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.
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.
another dog lover
Saturday 30th of March 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...
Sunday 31st of March 2013
Thank you for reading. So glad you got to share part of your life with such a great dog.
Wednesday 26th of December 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!
Thursday 10th of January 2013
Sunday 15th of July 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.
Tuesday 17th of July 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.
Thursday 26th of April 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.
Sunday 20th of November 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."
Sunday 20th of November 2011
I'm sure he's a cute dog!