My dog is the best dog



Although I might subtly brag about my dog from post to post, I rarely flat out say it – Ace is better than other dogs.

Part of this is due to my consistent training, time spent with my dog. A lot of it is because Ace is well into middle age and calmer.

Mostly I just got lucky.

As I come and go throughout the day, Ace calmly lies on his dog bed. He never chews or even touches anything that is not his. He doesn’t climb onto the couch or my bed. He doesn’t counter surf.

If he is invited for the ride, he patters over to me, head low, tail swaying.

When Ace rides in the car, he stays in the back seat no matter what. If I run errands, I always come back to him curled up and asleep right where I left him. If he waits in the car while I walk other dogs, he never barks. The other dogs have no idea he’s even there, watching us walk away.

I trust my dog around all other dogs – puppies, little dogs, reactive dogs. He has been so helpful in socializing other dogs that would otherwise have no dog friends to play with. Ace is truly a best friend to many. And he’s a best friend to me.

If a dog is aggressive, Ace knows not to respond. I didn’t teach him this. He just knows.

If a dog is really making a scene – lunging and snarling, perhaps – Ace wiggles his body and turns to me.

Ace the black lab mix sitting in the snow very cute dog!I trust Ace around all other animals.

He is gentle with my cats, giving them slobbery “kisses” when prompted. If a cat wants the bed Ace is using, he politely moves to the floor.

I could welcome any small animal into our home and Ace would accept it as family. My dog picked up a baby bunny one spring. He carried it to me and put it down – no puncture wounds, no injuries. The bunny, covered in drool, hopped away.

Ace sniffs but doesn’t kill toads, spiders or crickets.

Even when a black bear wandered across my parents’ yard in Wisconsin, Ace just stood there holding his tennis ball. Their springer spaniel chased the bear away.

Ace gladly accepts direct eye contact from little kids, along with ear tugs, nose pokes and full body hugs. He also lets puppies bite his jowls and curl up next to him on his bed.

On command, my dog will throw back his head and let out a drawn-out southern hound dog howl. He’ll “sing” for minutes at a time.

Without a leash, my dog will not run away.

My dog will roll over. Speak. Crawl. Twirl. Back up.

My dog will gladly sleep in until 10 a.m.

Ace can fling his drool onto our walls, well above my head.

My dog can swim without touching land for over an hour. He also likes to curl up on the boat, nose in the air, smelling whatever it is dogs smell.

Ace will go on 6-mile runs or full-day hiking trips, but he can also go days with no exercise and remain calm. He’s never once complained.

My dog is all black except for his graying muzzle, white tuxedo chest and white toes. His white toes have black spots.

He is a black lab complemented with some kind of (lazy) hound and maybe pointer, laid back, yet eager to go on any kind of outdoor adventure. He lives to make me happy, to tag along, have fun and become friends with every living creature. He adores anyone who talks to him, especially if they have food or better yet, a tennis ball.

Ace has smooth, silky ears and a smooth coat. I love how you can see the muscles along his back and legs. I love his white teeth. I love pressing my nose into his head and kissing that low spot between his eyes. “You’re a good boy, Ace.”

He seems to welcome my hugs and snuggles. He likes to make eye contact when people talk to him. He tries to connect with people, sit close, lick faces, seek attention. He’s whipped his tail so hard he’s actually cut it open a few times.

Ace will sit, stay and come when called more reliably and more enthusiastically than any other dog I’ve met. I’ve only met one or two that heel better.

He has never once growled at me, even though I’ve lost my temper and yelled at him for doing nothing wrong – more than once.

When we go on walks, he loves to climb the playground equipment, leap over the swings, run down the slides, crawl through the tunnels and cross the bridges. I seek out beams for him to walk across, fences to clear, picnic tables to jump on, snowbanks to race up and plastic bottles to carry.

Ace knows not to barge ahead of me on the stairs and that I usually won’t tolerate running or playing in the house. He knows that it’s acceptable to lie right where the carpet meets the linoleum but not to put one toe in the kitchen while we’re eating.

Ace will instinctively retrieve or carry anything – we’re working on “beer me” so the mutt can truly have a purpose :)

I don’t know any other dog who will carry around an ice chunk, obsessively tossing it at me when we have no tennis ball. It’s kind of embarrassing at the dog park.

