Haley's Page - For the Love of a Chocolate Brown Lab
My Chocolate Lab
This lens is created for the sole purpose of honoring my girl, a chocolate lab named Haley. For all of the love and joy she has given me. It is one way that hopefully I can pay her back.
She is an American/English AKC chocolate brown lab with one of the most amazing personalities and you can typically see it in the pictures of her found on this lens. She has a heart of unconditional love for me that I can't even begin to fathom. But for every single moment I have her in my life, and the memories I will have forever of her, I will eternally be grateful. And for what she has taught me about unconditional love and so much more, thank you GOD for this beautiful spirit.
All proceeds of this lens go to The Humane Society of The United States with my hope being that the The National Canine Cancer Foundation can be incorporated as a designated charity in the near future.
Please leave your comments and share your chocolate brown lab or other dog stories below in the comments section.
Lots of love and gratitude to my aunts who have cared for this lab child as if it were their own. Thank You!
The Beautiful Spirit of This Brown Lab - My Girl Haley
A Chocolate Labrador Christmas
with a bow on top...
Christmas 2008 was filled with love, hope, peace, joy, faith, and the blessing of being with my beautiful baby girl. God sent me an angel. I realized this even more profoundly when I reflected back on the past year and previous years before. As a single women sometimes it can seem a little lonely. But truth be told, I was given this angel who has been with me this whole time that I have been by myself to help me through. God knew I would need that. I get to hold her, pet her, take care of her, and love on her. She loves that and so do I.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. See my present in the picture attached. This one I never get tired of. =)
In The beginning - My Life With A Brown Labrador Retriever
This is how the story of my baby girl, Haley started
I guess the best place to start is at the beginning, so here goes:
Growing up I have to admit, it wasn't the same for my family as it is now when it came to dogs. When we were young, dogs and cats were pets. Sure, we cared for them, fed them and loved on them a bit, but they never were family. Even the two lab/shepard mixes we had were cool pets and I remember them to this day but alas, they were still just pets. After I moved out of the folks house, I lived on my own for many a year. I had a housemate at one time but we never had a pet. And although I liked animals, I just never desired to have one.
That changed when a friend of mine who had a chocolate brown lab bred her. For whatever reason, the chocolate lab has always been my favorite breed. And, I always said, "If I ever owned a dog it would be a chocolate brown lab." My desire to have one of my own went full bore when I saw the puppies from that first litter. Oh my gosh, so cute and adorable, as most puppies are but these were labs and something must have clicked because I knew at that time I had to have one of my own.
I asked my friend if she planned on breeding her dog again, to which she responded yes. (In fact, I recall I repeated that question to her on a multitude of occasions.) I said I would like to get one of the dogs. And the marvelous day arrived when I was told M&M,(Haley's mom, also a chocolate brown lab), was pregnant. From there, the wheels went in motion. While I had been renting a house all this time before, I was in the process of purchasing a new home which would mean my dog would have a place to roam in the backyard. Well, as the months went by and my excitement grew, unfortunately things in my life had changed drastically. There was a problem with the house I was attempting to purchase so the deal fell through. Plus, my relationship had just come to an end. With that having happened, I had come to the conclusion that I just couldn't have a dog right now.
I went to tell my friend that regretably I was going to have to decline on getting one of the dogs after all. I even listed the multiple reasons for the decision to which her response flatout was...,"You're getting the dog!" Now if you knew my friend you'd know she wasn't one to argue with. But the truth be told, I think she knew I needed a dog as much as the dog needed me and maybe even more. (Little did I know then about the wonderful impact her determination would be on my life or how getting a dog would be one of the best things to ever happen to me.) So we worked out all the arrangements and the wheels kept in motion.
I was kept informed as to how M&M was progressing and of course, I needed to know how she was feeling, when she was in labor, if my friend played the song, "Who let the dogs out," on her headphones and put them up to M&M's belly for all the pups to hear, etc.
I would visit on occasion as I watched M&M's belly grow and I was at work when I finally got the call that I was going to be a mom. My friend kept me posted on the events and I told her I would be out that evening.
That was when the bond began.
Chocolate Lab Picture
A forever momento of my beautiful baby girl - Courtesy of April Howland from April Howland Studios
Baby Haley Has Arrived
my lab puppy was here
I was so excited to go see what I would soon call my baby girl. I was at work and had to finish out the day before going to the prenatal puppy nursery. I counted down the minutes anxiously awaiting for the day to finish so I could see the puppies.
