Echo the Black Dog
Okay, so like any proud Mum I'm incredibly biased here - but honestly, Echo was simply the best dog ever.
She was part of our family, through thick and thin, for almost fifteen years. She was independent, and at times aloof (possibly from being brought up by a cat), but always loving and protective of her people.
Most importantly she was our fur-kid and occupied a huge space in our hearts.
Echo Campbell Russell
19th October 1995 - 16 September 2010
Finding the perfect puppy
For almost two years I scoured the classified ads each weekend looking for labrador puppies for sale. Each time I found one and rang I was out of luck, only boys available or only golden girls.
Then one Saturday I spied an ad in our local paper for Black Labrador X puppies. I was after a full breed labrador, but something made me call the number anyway. The owner thought the puppies were Lab X Ridgeback. There were eight in total, two girls and six boys. All were black, with a white dash here or there. I may have left it at that, but the owner said they were only four weeks old and the mother dog was struggling to feed them all. He was giving them away.
The clincher was when he told me that they had been born on October 19th, the same birthday as our previous labrador, Sascha.
So Dad, my brother and I went for a leisurely drive out to see the puppies. On arrival we were greeted by a sea of happy little black ratty dogs, jumping around our ankles excited at having new people to play with. We were introduced to the mother dog, Chance, who looked like a dark golden coloured labrador cross. She didn't look so much a ridgeback cross, more like a coolie or kelpie cross. The owner told us that the father was a purebred golden labrador from up the road who'd visited for a little liaison with Chance one night.
Of course the puppies were gorgeous! Tiny little black faces, warm pink tongues and soft little paws. The owner had put aside one of the girls for me, so I spent some time with her first. She was as lovely as the other puppies, but there really wasn't any kind of spark between us. I asked if I could see the other girl too. The owner said that she was much smaller, probably the runt of the litter. Trying to find her in the squirming black pile of seven puppies at my feet wasn't easy. We each would pick up a puppy, turn it over to check, go "Boy!", put it back down and pick up another.
After a couple of tries my Dad said to me "What about that one that's been attached to your ankle since we arrived?" Sure enough there was one little black fur ball leaning into my right ankle. It moved when I bent down to pick it up and rested it's front paws on the top of my Doc Martens while looking up into my face.
I'm sure you can guess the rest! My little Echo had chosen me and that's the story of how she came to be a part of our family.
Where did Echo's name come from?
Echo was named after the raven haired water nymph from Greek mythology, best known from the tale of Echo and Narcissus.
When thinking up names for a black dog, particularly one with labrador genes, what better than one that refers to both her lustrous black fur and her love of the water?
Trying to think up a name for your own black dog? Here's a great list of names for black labradors (or any black dog for that matter!)
A Foot For A Pillow
Echo's favourite thing was sleeping with her head on your foot. Every chance she got she'd position herself so that your foot became her pillow.
Photos of Echo Campbell RussellClick thumbnail to view full-size
Find Out More About The Labrador Breed
Do you have a black labrador, or a labrador cross?