My Dogs Strider and Annie

May 22, 2010
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My family has had two faithful Yellow Labrador Retrievers for seven years. Strider, the male, and Annie, the female, are brother and sister. We got them in the fall of 2002 from a nearby farm. Strider and Annie are the most lovable, energetic seven year old dogs I know. They do not let their age hinder them from acting like the puppies they are within. Over the years, having Strider and Annie, I have come to see both differences and similarities between them.

Strider and Annie are both very nice looking dogs. However, Strider has grown to be much larger than Annie. He weighs about 110 pounds which is thirty to thirty five pounds more than Annie. From the tip of his wet pink nose all the way to the end of his fluffy yellow tail, Strider is longer in length than Annie. Another difference in their appearance is his longer hair; he inherited this trait from his father, a Golden Retriever- Yellow Lab mix. Up close, it is easy to tell the two apart, but from a distance it becomes harder to distinguish one from the other because their coloring and build are very comparable.

Along with different physical traits they both have distinctive habits. I am usually the first one in my family to wake up in the morning during the week. When I go downstairs to the kitchen, Strider hears me, gets up from his mat in my parents’ bedroom, makes his way down the steps, walks into the kitchen, and plops down by his food dish. This is his way of telling me he wants his breakfast. Unlike Strider, I do not see Annie in the morning before I leave for school, because she likes to sleep late. Annie does not have food on her mind all day; she would rather go on walks. Annie loves to run in the fields around our house, on her way she makes sure to stop at every ground hog hole. She is a true hunter and will approach the hole in a stealthy manner; so when a ground hog comes out of its burrow she can seize it. While Annie runs on ahead, Strider makes his way at a leisurely pace. He will stop and sniff the ground, lift his leg to relieve himself, eat a few blades of thick green grass, then continue on his walk.

Another difference between Strider and Annie is Strider loves riding in the car and visiting the Willow Veterinarian Clinic. Strider pushes his way to the front of our van so that he is able to peer out the window. When Strider goes to the clinic, he is always showered with attention from the receptionist and technicians. He gets treats and pats on his head then merrily trots into the examination room. Annie, on the other hand, dislikes car rides and despises visits to the veterinarian. While Strider is up front in the car, Annie lays in the back never once glancing out the window. Once there, Annie ignores the treats and attention because she is too preoccupied with anxiety. She needs a small tug of the leash to make her go into the examination room. Her body quivers and she pants as she nervously waits for the veterinarian. Anxious to leave she stands facing the door.

Despite their differences, Strider and Annie have many similarities. They both love to take trips with my family to my uncle’s cabin in Virginia. Here they enjoy running along the many woodland paths, smelling new scents from the wildlife, and swimming in the nearby babbling creek. At home, Strider and Annie go wild with joy when my grandfather comes to our house. Granddad brings his elderly dog, Misty, to our place so that he can walk her around our field. Along with Misty, he brings dog biscuits and sometimes pig ears. Strider and Annie immediately surround him, anxiously waiting for the treats. They enjoy his visits so much that just the mention of Granddad’s name has them perk their ears and make a dash to the door.
My dogs are the best welcoming committee one could have. Their eyes light up when I come home from school. They run to me, Strider, grabbing a toy to show off, and Annie, wagging her tail and wiggling her body as fast as she can. A smile comes to my face, which is followed by a little laugh as I pet them both. Then I grab the toy from Strider and give it a throw so that he can go chase it.

Strider and Annie also have another common quality. They both bring to my family much joy, many laughs, and total love. As they age, my family and I will continue to grow closer and closer to them. I can understand why people say that a dog is a man’s best friend. Strider and Annie have proven this to me through their unconditional love and devotion. Even though they are getting older, they will always be, in my heart, the two precious little Yellow Lab puppies that I picked up to give each a kiss, seven years ago.

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