The night I saw Haley it was love at first sight. She was A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E as all lab puppies are but even more so because she was mine. She was by no means the runt of the litter but smaller than most of the other dogs. And although there was no physical contact, I think in our minds the bond started that very first night. Her real mama was very protected of her new babies so we were definitely hands off, but that didn't stop the attraction that had started with my little girl.
I would end up visiting the following night and several nights after through the course of the first eight weeks. It was within the first week that I got to hold my chocolate bundle of joy, and oh how cute and cuddly she was. Although I would pet the other pups too, Haley was the one I was getting the closest to. I know she was starting to know me as someone special as well. All the while still trying to figure out in the back of my mind, where will I keep her and how will I take care of her. But the most important question of all was, "Will I be a good mom?"
I was privy to all the news breaking events such as the yelps and puppy barks, eyes opening and claw clippings. By week number 6, Haley knew who I was and there was a comfort in being with me; so much so that she took her first trip in the truck with me down to Phoenix so she could meet the rest of the family.
The trip I made with Haley was the route from Prescott to Phoenix, about a 1 and 1/2 hour drive. She was great riding in a vehicle from the git start. In fact she got in and just laid down. But the best part was the she laid her head on my lap with her body right next to me. Oh yea, if she hadn't had already won me before, she stole my heart then. I was her caregiver, protector, someone she counted on and trusted in. I was her mom.
She slept the whole way down while I constantly pet her and in a short while we reached our destination.
I was the proud mama carting my little girl in the house. And, as you would guess, everyone absolutely fell in love with her. The beautiful little chocolate brown lab girl, "WITH GREAT BIG PAWS." That was the one thing everyone noticed from the start. And yes, that did turn out to be an indication of her size.
There were 3 other dogs in the house she would come to know as sisters. Kersey a yellow lab, oldest of the house; Lottie a black lab who is second oldest and Lilly, my grandmonther's Queensland Healer. Although the greeting was cautious, it took place without incident and the family tie started forming from there.
The house we went to belonged to my aunts. I got potty training tips from them since they were experts based on their vast experience with dogs. We started the vigil of potty training. We took little Haley outside and began the encouraging, "go potty girl." Enticing the little one to squat and go pee. That was the beginning of understanding my part of my responsibility as a parent.
We finished our visit and headed back up the road where I dropped Haley off with her real mom. But of course I had to pass along all the details of our trip starting with when I first picked her up to bringing her back home.
We took two more weekend trips which brought us to her 8 week birthday. Heavy on my mind lingered the thought of where I was going to keep my precious child. I knew I had the option to keep her at my friend's house, (M&Ms mom whom we affectionately call nana), but she would have to be chained up outside during the day and I didn't want that. Plus, although seeing Haley would be worth the drive, Nana lived 20 minutes away. And the way I saw it I would be making that extra trip every week night just to see her. I knew in the beginning that would be okay but would I continue to make that commitment? (I knew my habits/tendancies pretty well.) And frankly, I just didn't know how long that set up would last, if I could get into a new place that would allow pets, big ones at that, in time for the transistion.
Well as love would have it, during my normal weekend commute, the aunts asked what I was going to do. I explained Haley's Nana's offer. Well, although they appreciated it, the idea of her being chained outside did not go over well. Being the dog lovers that they were and despite knowing the consequences of having a lab puppy inside their home, they made the offer to keep her at the house in Phoenix. Doing so would allow her access inside the home during the day and at that time, 3 other dogs to play with. So, from that weekend on, Haley was a chocolate brown lab - Phoenician.
“Perhaps our animals are really the angels, and they bring out the best in those of us that are blessed enough to be touched by them.”
Haley's Puppy Pic-"she ought to be in movies"
Puppy School Begins
chocolate labrador 101...for beginners
The aunts were awesome. Potty training was handled like this. An air mattress was placed out on the family room floor and each night an aunt would take turns sleeping out there with my little girl. When Haley would start stirring, they were up with her to take her outside and have her go pee. I got my turn at that too when I would come down on the weekend. And although I am very picky about being able to sleep, this was a sacrifice I was very happy to make. And this darling girl started making herself at home. She would romp around, playing, barking and chewing....DEFINITELY CHEWING!
