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For those that want to read it here it is.

Julie wasn't sure where to post it but if you want to move it feel free to do so :)

Corrie is coming up for 12 on 26th May. He has been through a lot in his life but he is still the same old Corrie. Here is a short version of his life story so far….

I was his third owner - and that is excluding the breeder. I was looking for a Lab as my parents were moving away up to Scotland and taking my best friend with them, their black Lab Prince who sadly had to be put to sleep last summer at the age of 13. My parents thought I was mad getting a dog of my own working full time but I was determined and a few months after getting Corrie, my parents understood and realised how much he meant to me and what a lovely dog he is – and they spoil him and love him just as much as I do.

My first port of call on the hunt for a Lab was the local animal refuge – they interviewed me but I don’t think they liked the idea that I was just looking for a Lab, I was single living on my own, in a house that had a fenced garden etc etc, especially when I saw a lovely old Lab come in looking for a home, he was a yellow Lab called Coco. I enquired about him and immediately got a response in an off way ‘no, you can’t have him’. I was not impressed with the way they treated me so decided to check the local paper on a weekly basis on a Friday morning as soon as I got into the office.

I went to see one Lab bitch that was advertised but she wouldn’t come anywhere near me – so she was a no no.

Corrie the beginning…

Anyway, one Friday morning I saw and advert in the local paper for a 7 month old black Lab. I immediately rang up and asked if I could go and see the dog, it was no problem and I could go straight away was the response. My next phone call was to my best Lab friend J, she has five black Labs, she was at work also but ran out of her office to mine when I told her I was going to see a Lab and off we went, this was at 10am!

We got to this little terraced house down the back streets of Carlisle and knocked on the door. This lovely lady came to the door and let us in and Corrie came running over to me and was all over me. I decided that he was the dog for me straight away - so went straight back into town to the bank, followed by pet shop then back to pick Corrie up. I had him back in my office snuggled up in his new bed by 1pm. This is where his adventure started!!

Of course the first thing he did in the office was wee on the carpet, well, he had to make sure it was going to remain his office and make his mark!! All my clients that day came in and made such a fuss of him he thought it was great, he was in a dream!! After work I took him home with me, a house I shared with my sister and where I still live today. The first thing he did when he came into the house was wee again, but after that he was really very good at going in the garden. As I had my hands full with him that evening I treated myself to a curry from Marks and Spencers so cooked it and ate most of it but put the rest in the bin which was on the kitchen floor. BIG MISTAKE!!! I had to nip up to the shop so left Corrie in the kitchen – when I came back the bin had been emptied and the rubbish everywhere, and the left over curry had been eaten.

That night I decided to go to the pub to catch up with some friends, so took Corrie with me. I didn’t have an estate car then so put Corrie on the back seat which was covered in a blanket. Driving to the pub, which is about six miles away, I all of a sudden got a whiff of curry but just put it down to Corrie’s breath! When I got to the pub I looked on the back seat and he had been sick! Anyway it all got cleaned up and the blanket put in the boot!! My friend’s from the pub all came out to make a fuss of him and all thought he was wonderful.

After a few more trips in the car and a few more bouts of sickness I realised that Corrie suffered from carsickness. I took him to see the mother of a friend of mine, she was a big animal lover and had black Labs of her own. She knew I had been looking for a Lab and was so delighted to see Corrie and thought he was a fine specimen of the breed. She was such a wealth of information that I asked her what she would do about Corrie and his carsickness. Her response was to put him on the front seat for a few trips in the car and see how he got on then gradually get him used to being in the back again. This I did and sure enough when he was on the front seat he was never carsick and eventually I got him used to being on the back seat again and he was fine. Since then he has travelled thousands of miles in the car and never been sick since.

His first night in my house I put him in the kitchen in his bed – he cried and cried, but I was strong for the first few nights but then I gave in and allowed him to sleep where he wanted which thankfully was the best thing I ever did. Not long after I got him, one night my sister and I were fast asleep in bed and at 2am in the morning Corrie was barking his head off and wouldn’t come to me when I called him. I ended up going downstairs and dragging him back up the stairs and then went back to bed. It wasn’t until I got up for work at 7am I realised we had been burgled – Corrie was obviously telling me that there was someone in the house. From that night onwards Corrie has always had the run of the house which sometimes caused him to get very naughty and into trouble.

Corrie the naughty!…

He was naughty from the day I got him, he chewed the chair in the kitchen and also the kitchen table, chewed his way through two sets of carpet tiles, dug holes in the kitchen wall, chewed his bedding and bed. But the best has to be the day he managed to shut himself in my sister’s bedroom. If you can just imagine an 18 month old black Lab sitting on a double bed surrounded by clothes strewn everywhere (by him, not by my sister) a chewed shoe in his mouth, a shredded hatbox and a big smile on his face. This was the sight I saw when I found him one day when I got home from work. I had a bit of explaining to do to my sister!!