The older he gets, the more I appreciate every second spent with my dog. I notice his long sighs at the end of the day, the sound of his nails on the floor, the way he scratches at his collar before he breaks from “stay,” the way his eyes follow my every move, the way he sticks his nose into the snow in order to smell something wonderful.

Ace is a very good boy.

Please share with me your stories of your best dog in the whole world.

Black lab mix dog Ace in Gooseberry Park Moorhead in the snow

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    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lindsay Stordahl, Angie Falcsik. Angie Falcsik said: Unconditional love! RT @thatmutt: This is your chance to brag! What is it that makes YOUR dog the best dog? http://fb.me/B6yA5I69 [...]

  2. Tammy on February 15, 2011

    I love this post Lindsay! You’re very lucky that you have such a wonderful companion in Ace. I hope that I will be as lucky if I ever do have a dog! (which is questionable since my husband is a cat person!)

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on February 15, 2011

      Well maybe you will just have to get a dog some day! Although, your cats would probably not be too thrilled. Give those kitties hugs from me!

  3. Apryl on February 15, 2011

    Aww…what a sweet post!

    Well, my dog is the best dog because he has the silliest personality and always makes us laugh. He’s got the most awesome “bark”, which is actually a howl and his ears feel like velvet. He’s also the best because his big ol’ tail will start wagging furiously when I come home from work. I just love to give him great, big hugs! My doggie also LOVES nearly every living thing, human or not. He’ll get excited about everyone giving him attention regardless of who they are (with maybe 2 exceptions and those people definitely creeped me out). We take our big silly everywhere that he’s allowed and he always attracts new friends.

    I love how you’re teaching Ace “beer me”! Gus, on the other hand, walked over to my frosty Belgian goodness last night and gave it a sniff and then a lick from his great big tongue. It was pretty funny.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on February 15, 2011

      Aww, good boy, Gus! He is such a sweet, silly guy. Haha! I love how you call him the big silly. He’s so lucky he gets to go almost everywhere with you. Too bad he can’t go to work with you – he’d probably just lie at your feet, drooling and snoring! Or maybe he would wander around looking for crumbs?

      Ace loves beer. We have to keep an eye on him whenever drinks are at his level, such as on the coffee table.

  4. Margaret on February 15, 2011

    I loved your post-Ace is great. Abby a mixed lab is my love. She is 65 #,white with a tan cover over her back & on her ears & eyesShe is not the best trained dog & she really frustrates me at times, but I have to say, she is the sweetest most energetic ready for anything dog I have had. She loves to go for walks especially walks in the woods, & loves to go for rides in the car & beats me to the passenger rear door before I get there if she thinks we are going. She will sit & wait for me to open the door & watch me until I give her the ok to jump in. She never goes into the front seat & always stays in the back. She loves to fetch balls (like Ace) & never gets tired of this. She loves the dog park & runs up to groups of dogs & people to greet them, always looking back to see if I am coming. She loves treats & immediateely goes into a “sitting pretty”pose to get a treat. She lays next to me on the floor & sleeps (as she is now) while I’m sitting at the computer, reading or watching TV. She loves my two cats & wants to play with them. My calico Piper loves her back & can always be found lying next to her at night. Abby is afraid of storms; she will look at me or walk over to me & sit next to me for comfort, if she hears thunder or even the wind blowing. (I have tried to ignore her during a storm beyond just idly scratching her head/ears,because I don’t want her to think anything is wrong=I had a golden retriever that was petrified of storms-)Abby loves to give kisses-She is the lickingest dog I have every had-everyone comments on this. She also moans like an old dog if you try to get her to “move over”, & she is only 5 yrs old. She never climbs onto furniture, but I have to say that in the winter she does occasionally sleep on my bed (sometimes I’ll wake up in the night & there is Abby next to me & Piper next to her).
    After reading your post about Ace, I wish I had the time to spend with Abby to have her as well trained as Ace but despite her flaws she is a good dog.