I continued commuting back and forth for about a year between Prescott and Phoenix. I would work in Prescott during the week and head down to Phoenix Friday nights for the weekend. That was when I got to play mom. Upon my arrival, I got to hear the stories of the weeks events. Including which couch she had gotten to that week. And the Aunts tried everything they could think of but still, it didn't stop her. Being a typical chocolate brown lab pup, by the time she was done, she had gotten a hold of and basically destroyed four couches. But the aunts were so good and understanding about it. They had puppies before. They knew how they were. When they took her in, they took her as one of their own. That was huge!
During that last year in Prescott, I did try to keep her up there with me at the house I was renting.
There is another story here. The following incident told me just how much I loved my chocolate brown lab baby.
To be continued...
The day I thought I lost Haley!
The day a scared brown labrador ran away...
Since Haley had been born, I had moved to a house that had a fenced yard. The fence was chain link, fairly sturdy and stood 4' to 5' tall. Although the aunts were fine keeping Haley with them, she was my kid and my responsibility. Therefore, it was important to have her up in Prescott with me. So a weekend came when Haley got to join me on my Sunday evening ride back up to Prescott. I left a little bit earlier that day because I wanted to get her acclamated to her new surroundings. (Of course, it's a foolish new mom that thinks that could happen in 6 hours.)
When we arrived at her new home, I did my best to show her around and have her get use to the place. With words of encouragement and lots of pep talk, I had hoped that would be enough to bring her comfort in her new surroundings. And everything appeared to be fine but that may have been because I was with her. She was always good when someone or a fellow dogmate was around.
When nightfall came we went to bed and she slept with me usual. In the morning I got up and got ready for work. Now, I don't know what she was thinking at this time, but I'm sure she had no clue what the next several hours would hold in store.
As I got ready to leave, I left the back door open so she could go outside. I kissed her goodbye and headed off to work. I was fortunate to work only 3 minutes away so I knew I could take a break and check on her later that morning.
While I was at work I was anxious to see how she was doing and couldn't wait to get back home to find out. Eventually, a couple hours had passed and break time had arrived. I went home excited to see her, unlocked the door, called her name... and she didn't come. I went out back, called her name...and still, no Haley.
Although trying to avoid immediate panic, the onset of worry took hold of me as I came to find that my little girl was no where to be found. I started walking up the street and down, across the creek and viewing into other neighbors open backyards to no avail. My chocolate brown lab was missing and fear had set in.
I started making phone calls. First, I called work. I wasn't going back until I could find her. And being that this was all new to me, I called one of my aunts. Not knowing what could possible be Haley's fate or the best way to track down a missing four-legged child, I needed a little reassurance and help in figuring out the next step(s) to take. My aunt was off that day and offered to drive up. She was going to make up flyers about a missing chocolate brown lab for us to post around the neighborhood.
In the meantime, I called a local animal hospital in case some helpful passerby might have picked her up. I also tried to find out how she got out. Inside the house I could see scratches all over the front door. Outside I could see a bend in the fence which was later determined to be method of escape which had to be quite the feat. At those signs plus chocolate lab prints from a muddy outside all over the house, I knew my baby had to be scared to death. She was looking for a way out, for me, or even a way back home to Phoenix. It was then that my worry turned to fear knowing she was very lost in unknown territory, that she could have been hurt, that she was alone and tears started filling my eyes with the thought of what trauma I had caused her and at the fear that I may never get her back.
See, the thing for Haley was that this was for the first time in her entire life that she had ever been alone. From day one she either had her mom (M&M), siblings, me, the aunts, dogmates from the Phoenix house, or various people around. My grandmother was living with the aunts when Haley had joined the household and became terminally ill. So whether it was just grandma or family there to take care of grandma, there was always someone home with Haley or the fellow dogsmates.
After my calls were made, I continued to walk the streets of the neighborhood calling Haley's name. My aunt had finally made it up to Prescott where we hooked up and spread out to hang flyers. She even brought the basset hound hoping that somehow that might help.
I have a big debt of gratitude to give to my fellow employees at the office where I worked because they came out in force during their breaks and lunch hours to help me search for my daughter. Through the course of this saga, Haley had somewhere between 12 and 15 people searching for her. They sacrificed their time to help me find my baby and that meant more than I can say.
About five hours had gone by with no sign of Haley. Of course, the more time that went by, the more I got worried. Five hours only included the time since I had first gotten home to find her missing. Only God knows how long she had been missing from originally getting out of the yard.