There were days when I could pull my hair and cry with the antics he got up to, I even used to tell him I would take him to the animal refuge – but of course I wouldn’t have done really. He has done numerous other things too but I can’t remember them all, wish I had kept a diary of them, but even today he still gets up to mischief when he has his puppy moments!

Corrie and his health…

When I first got him Corrie had the most dreadful runs, the food he had been on previously hadn’t agreed with him, so after almost a year of trying different things and with the vets help I discovered the right diet for Corrie was tinned meat and winalot and this is what he has been on ever since. Corrie has had usual problems like having to have fatty lumps removed, having the dreaded snip and has never battered an eyelid about going to the vets.

About 9 years ago Corrie came to sit at my feet one night whilst I was watching TV. He looked at me and I noticed a slight cloudiness in his eyes, I knew immediately what the problem was – he had cataracts. I took him to the vets I was using then and he confirmed this but then looked down at me and said “do you realise this is going to cost a lot of money if he has to have the cataracts removed eventually, he will have to go up to Edinburgh” The look on the vets face was one of ‘can you afford this’. This made me rather angry, Corrie was a big part of my life and came first and I would do anything and everything for him. A couple of months later I was at a BBQ at a friends house, my friends sister was a veterinary nurse at another practice and I was telling her how this vet had spoken to me. She then told me about a new vet that had started work at the practice she worked at he was a small animal eye specialist. Without any hesitation whatsoever I made an appointment for Corrie to see him and what a wonderful vet he was too. He thoroughly examined Corries eyes, explained everything to me and said that if necessary in the years to come if Corrie needed to have his cataracts removed he could do the operations. This practice is only 10 mins from home and I have used them ever since. Worse was to come though.

7 years ago I was house sitting for some friends. One night at about 7pm I let their dogs out and Corrie for a run up the yard. My friends three dogs came back but Corrie didn’t. I walked up and down the village and fields calling him but he never appeared, I had no idea where he had gone. A friend of mine came round for supper, still Corrie didn’t reappear. My friend left about 11pm and still there was no Corrie. At about 11.30pm I heard a crash of something falling up the yard – I ran out to the gate and there was Corrie sitting there. He had knocked over a gate that was leaning up against an outbuilding and this is what I heard fall. I was cross with him and told him to get to his bed and he duly ran upstairs to the bedroom I was sleeping in and got into his bed. Thankfully I followed him up there and once he got into his bed I noticed his eyes were closed even though he was just sitting there – I found this rather odd and tried to open his eyes to look inside but he wouldn’t let me. I rang the vets and the vet on duty told me to take him straight there, which I did. We got to the vets and she examined his eyes and told me that something had penetrated his eyeball. Just at this moment we heard someone come in through the reception door – thankfully it was the eye specialist vet, he lived on the premises and had just come back from taking his dogs for a walk before going to bed. He came in and looked at Corrie’s eye and told me that he was going to keep him in and make him comfortable and x-ray him in the morning. I got back to my friends house and all their dogs couldn’t understand were Corrie was. It was a long long night.

Next morning the vet rang me and told me that Corrie had been shot at and that a piece of shot had gone straight though his eyeball and it was visible on his x-ray. I couldn’t believe it, mind, you I had no idea where Corrie had been the night before or what he had done but he might have deserved what he got. My priority was to get him better and free of pain. The vets were brilliant and Corrie had an operation to drain the fluid of his eye which they tested to make sure he was on the right antibiotics. A week later he had a second operation this time to remove the cataracts – this took its toll on both of us, I was having to put drops in his eyes every two hours which meant I got little sleep and poor Corrie was still in some pain. He would open his eyes and all you would see was the white of his eyes, this was because he was turning his eyes because he was in pain. After discussions with the vet and our concern for the pain Corrie obviously was in, it was decided to operate again and remove the eyeball. This happened and the vet dissected the eyeball but could not find the piece of shot and to this day Corrie still has a piece of shot somewhere in his head! When I picked Corrie up after his third operation it was such a shock to see him, not the fact that his eye had been remove and his eyelids stitched together, but the fact that most of his head had been shaved, it was a scary sight. Corrie recovered from this ordeal very well and quickly indeed, even to this day only having one eye doesn’t seem to bother him apart from very occasionally banging into things if he turns quickly and doesn’t see what is nearby. Like a typical Labrador he is more worried about his stomach. Believe it or not after all he has been through he still goes bounding into the vets normally pushing the door open himself!