  5. Lindsay Stordahl Author on February 15, 2011

    Aww, Abby sounds like such a sweet girl. She sounds so much like Ace! This made me smile, because I can just picture her doing all the things you described. I love how your cat Piper follows her around. I wish my cats would cuddle with Ace but they are “better” than him I guess. Thanks so much for sharing a bit about Abby. What do you think she is mixed with?

    • Margaret on February 16, 2011

      I don’t know what Abby is mixed with. I got her from a rescue group as a puppy (a litter of 9). Her Mother was a black lab & she had 5 black pups, 2 gold, & 2 white & tan (Abby was one of those two). She almost appears like a beagle at times (I’m not sure why but I think something about the shape of her ears or her coloring-though she is white & tan, but if you saw her next to a beagle you wouldn’t think she looked like one at all.

  6. jan on February 15, 2011

    I loved this tribute to Ace. No dog is good by accident. Wouldn’t it be great if all owners were like you?

    I’m afraid I fall short, but my dogs seem to cover for me.

  7. Jessi on February 15, 2011

    If my dog liked or even tolerated strangers better he’d probably be the perfect dog(for me), and don’t know if it’s possible to find one more adorable:)

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on February 15, 2011

      Charlie is adorable! I think you two make a good pair. You are a good owner to him. He keeps you on your toes!

  8. Dawn on February 15, 2011

    Ace sure is a really good dog. Sephi and Maya are good – most of the time. But the best dog I have ever had was my Sheltie named Cassie. I got her when I was 10 years old and she stayed by myside until she died at age 13. Cutest, smartest, best-behaved, most lovable, wonderful dog EVER. Shhh.. Don’t tell Sephi and Maya!

  9. Lindsay Stordahl Author on February 15, 2011

    Aw, thanks. Yeah your Cassie sounds like she was one of those once in a lifetime dogs. I’m sure Sephi and Maya are good dogs too! :)

  10. Jack Price on February 16, 2011

    Very nice story

  11. Maggie on February 16, 2011

    What a wonderful post! Ace really is a role model for good dog behavior!! You should be so proud!

    I have three of the best dogs! :) But my Emmett really is the greatest. He’s never met a stranger, and he makes everyone feel instantly special because he leans his head against the knees of every person he meets. His tail never, ever stops wagging – sometimes he even wags in his sleep! He gazes into people’s eyes, tolerates hugs and kisses, gives kisses on request. His patience blows me away – every Friday he works with a rowdy group of 8 to 12 year olds who live at a mental health facility. He calmly accepts their overzealous love, he waits out tantrums, and he rests his head on their laps as they sit and talk in a circle. My Emmett is the best dog. Well, the best dog except for his counter-surfing habit. :)

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on February 16, 2011

      Thanks, I am proud of Ace! Of course, he’s not perfect. He whines in the car when he gets excited. He barks and won’t obey “stay” when someone comes to the door.

      Emmett is such a good boy! And he has an important job! Nice work with him!

  12. lizzedru on February 16, 2011

    DOG my fiance’s dog is sometimes so in tune with you its scary. And sometimes you don’t even realize it till 5 mins after something happens. At almost 3 I would say he’s the better trained in loose lead walking, walking with out a leash and he’s still a puppy when it comes to toys. Its so hard not to smile at him sometimes.

    It’s been amazing watching Belle transform from April 2009 to now. When we first got her she didn’t listen, slept in a ball, ran off and the only thing she knew was sit. She’ll be 4 in July and now will lie sprawled out outside of the bathroom, on her bed or anywere you are. She sits, lie downs, shakes with both paws, fetches, and has a pretty reliable recall. Two weeks ago we walked right by a moose without her barking at it. We are starting our second obediance class tonight and i think its going to go well. I’ve got my fingers crossed. The transformation and the utter relaxness she’s showing make my heart melt. I wouldn’t trade my two dogs for the world!!

    Thanks for the post about ACE. Every dog owner should feel this way about their dog or dogs.

  13. Lindsay Stordahl Author on February 16, 2011

    That’s exactly it. Every dog owner should feel that way about their dogs. It’s about taking time to work with the dog and just spend time together.