I was still driving around the neighborhood when my phone rang. Since so many friends were checking in to see how things were going, I figure it was just another one of those calls. And, it was. But this friend had to ask a question. She said, "Jolene, what does Haley look like?" Now anyone who loves their pet can imagine the emotions that were overtaking me and thoughts that were flooding my mind. Of course, my first thought was, you found Haley! But then again, I didn't want to get my excitement up only to be disappointed if it wasn't her. Never-the-less, I was so very anxious.
I gave Haley's description as best as I could. We exchanged a couple of more questions and answers and finally she said the words I'll never forget..."I think I found her." Tears again filled my eyes.
She gave me directions to where she was at. And I headed in that location. There in the front yard laying in the snow was my beautiful baby. She saw me and started wagging her tail, full of joy. I ran to her and I cried. And I gave her the biggest hug, (one of many I now give to her on a continual basis). She had no idea how happy I was to see her, how sad I was at thinking about the anxiety and fear I caused her, and how much I realized I loved her at that very moment. All the while, she sat there completely oblivious to all of the concern given and searching that was done for her.
After several minutes of just loving on her, we walked back to the car where my friend was at and I couldn't express thank you enough for finding my girl. I got Haley in the car and called my aunt. We met up and I sent Haley with my aunt to take her back home to Phoenix. That was where she needed to be because that was where she was happiest and I just couldn't handle the thought of losing her again.
Today, Haley and I are together again where she is surrounded by the housemates shown in this lens and two loving aunts. She hasn't tried to run away since. My friend that found Haley is now her "Aunt Carolyn." And the rest is...our life together now.
All in all, Haley was gone for over 5 hours and was found just about 5 houses down the street from the place I rented. Truth be told, she was gone a lifetime and ran to China as far as I was concerned when it meant that I didn't have my child, my baby with me.
In Celebration of the Super Bowl.
Check out the "Puppy Bowl" on the Animal Planet
See some of the cutest pups at their best, especially those lovable and cuddleable chocolate brown labs on The Animal Planet.
Marketing Lessons From Mudd
An English Brown Lab
I'm a dog person. And one of my dogs is an 8-year old, 100-pound Chocolate Lab very appropriately named Mud. He didn't exactly get the brains of the litter, but I love him nonetheless. In fact, I think I've learned some things from ol' Mud that I can apply to the marketing world:
Always be happy to see your customers. Whenever I come home, there he is - tail wagging, tongue hanging out, tap-dancing with excitement. He doesn't know what kind of day I've had or if I'm in a good mood or bad. But there's no hidden agenda. He's ready to hang out. To listen. To just let me know that he's there.
If customers kick you, always come back for more. Let's make it clear that I've never kicked my dogs, but I think you get the idea. Mud is as loyal as the day is long. Sometimes he does get in trouble and he gets a stern talking to - but he always comes back the next time, tail wagging and ready to play.
Be ready to do just about anything your customers ask. Mud isn't always happy about getting a bath or taking his meds, but he does it anyway. In the end, it's the best thing for him and he knows it. So he does what it takes and listens to what I have to say to him.
Be prepared to grow together. Mud and I have learned about each other's personalities, our habits (bad and good) and patterns. I guess that's what naturally happens over time. We're comfortable with one another, but it's an investment of time and patience on both our parts.
So maybe the above points are a stretch and too simple, but there's beauty in simplicity, right? And I would say there's beauty in Mud, but that's a REAL stretch.
courtesy of Spike
Friday, May 02, 2008, 3:06:32 AM
Haley says, "Help Cure Canine Cancer." - Help find a cure and save your pet from this terrible disease
Whether your best friend is a chocolate brown lab and any other kind of dog, help in the fight to cure canine cancer and protect your pet from this disease.
- Cure Canine Cancer
Help Cure Canine Cancer. Find out more details at this link.
Chocolate Brown Labs in Action - Watch these chocolate "angels" as they play
More Chocolate Labrador Retriever Products for Charity - Calling all chocolate brown lab lovers
If you love chocolate labs, here's some products that are right up your alley. All proceeds go to charity! :)
What is your favorite lab color?
chocolate brown, yellow, or black.
Which color is your favorite lab
Organizations Created to Assist Our Four Legged Friends - find homes, find cures for medical conditions and various other causes for chocolate brown labs and ot
Visit these links to find out what these organizations are doing to help our beloved four-legged friends. If you have a resource link you would like to see added to the list, send a comment!
Charitable Organization Dedicated to Caring for our Canines
- Desert Labrador Retriever Rescue | An Arizona-based Rescue Group
Desert Labrador Retriever Rescue is a Phoenix-based rescue group dedicated to finding loving, life-long homes for displaced Labrador Retrievers.
