Rutherford recently celebrated (unbeknownst to him, of course) his second birthday on March 6. He is such a handsome dog with a gentle and playful spirit.
As handsome as he has become, every now and again I love to look through old pictures of him as a baby. There was just nothing cuter than his furry little self.
But he doesn't have a long tail. Isn't he a yellow labrador? Absolutely. And pure-bred at that. So what's the story? Well poor baby boy dog and his litter mates came down with a diarrhea virus in their first week of life. Most of the litter mates did not have the stamina to survive and sadly five died.
But Rutherford was a fighter since the beginning. And he pulled through with the help of his mother. She had a natural nurturing instinct--almost too good, since it cost him his tail. She cleaned his dirty hiney so well and so often that he developed little sores akin to diaper rash. Our breeder tried putting ointment on these sores, but his mother licked that off too. Eventually, the sores developed scabs and our breeder noticed that the end of his tail looked lifeless. Next thing she knew, the end of his tail was gone. It fell off. And there he was with his little stub tail--marketed as a "special needs puppy."
Turns out that his only special need was a good home. And he found it. And the evidence suggests that he's in dog heaven here at our home.