    There is something special about watching a dog transform from the time you adopt it to the present. Ace was by no means a hard case, but he’d had no training and no exercise for his first year so he was a typical crazy lab when I got him. Friendly and sweet as ever, though. I remember the first day I had him it was so difficult to communicate anything to him because he wasn’t comfortable looking at me yet and he didn’t even know the word sit. Sounds like you’ve done a great job with Belle! Keep it up! She’s a lucky girl! DOG sounds like a good boy, too :)

  14. Christie Lindemann on February 16, 2011

    I have been thinking a lot about this topic. Buddy has been in our lives for the past 2.5 years. We adopted him from a shelter when he was around 9 months old. He was not housebroken, could not walk on a leash, and had never been inside a house. I realized that he had so much to offer, and slowly he began to trust me (having to lift him in and out of our car for 3 weeks was probably the hugest hurdle!) He has blossomed into such a wonderful and caring dog. But, I still wasn’t sure what made him “special” until this morning. We were walking past a home and a man was in the garage and as we passed, he saw us and then ran into the house yelling, “That dog is back! That dog is back!” You see, we had met the people that lived in the house last winter when we were in AZ. He and his wife ran out to us to greet Buddy, and the smiles on their faces brought tears to my eyes because they were just so happy to see him! Buddy has that effect on people. People come over to my house to see him, they walk across the street to say hello when we are out walking, and when he is not with me, people ask where he is. People seem so happy when they meet him so I feel that is why he is special…he makes almost everyone he meets smile!

  15. Lindsay Stordahl Author on February 16, 2011

    I meet a lot of dogs, and Buddy is definitely special. I can’t quite say exactly what it is either. But maybe that is just it. He certainly makes everyone he meets smile! He is just so calm, sweet and gentle. He wiggles his whole body and wags that fluffy tail. He’s just so laid back and happy about life. Being around him makes me feel relaxed and happy about life, too!

    When we go to the dog park, sometimes Buddy really hits it off with another dog, but usually he hangs out around me. However, one time there was a rottie off in the corner feeling shy. All the other dogs were ignoring the rottie, and it was kind of just hiding behind its owners. So after a few minutes, Buddy calmly trotted over to that dog in a nonthreatening way, head low, tail low and wagging. He pranced over there and wiggled, like, “Hi! I’ll be your friend!” And that rottie came out of his shell and interacted with Bud for a minute or two. The owners were beaming, like their dog finally had a friend. After a few minutes, Buddy trotted back to the group.

    Bud just has a way of making everyone feel at ease and happy!

  16. Christie Lindemann on February 16, 2011

    Thanks for sharing that story about Bud! He has come along way since we first got him! The first few times that he went to an organized daycare, he was not sure what to do! Then, he came out of his shell.

    I do think that is his purpose – to make everyone happy and at ease and it is my job to make sure that he does just that! Seeing him interact with others just makes my heart happy!

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on February 16, 2011

      I can’t believe you had to lift him in and out of the car! Poor Bud!

  17. Christie Lindemann on February 16, 2011

    Poor Bud? I was the one doing all of the work! HA!

  18. Lindsay Stordahl Author on February 16, 2011

    Haha! Poor YOU!

  19. Claire on February 17, 2011

    Ace does seem like an awesome dog! I love when I do not have to worry about my cat or dog around children… especially with all the tugging and pokes!

    And the best part… you wrote the post and seems like you truly cherish him. Good work!

  20. Lindsay Stordahl Author on February 17, 2011

    I do cherish him. He’s a good boy. Thanks for reading.

  21. My dog wasn’t the best dog in many ways–he had a lot of behavior problems. But, he had a heart of gold. No one will love you like your dog. We miss him.

  22. Jana Rade on February 17, 2011

    Are you sure it’s a live dog? ;-) I love hearing about dogs being good, same as I love hearing how good Jasmine was when she comes home from a trip or vets :-)

  23. Rick on February 19, 2011

    Great post! I think all dog parents are lucky, but, as Jan said, dogs aren’t as good as Ace by accident. You’ve done a great job training and socializing him. Kudo’s to you, and Ace for being such a great dog!

  24. Lindsay Stordahl Author on February 19, 2011

    It’s mostly Ace, not me! Thanks!

  25. Judith on February 19, 2011

    I am going to read your post to Hank and see if he can pick up some pointers from Ace.

