Road Trip with Cabana - Meeting Ardella

While in Portland, Cabana and I got together with fellow dog blogger, Martha, and her career-changed lab, Ardella. Martha and I have many shared interests, and we both became puppy raisers for Guide Dogs for the Blind around the same time. In fact, Cabana is just one month older than Ardella, and their fathers are brothers, which makes Cabana and Ardella cousins. I think you can definitely see some family resemblance, although Ardella is lighter in color and Cabana has a bigger head (my older daughter always says Cabana's head is really big--do you all think so?)

I knew from Martha's blog that Ardella tends to be a bit tentative around other dogs, so I was curious to see how she would do with Cabana. I think Cabana is great at reading other dogs' cues, picking up on things that I'm oblivious to. Cabana seemed to know right away that Ardella wasn't interested in romping about and didn't press her.

But that didn't mean they weren't interacting. At the time, it seemed like the dogs were barely paying attention to each other. Yet when I looked back through all the photos I had taken, in nearly every one, the dogs always seem to be copying each other! We didn't ask the dogs to lie down next to each other; they did it on their own. In this photo, they are mimicking each other, even down to their squinty left eyes! So interesting!

Martha engaged the dogs in some training exercises, and Cabana and Ardella both enjoyed that. They are labs, after all, and treats were involved.

After a walk through the neighborhood, Martha and I took our lucky labs to Lucky Lab Brewing Company for lunch. They have a huge back patio area where you can bring your dogs. There were probably 5-6 other dogs there at the time, one chocolate lab and several other breeds. On the walls were paintings and mosaics of all kinds of labs. Now the dog in this painting has what I would consider a big ol' head!

While Martha and I ate our salads, the dogs seemed to relax with one another. In this photo, doesn't it look like Cabana is laughing at something Ardella is telling her? They were so cute together. I learned a lot from this experience, mainly that just because dogs aren't playing or actively engaged with one another, it doesn't mean they aren't socializing. It made me see how important it is to allow dogs to be in the company of other dogs (as long as they aren't aggressive, of course), even the ones that don't necessarily seem to be getting something out of it. I bet they really are, and we just don't know it at the time.

The one and only bad thing that happened during our trip to Portland was when we left the restaurant, I looked down the street and saw that my car was just about to be towed away! The tow truck driver had my front wheels tied up and was just about to drag it to who knows where. I had parked near a fire hydrant, like a dummy. In California, the curbs are painted red when you aren't supposed to park somewhere, but I guess they don't do that in Oregon. Also, there was a sign right there (a confusing and misleading one) that said 2 hour parking. I had to pay a fee to the tow truck driver, and thankfully, he released my car. I still shudder to think what I would have done if I had come out 5 minutes later.

Becky  – (July 18, 2012 at 6:48 PM)  

How delightful that you were able to connect. That restaurant sounds so amazing! I need to make sure Debi knows about that one! Oh, so glad that your car wasn't towed away, too :)!

Martha G  – (July 18, 2012 at 7:04 PM)  

Ardella initiated play with her sister Annalynn last week, a day or so after she'd spent time with Cabana. In fact, she did it several times over a long period of time and my friend Karren got one of the times on film. She has never initiated play with another dog before. I attribute it all to Cabana. She's a dog therapist and you should rent her out!

3 labs 4 me  – (July 18, 2012 at 9:06 PM)  

Gosh, we haven't been to the Lucky Lab in ages. Guess we should go & take our labrador pack. Lucky for you that your car wasn't towed away.

Min  – (July 19, 2012 at 6:14 AM)  

I love the pictures of the two cousins! I'm especially a fan of their squinty eyes. Cabana is always squinty in pictures.

Mimi and CC Cabana  – (July 19, 2012 at 6:52 AM)  

Martha, I guess Cabana really is a "dog whisperer"! Ha ha.

Note to others: When Martha and I were together, Cabana demonstrated her "whisper". I put my finger to my lips, and tell her to whisper, and she gives a quiet snort. I taught her this because whenever I tell her to "speak", she gives such a LOUD resounding bark--her bark is incredibly loud. I wanted to be able to use the whisper trick at the library to impress the kids that read to her.

ingrid  – (July 19, 2012 at 9:50 AM)  

ooo-sorry about your car, but at least it wasn't taken! And the rest of the trip sounded awesome! thanks for sharing!!! And of course, great photos once again.

Lisa and pups  – (July 19, 2012 at 6:34 PM)  

Wow, that sounds like a great time. Love all the photos and yay for Cabana for such amazing dog reading cue skills! Such a good pup!

Mango  – (July 21, 2012 at 3:48 AM)  

If you hadn't mentioned anything, I wouldn't have looked at Cabana's head. Maybe she is slightly broader in the forehead, but she still has a sweet lady dog face.

Mango Momma

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