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It will be a sad day when the Farm’s black lab passes from this life to the next. I remember the day we got him. I took two sons to visit Debbie and her new litter of black labs.  Our intention was to get another dog to be a companion to our Golden Retriever, Chapps. Chapps was getting on in years, and I thought that staggering the ages would be a good strategy.

I had Goldens all my life, which just happened to be City life. Well, when we moved to the Stillaguamish Valley and onto our current farm, it became obvious that a light brown dog quickly became a dark, almost black dog in the winter.  In fact, when he would go swimming in the sloughs around here, he would definitely be a black dog with “brown roots” :).

That fateful morning, Micah, Aaron and I headed over to get our new puppy. I should have seen it coming, but I didn’t. When we got there and saw all those puppies running around and playing, it became obvious that I was going to be BRINGING HOME TWO puppies. Okay, call me soft, but they were sure cute and those two boys of mine definitely wanted one each.

Ironically, I let the boys pick out their own dogs and wouldn’t you know that each picked out a black lab with a personality completely different than theirs! I know this often happens in a marriage, but I never made the connection between dogs and dog owners.

Another connection I didn’t make was that when those boys moved out, their dogs wouldn’t. And then I would become the proud owner of two black labs. Lightning is no longer with us, but Chungo still is. However, 13 is mighty old for a lab and his hips are just not what they use to be. He is super sweet, sleeps a ton and still wags that tail like only a lab can.

The writing is on the wall. His days are fewer than more, his strength is fading, and his hearing is mostly gone. But, as long he is able, he will always be welcome on my farm, by my side. And when he finally passes, there will be a big section of Marginalia written on the margins of my life. Thankfully, this isn’t the final chapter yet. When I get home tonight, Chungo will be waiting, wagging that tail like only a black lab can, standing right in my way to make sure he gets some loving on my way to the front door. That’s living the good life.