  26. Susan on February 19, 2011

    What a bunch of wonderful compliments for Ace. This was a joy to read. My girl Stella has the cat love and a few of the other qualities you mention; she’s a great passenger too but we’re still working out the details on some of the other stuff ;-) My very favorite thing is when she gets up before me and rests her head on the edge of the bed. Sometimes I ask her to go back to bed and she does – which is a beautiful thing.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on February 20, 2011

      Well Ace is certainly not perfect either. Like this morning, he was sleeping in the laundry room and started barking as soon as he heard me talking. Naughty boy! He just wanted to get up and start his day. He only sleeps in late if he’s on his dog bed next to my bed.

  27. Shauna (Fido & Wino) on February 21, 2011

    That is such a beautiful tribute! Ace sounds like such a wonderful, kind hearted dog. You guys are lucky to have each other :)

  28. Harley Harrington on February 27, 2011

    There are many great stories here about people who love their dogs, it makes me happy to see so many people take the time to learn about their dogs and provide the necessary leadership it takes to help dogs be happy and balanced.

  29. Apryl on March 6, 2011

    Wow, I couldn’t imagine not looking for my kitty if he was gone. You’re right though, people assume they’ve “run away” or something and don’t bother. So sad.

  30. Apryl on March 6, 2011

    Wow, so this comment went to the wrong post. Interesting.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on March 6, 2011

      Ha! I don’t know why that happened!

      • Lindsay Stordahl Author on March 6, 2011

        Oh wait, I figured out what happened. For the longest time I’ve had one post on the home page and now I have three posts on the home page, something I changed last week. So when you scrolled all the way down to the bottom to leave a comment like you normally would, it was actually on the third post.

  31. Jason on July 26, 2011

    I love good dog stories!!!!

    Here is why I think my dog is the best…..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIrkg1a7FaA

  32. ........ on September 19, 2011

    no offense but my dog is better :))

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on September 19, 2011

      I’m sure it is, to you – and that’s the way it should be!

  33. Jennifer on November 16, 2011

    Hello

    I was googling “My dog is the best dog” and landed here.

    Here is why I think my dog is the best dog :) (along with yours and all the other best dogs I guess ;) )

    She is amazingly well trained, and not only by me, but also by others. She is not too dependent: she can play in the park with other dogs and go on little adventures, but yet she will never be farther than 40meters from me, no matter if in a game, chasing a bird, or me running in random directions to lose her (as a game of course).

    Speaking about games, we play all kinds of games. I try to avoid the basic fetch game because she gets obsessed with it, but sometimes I play variants of it. She brings me a stick (usually more a log than a stick), when she brings it she presents it to my right hand. She won’t insist if I don’t want to take it. If I do take it, she gently drops it into my hand. Then I mess around with her, I make her do a series of “tricks”: Show me a tree! (puts her paws up on any tree), Go under the bench! (self explanatory), Spot! (goes on anything sticky out of the ground that looks like a podium, like a tree stump, a boulder…), Hop! (she jumps over a low branch of a tree, or a low fence, or a children’s playground equipment thing)… I have more, have very different intonations for each one, and of course I use them in context of the surroundings. After she did a few of those I finally through the stick. After she brings it back we go for another round of tricks.
    Another game is to make her Stay, and then I go hide her stick. She always peaks as to where I am putting it, so I pretend to hide in different places.

    I trust her also with small animals. I have a nasty ferret (which happens to be the best ferret, but that’s a more subjective point of view). The nasty ferret thinks all belongs to her, and doesn’t hesitate to steal things from my dog, included bones and food from within her mouth!! My dog accepts this and seems to find the whole thing amusing, as she usually wags her tail while being bullied. A thing I don’t recommend would be to leave your dog and your ferret unsupervised… but I don’t do as I preach, because I often leave the two with each other! And this is mostly thanks to my dog amazing behavior!

    Last thing, not to bore you: the reason why I am here is that I am depressed. My dog is the best dog. She truly is. But on Monday (in 5 days) she will be passing an exam. You see, my dog is not MY dog. She is being trained to become a guide dog for the blind. I’ve had her for a year and 3 months. And now she is ready. Her vet examination is on Friday. If all goes well she will do the final guiding exam on Monday. And if she passes (which they told me she will for sure), she will go live and finish the last touches of her training at the blind person’s place. He doesn’t live so close. He is very nice and he offered to always keep me updated on her. But still, she is the best dog, and I will miss her very much.

