I spoil her shamelessly with none of the guilt I reserve for treating my grandsons. Only a talking-to by our vet made me rein in some of the little tidbits I sneak into her dish. It is to my credit that she is more or less at a normal weight for her age and size because my natural inclination is to give her whatever she wants.
I speak to her in the universal language of Motherese. It is the special way we have of talking to our babies using higher pitched sounds and cooing intonations, and for some of us, the way we also talk to our pets. Though she is a big dog, I can't help myself. I have to tell her how good she is, what pretty brown eyes she has, how much I love her.
She is quite true to her retriever instincts. In pursuit of a treat, play toy, or ball, she is relentless. Using her snout to root, she is able to deftly remove a tissue from your pocket you didn't know was there. She will spring into action whenever a ball is produced; no such thing as pacing herself, she will run herself ragged, dropping to the ground before stopping.
Such a lovable and loving dog; I am so lucky to have Miss Murphy, the black Lab, in my life.