Dog Days: Lilly and Grove
To continue the Dog Days series I thought I would add a story about my own childhood dogs, Lilly and Grove. They were my first dogs and the furry beasts that introduced me to how amazing it is to share your life with a canine. I have so many humorous and loving stories about them but below is one of my favourites!
“Lilly and Grove were me and my brother’s birthday present when I turned 6 and he turned 4. I was crazily excited and he was less than impressed. When we picked them up my brother’s first question was “I thought we were getting puppies?” They were 9 week old labradors, but to him they were oversized licking machines. They displayed their personalities on the way home in the car: Grove sitting quietly in his box on my Mum’s lap and Lilly bursting out the top of hers and hopping around the car. Such different puppies to come from the same litter.
If you have seen the movie ‘Marley and Me’ you might remember the scene where Owen Wilson leaves Marley in the garage during a thunderstorm while he picks up his wife from the airport. The scene of destruction that awaits them when they return and open the garage door is not exaggerated for comedic effect. A Labrador can single-handedly rip a place apart, especially after a clap of thunder. Our Labs developed super-powers when a storm rolled in and were able to climb trees, bash open driveway gates, run through fly screen doors, jump two metre fences and even knock a neighbour unconscious! So when a storm was coming it was essential that someone got home quickly!!
Lilly and Grove as puppies in our backyard
The best story that Lilly and Grove provided me combines a good storm with the infamous Labrador stomach. Labs can and will eat anything they can get down their throat. If we left toys in the backyard they were chewed and gone, along with underwear off the line, swimming caps, hoses and lengths of rope.
Our story begins one Saturday night when the family were heading out to a friend’s house. There had been a weather report indicating rain and possible storms, so Mum and Dad left the dogs in the house so they would hopefully feel safe. The next day my Primary School was having a fete and my parents had spent the day preparing the Lucky Dip. This had resulted in 2 very large garbage bags full of girls’ and boys’ lucky dip prizes, approximately 250 in total. The house had been thoroughly dog-proofed and these bags were placed up on the kitchen table. But I know you can tell how this story ends already.
We came home later that night to find little packages strewn all over the house. On closer inspection these packages had been ripped open and one item removed – the ‘Mintie’. If you’re not familiar with Minties, they are little white cubes of the stickiest, chewiest confectionery known to man. Many a tooth filling has succumbed to the sticky grasp of the Mintie. When the lights were all on and we got to the kitchen the scene came into full view. The garage bags had been broken and emptied onto the floor which was covered in half chewed Minties. The dogs were quietly sitting in the corner with a few wrappers stuck to their bodies and a mass of chewy white goop clamping their mouths shut. I am sure there was a bit of cursing from my parents before they put us to bed and stayed up into the late hours buying more lollies, then retrieving and repacking all the gifts.”
Lilly and Grove provided our family with this and many other memories that we have retold and enjoyed for years. I love how much animals enrich our lives and give to us their companions.
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Published on May 8, 2012