  34. Lindsay Stordahl Author on November 17, 2011

    Oh my … thank you so much for helping to train this service dog. I’ve thought of doing something similar. All of the tricks you described sound just like me and my dog! I can just imagine her running over and jumping over a low bench or bringing you a log. Enjoy your next few days together and know you are making a difference for someone in need!

  35. chris on November 20, 2011

    Rocky is the best dog. He’s an 11 year old dachshund who acts like he’s 1. He loves going for w’s, but will lie around the house when I’m not up to the task. my mother got mad at him for pooping in the cage. She was watching him while i was out of town for a week and he missed me. When i got back, my mamma said what a bad dog he was. He immediately put his tail between his legs and came up to me as if to say “I’m sowwy.”

  36. t.m. on April 26, 2012

    my little roxy is the best because she just knows when i have a hard day,when i’m sad.she comforts me,knows me like no human could.i swear she is my angel from god.oh and she’s stinking smart!she knows some tricks but she is not a robot.i want a dog not a robot.

  37. Jeremy on July 15, 2012

    My dog Sam was the best dog in the world. He passed a month ago. I have yet to find another dog like him. And I work at a dog kennel for 6 years so I’ve seen hundreds of dogs. And everyone of my family agrees (they also run the kennel), And had 3 other dogs in the past all of which I’ve loved. None of them even came close. Sam was abandoned at the kennel. So we took him in. He was probably 4-5years old when I got him. He must have had training in the past and he was a beautiful black male Labrador. Almost as if he ran away from a previous owner/trainer who did national dog shows. Out of my family members he took to me and literally followed me everywhere, some times to the point to where it got annoying but god If I don’t miss it and if I wanted I’d just tell him to go away if I wanted and he would for a bit. I could go on all day but take my word for it, He was the smartest, insanely smartest to the point to where he understood English, most gentle (he would never bite ever even if you pissed him off somehow he would only put his mouth on you like he didn’t know how to bite down or something, it was so cute), caring, loyal dog I’ve ever seen/ was the best dog in the world. He will be missed and I have yet to see another dog like him. Who ever I take in next will have large shoes to fill.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on July 17, 2012

      So sorry to hear about your loss, but thank you for sharing a bit of Sam’s story with us. What a sweet dog he was! I know what you mean because I will never have a dog like Ace. I hope a person can have more than one “lifetime dog” or “soul dog” but to be fair to my next dog, I’m not counting on it.

  38. Jaime on December 26, 2012

    My dog is the naughtiest dog in the world. He counter surfs dumpster dives and will snatch food out of unsuspecting hands! That being said I love it! I love his antics! He cracks me up because his behavior is so dogg ish!
    He makes me laugh everyday and keeps me on my toes!
    He is my BESTEST bud! He camps with me hikes with me swims with me and goes everywhere I go! He is extremely loving and gentle to all creatures! Craves human attention and loves our cat! He is affectionate and loyal he sleeps with me every night and I can’t sleep with out him or his snores! He is great with kids and totally friendly and never barks or bites! He loves to play and does great off leash!
    All of his short comings he makes up for with his loyalty and companionship! He keepers all my secrets and doesn’t judge me. I love the way he smells the way his ears flop when he runs and his playful mischievous gentle nature! I love my sweet dog Chunky!

  39. another dog lover on March 30, 2013

    just for a moment, your lovely ode to Ace brought back the warmth and depth of feeling I had for my sweet Weim of 13 years…

    it’s been a some years now since he passed, and though I am still so grateful for our time together, thank you reminding me to let me feel the good things and not just the loss or regret for moments lost or things i could’ve/should’ve done. he would want only the joy to remain!

    glad you have a buddy in life like that, too. those later years are just precious. and really, happy feelings for this post, THANK YOU FOR SHARING, LINDSAY. sniff. : )

    Dog… God… hmmmmmm…

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on March 31, 2013

      Thank you for reading. So glad you got to share part of your life with such a great dog.

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