Scott: The owner of the kennel called me back. There’s a litter of labrador retriever pups due in May.

Me: Are the parents good?

Scott: Yeah, really good. This guy breeds some of the best pups in the country. The parents are black labs.

Me: Uh oh. Does that mean all black puppies?

Scott: With this line, yes. The puppies will be black.

Me: What did you tell them? Are you ok with that? You said you could never own a black lab after Bailey died. It hasn’t even been since 6 months.

Scott: …….

Me: I know you wanted yellow.

Scott: I’ll be ok. It’s not my first choice but I can live with her.

We brought Stella Bailey Burton home to freedom on July 4th, 2015.


We felt Bailey’s absence in our new family photo. But we didn’t feel sad. We were happy. Over the moon and chasing ducks happy.

Bailey never liked it when we were sad or angry. Bailey would hide. And when everything was better, she would come back out and sit at our feet because dogs just know.

Bailey would have never wanted us to be sad about her death. In fact, she would have welcomed another pooping buddy in our family.

Stella knows. Stella knows she has a family now. Her job will be to retrieve birds for Scott and be the eternal optimist of the family. She’ll be a big dog soon and her whole perspective will change.

But for now, she’s a puppy. She’s working on learning her name, potty training, sleeping through the night and not to chew on everything she sees.

So far, Stella hates my ideas and she hates my blog.

But how many times in your life can you carry a black lab in your jacket?


How many times can a black lab ride shotgun on your lap in the car?


How many times can you let a black lab get behind the wheel?


How many times can a black lab insist the perfect spot is snuggling inside the cup holder?


How many times do you see a black lab sitting inside her food bowl to eat?


How many times does a black lab gnaw on your toe bone like a damn chicken wing?


How many times can you hold a black lab with one hand?


How many times can you stuff a black lab in a backpack?


How many times can you hide a black lab in the nightstand?


How many times can a black lab fit inside a cowboy boot?


How many times can you put a black lab in a pot?


How many times can a 6-year-old pick up a black lab?


How many times can a black lab and a 3-month-old baby have the same adorableness factor?


How many times can a black lab fit inside a….hey, come back here!


How many times did we think we would never see a black lab wear this collar again?


That’s our Bailey you smell, Stella. You have a big collar to fill.

Keep resting, Bailey. Watch over our Stella.
Keep resting, Bailey. You be a good girl up there and watch over our Stella for us.