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Several years ago, my wife and I were considering a dog for our young children. We had both owned many different breed of dogs,from hunting breeds to mutts. Misty, my wife, had been talking about getting a white lab for years, I, on the other hand had never heard of or seen a white lab. Misty happened upon a lab at our local pet shelter and she fell in love with him, which meant I was in route to look at this dog. When I arrived at the Foster Home there were many dogs in the yard and when I opened my door a large lab crawled into my lap. Needless to say he would be become our new family dog.
"Marley" is the best companion we could've every dreamed of having. Shortly after adopting him, our son had to have major back surgery. Marley was always playing and rough housing with Landon before the surgery, but when he came home from the hospital Marley knew something was wrong with him. He slowly walked up to Landon and sat at his feet to let him know that he understood that Landon couldn't play and that he was going to be easy with him. Landon is now a teenager and they are still best friends. Although Marley is getting some age on him now, he still retains the heart of a true Labrador.
After Marley introduced us to what a remarkable breed the Labrador is, Misty wanted to look at breeding these loving dogs so that other families could experience what we found in Marley. Sharing the same feelings, I began to search for a breeding pair of white Labradors. This proved to be a difficult task. We finally found a female in Illinois and our male came from Wisconsin (on the Canadian border). Dixie and Duke became the start of Southern Pride Labs.
After 14 years of being the best companion to our family, Marley began to have health issues. During this time my dad who was diagnosed with cancer begin to go downhill as well. He and Marley were great friends (because he always fed him extra :)
When my dad was in his final hours, Marley struggled to climb the stairs to his front door. He came into my parents' home and went up to my dad's hospital bed. He licked his hand and then began to "cry". Marley had come to pay his respects to my dad just like a human. I have never witnessed something so pure. My dad passed a few days later and Marley never climbed those stairs again. Marley only lived a short time after my dad passed. Marley was buried on our farm and still remains our family's best friend.
I guess you could say that Marley sets the standard for all of our labs.
"The Lord is my strength,my song, and my salvation."
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