Corrie and his travels…

As I said earlier Corrie is great in the car. I now have an estate car and for short journeys he goes in the boot. If we are travelling long distance though he has the comfort of the back seat. The reason I do this is that I am one of those people that drives from A to B and only stops for petrol. Corrie soon learnt this and learnt that all he had to do was nudge my shoulder and I would stop at the next services for a wee break if he required one. He still does this to this day. My parents lived up in Scotland for a few years west of Aberdeen and we used to go up there a few times a year, that was a three and a half hour journey. Now my parents are in Devon and that is a six and a half hour journey but Corrie loves it and always gets excited when we get near to my parents house. We often go and visit friends for weekends, or if I can’t take him with me he sometimes goes to Kennels which he loves and can’t get out of the car quick enough when we get there, or, because he has such a wide circle of Lab friends he goes and stays with them. He is never short of a sitter!

Corrie and his friends…

Corrie has been very fortunate on the friends front. First of all. all my friends love him, secondly nearly all my friends have dogs, thirdly about 90% of my friends dogs are black Labs! There are some we see every week and some we see only a few times a year but when ever he meets his friends he always get on with them brilliantly, even though some of the dogs often think he is a bitch – I am sure you know what I mean! I think it has something to do with him having had the snip. My sister, well she just calls him Gaylord!

Prince (my parents last Lab) was a big part in Corries life even though they didn’t see that much of each other. Prince and I were very close, infact when I was about he ignored my parents and would just pay attention to me. He had his nose pushed out a bit when Corrie first arrived on the scene, Prince couldn’t understand why there were two of them to be made a fuss of. However, over the years they became the greatest of friends and when visiting my parents it was like a grand reunion of two long lost friends every time. I remember going down to my parents last year a few weeks after Prince had been put down, Corrie spent ages looking round the house for Prince and couldn’t understand why he wasn’t there. It must have been strange for Corrie, but he soon realised that he was going to get all the attention and that my father still kept treats in the same cupboard where he had always kept them for Prince!!

I think one of Corries best friends is a black Lab called Bobbie who is about 7 now. Going back four years ago and for a period of about two years Bobbie and her owner lodged with Corrie and I. Bobbie and Corrie became the best of friends, having odd moments tearing around the house after each other, going on walks all the time together and keeping each other company.

Just an extra little note. I went out with a man for three months once, not long as he didn’t like animals including dogs! One night he sat down on the sofa, the middle of it. Corrie decided to get on the sofa too and cuddle up to him, my boyfriend moved to the other end of the sofa, Corrie was not impressed!! He was soon pleasantly told – its over, the only time I have ever finished a relationship

For 7 years of Corrie being with me I worked for myself and had my own office so he used to come to work with me most of the time. The last four years I have been employed again, but I am very fortunately that I have several great friends who live seconds away that let Corrie out for me at lunchtimes if for any reason I can’t get home and take him for a walk if necessary.

Corrie and his toys…

Over the years Corrie has had lots of toy, lots of them have ended up in the bin having been chewed. Squeaky toys he loves, but they drive me crazy and normally a biro gets put to the squeak before he gets it. He used to love playing with all his toys, but these days in his older years he prefers a few cuddly ones he has. There is Rudolf the Reindeer which he got last Christmas, he has a lovely soft cuddly body with rope type legs. Then there is Pepps, who is a green furry pepper, and lastly there is Nelly, a blue furry elephant with pink spots. These often get left outside in the rain or covered in mud so periodically end up in the washing machine to Corries disgust then hung from the washing line to dry! Have you ever tried explaining to a Labrador why his cuddly toys have to be washed?

What I have learnt

Next time I will get two black Labradors.
Even through all the tears and hair pulling times – Labradors are worth the perseverance
All the love you give a Labrador you get 100 times more back
They make the greatest friends and confidants
They do understand what you say in their own way – just mention Maltesers to Corrie, he will take you to the shop!

Corrie and Me

To sum him up Corrie is my best friend, I have cried, laughed, loved, played with him and cared for him. Oh yes and on the odd occasions I have sworn at him! I can talk to him about anything and he listens, he gives me the greatest cuddles I have ever wanted, he has been through the ups and down of my life with me and me with him. I know it will not continue forever but long may it continue in the meantime , Corrie and I shall certainly make the post of it.

Corrie my very special friend xxx
 

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Hi sam...

I had read this before and it touched my soul....Read it again the words penetrated into my heart....

Lots of love & hugs to Corrie
 
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lol Anna - this is the drinks mat I found in a pub many years ago and it still sits on my mantle piece today!



This is the other side!!!

 

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Lovely story Sam, thanks so much for sharing it with us.

I have also added it to the stories section of Labforums, along with some photos.

All the best to you & Corrie,

Julie
 
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