23PAWS (#1): Meet Kostas

Cinnamon at eat, pray, tri has started a link-up party about pets23PAWS

An excuse to write about Kostas and Tucker?  Sign me up!  In February you got to “meet” Tucker so now it’s time to give Kostas the spotlight.

Happy Puppy!

Breed:  Labrador (he’s HUGE so I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some Great Dane in there somewhere)

Age:  5 (6 in September)

Nicknames:  Michael Phelps, Marmaduke, Mr. Big, Handsome, Monkey

Favorite Pastimes:  Eating, Sleeping, Drooling, Shedding, Walking (preferably with a stick in his mouth), Cleaning Containers (yogurt, pb, ab), Helping in the Kitchen


Such a sleeper!

Kostas is also very motivated by people and saying hello to everyone he meets.  I sometimes refer to him as the Wal-Mart Greeter because we’ll be waiting at a cross walk, he’s sitting, and as soon as people stand near us, he immediately wants to say hello and give kisses.

Always ready with a big, slobbery kiss and his breath could peel paint off walls

Kostas came into my life almost 5 years ago–my first dog was Murphy.  A loving and loyal Golden Retriever/Lab mix.  Murphy and I were pals for 8 years and he was already “senior” when I adopted him so by the time his health was declining, he may have been 14 years old.  Putting him down was a difficult decision the right decision.  I knew I’d want another dog and I found Kostas right away.

I used to drive by the Humane Society on my way to and from work everyday and would look at the available dogs online.  When I saw “Cocoa” (crazy name for a white Lab) I knew I had to meet him.  Kostas was surrendered by his first family on his 1st birthday.  The shelter adoption counselor told me that the family said they were moving but her sense was that he was too big and energetic for them.  He was perfect for me.  I still find myself thinking how could someone not have loved this guy? As soon as I met him he showered me with kisses and sat in my lap.  Oh, did I mention that Kostas thinks he’s a lap dog?

85 lb Lap Dog

I’m happy to be Kostas’ “forever person”–he has such a big heart (and big ears) and is quite a character who makes me laugh everyday. He’s always by my side (well, when he’s not sleeping) and often in my way (in a cute, adorable way) and always reminds me to live, laugh, love.

Trying to do Pilates with a Lab in my lap

I should mention–I decided on the name Kostas because I was in Greece prior to adopting Kostas.  Basically everyone who worked at the hotel I was at was named Kostas, and my Kostas is named after my favorite friendly Greek Kostas.  It often takes people 1 or 2 tries to get the name correct and I often have to say, “No, he’s not named after Bob Costas.”

Happy Birthday Tucker!

I'm 11 today!

Today is a special day for our little team…it’s Tucker’s Birthday!  He’s 11 today.  That’s a big deal  for a Labrador but Tucker is no ordinary Lab!  By the way, his official, American Kennel Club name is Tricky Mother Tucker.

I first met Tucker about 2.5 years ago.  He almost took Kostas down at a dog park, but we quickly moved on from that.

Tolerating each other

Now they are buds.  They usually just tolerate one another but occasionally they’ll share a dog bed or I’ll see Kostas giving Tucker kisses on his ears.

Who's going to move?

Tucker was born in Rancho Santa Fe, California and QAG became Tucker’s “person” when Tucker was 3 months old.

They have been a dynamic, inseparable duo but I like to think Kostas and I have added more life to the party and love-fest.

Tucker is the most loyal dog I’ve ever met.  He is obsessed with QAG and seems to be mildly hard of hearing when I give him (Tucker) a command.  And QAG is the most responsible dog owner I’ve ever met:  making sure Tucker eats his  non-chicken diet, gets a spoon-full of yogurt in his dog food for his sensitive stomach, the dog bed is fluffed every night, Tucker’s ears are clean, his coat is shiny, and he gets plenty of exercise and fresh air.

The three things about Tucker that I appreciate most are:

1.  He is very protective and I always feel safe when I take Tucker and Kostas out for a walk.  Tucker would hurt someone…Kostas would lick them.

2.  Tucker’s tail is always wagging.  It’s like he is constantly smiling and I appreciate his optimistic outlook.

Puppy Kisses

3.  Tucker gives such nice little puppy kisses.  He is very judicious with kisses so it’s a treat to get a tiny little greeting from him.

While Tucker’s snout has a few more white hairs than it did when I first met him, he’s a happy, healthy, handsome Lab who lives each day to its fullest.  There’s a lot to be said for that!