her lifelong mission to become a poo roller extraordinaire.
I have worked so very hard at Polly's obedience training through the years but swear there have been days when she blatantly laughed at me as I shame-facedly attempted to reinstate my 'new handler' dignity on the training field, under the irritated gaze of our instructor. She learned all skills required to become a beautifully behaved show dog... and yet somehow also held on to her indomitable spirit and unerring right to show me the error of my ways where necessary. Polly has always been the quintessential golden retriever, minus the biddable bit.
However! My big bossy bird also taught me much over her nine years and for that I will forever be grateful ... I can now spot a shoulder dip and potential poo roll at record speed and understand the true value of a good cheddar. Joking aside, without Polly I don't think I would have learned nearly as much about dog behaviour ... and I certainly wouldn't have learned how important it is to achieve a polite, responsive dog!
Polly is an amazing dog. Clever beyond clever, loyal, determined, funny, playful and very loving. She is a fabulous girl and I love her foibles. Our nine years have been filled with mischief but also with pure magic. My beautiful girl is begininng to creak a little on occasion now, old age is creeping up ... but she's not old yet! Polly is still the zoomie queen, busting her crazy moves on my living room rug several times a week with all the exhuberance of her young puppyself. Her zest for life is ever present ... nine really is just as number as far as Polly and I are concerned!
Happy Birthday Big Girl, I love the very bones of you! xxx