- The Humane Society of the United States
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest and most effective animal protection organization-backed by 10 million Americans, or one in every 30. Established in 1954, The HSUS seeks a humane and sustainable world for all animals-a
- The National Canine Cancer Foundation
The National Canine Cancer Foundation is a nationwide, contribution funded, 501 (c)(30 non-profit corporation dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem in dogs by funding grants for the scientific efforts of cancer researchers who are
- Animal Guardian Network
We are a public outreach network providing resources and assistance to the humane community at large. Our mission is to promote kindness and compassion toward all animals through assistance, adoption and education.
Interesting Facts About the Chocolate Brown Lab Retriever
Labrador Retrievers are the most popular dogs being bred
(Picture inset of Haley, Kersee & Lottie)
The Labrador Retriever (also Labrador, Labby or Lab for short), is one of several kinds of retriever, a type of gun dog. The Labrador is considered the most popular breed of dog (by registered ownership) in the world, and is by a large margin the most popular breed by registration in the United States (since 1991) the United Kingdom, Poland, and several other countries. It is also the most popular breed of assistance dog in the United States, Australia, and many other countries, as well as being widely used by police and other official bodies for their detection and working abilities. They are exceptionally affable, gentle, intelligent, energetic and good natured, making them both excellent companions and working dogs. Although somewhat boisterous if untrained, Labrador Retrievers respond well to praise and positive attention, and are considerably "food and fun" oriented. These dogs are as well loyal and great with little children. They may be used in shows. With training, the Lab is one of the most dependable, obedient and multi-talented breeds in the world.
courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labrador_Retriever
My Best Friend
Dedicated to Haley, my chocolate brown lab.
The one absolutely unselfish friend that a girl can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts her, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is her dog. A woman's dog stands by her in prosperity and poverty, in health and sickness. Haley will sleep on the cold ground where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only she may be near her master's side. She will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, she will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounter with the roughness of the world. She guards the sleep of her pauper master as if she were a princess. When all other friends desert she remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, she is as constant in her love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.
courtesy of http://www.brassbrigade.com/poems.html with slight edits based on female characters.
For the best chocolate in the world, get a chocolate brown lab.
Training for Your Chocolate Brown Lab - If you love your dog, lab or otherwise, train him.
I believe that if you ask any of my friends, they will tell you that Haley is a good dog. She is well behaved and a great companion for anyone. Well, thankfully she is my dog companion but she would be great with anyone.
It takes time to train a dog and committment on the end of the owner. You won't regret putting the effort into this work I guarantee. If you want some good dog school training tips, check out this link.
A Dog Trainer in Phoenix
- Good Dog School for Phoenix
Good Dog School Training classes.
A Chocolate Brown Lab's Favorite Store
Two of Haley's great loves are food, (like that's a big secret :) ) and fun. She loves her playtime be it outside in the pool or going for a walk. Plus, I think if she went to an all you could eat buffet, she would drain the restaurant of all it's inventory all in one sitting.
Haley has also dealt with allergies pretty much most of her life. I would have to give her those nasty shots just so she could feel better.
Then, my aunt told me about a dog store that specialized in agility sport and travel gear. The owner really knew her stuff and was helping my aunt with her dogs.
When I went in I met Layne, the owner of Travel Hounds. She told me all about dog food and how harmful the typical brands in the stores are. She also explained to me about grain-free food and things I could do food wise that were healthier for Haley. That's when our friendship took off because I could see she really cared about my little girl nearly as much as I do.
I've been going to Travel Hounds ever since and highly recommend them. But this past year Layne opened a new dog store that I believe is truly one of a kind. It's called Arizona dog sports and it is incredible. From that facility they offer dog training and a myriad of canine resources such as:
anesthesia free teeth cleaning
canine massage therapy
holistic veterinary services from a licensed vet
and the list is growing.
Plus, these services are very inexpensive.
Their helping me give Haley the best of everything by making the services very affordable. And by giving Haley these things, her quality of life is improved and it improves her odds at a healthier longer life. And did I mention I don't have to give her shots anymore for her allergies?
If you're in the Phoenix Arizona area or even just want to check out the sites on line, the links are listed below. I can't say thanks enough for all that Layne has done. I highly recommend them.
- Arizona Dog Sports - Dog training Phoenix and Surrounding Areas
Phoenix dog training and canine services
Share your comments and stories here. All dogs are special. So please write about any dog story you have.