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We found our boy in an advert the Humane Society placed some eight years ago, when he was described as a Lab cross, pretty boy.


He was four months old and in that transitory stage where he was gangly, and not so pretty, but we could see he would become a very handsome man as he matured. Our current dog of the time fell instantly in love with him, so we took him home and he fitted in perfectly from day one. As I commented to my husband that he was a little cracker, he earned his name Crakka.


Obedient to a fault, subservient to the extent that we could remove a bone from his mouth without even a grumble, let alone a snarl. He has remained amenable, but has a dislike of children, so we need to watch him. We also keep an eye on him around other dogs, although in the whole he loves a rough and tumble. It is due to his boisterousness that we need to watch him with other people's precious pets. They are the ones who distrust him, we have to prove he is 100% ok.


Parked up at a secluded spot in our motor home he proved his loyalty to us when he "spoke" severely to an unwelcome intruder who stepped uninvited into our private domain. He may only be the size of a small lab, but he sounds like three Rotties and German Shepherds combined. The intruder soon departed.


A story about this feat earned him a prize for a bravery award in a magazine I subscribe to.


Soon after that we were able to repay him for his loyalty and bravery when he suffered an accident which our vet diagnosed incorrectly as hip displasia. After a year on Rimadyl at $75 a month we sought a second opinion and learnt it was actually a cruciate ligament rupture. We were referred to a vet in Hamilton who quoted $3500 to repair the damage. We didn't hesitate. The operation entailed removing a slice of bone from the tibia, cutting a wedge out of the remaining bone, then replacing the slice that had been removed. Three long months of convalescence and he is as good as new.


He shares his 'dads' bed, sleeping under the duvet, with his own tailormade coat as well. We hope we all have at least another eight years together.