Imagine my surprise in being greeted at the door by LW in a bright pink collar! After the initial shock, Trish asked with a smile “doesn’t she look pretty in pink?” So much for my image of the grand, majestic Labrador Retriever! Somehow, I just couldn’t picture this regal, steadfast and mighty friend of man ready to trudge through fields and forests in search of the next rugged outdoor adventure, while wearing a pink day glow accessory actually visible from space! But admittedly, it does rather suit her personality.
Why the story about the collar? Well, at initial placement with their foster family, puppies are wearing The Seeing Eye (TSE) version of a "baby bracelet:" a small, plastic band bearing the pup’s name and identification number, where a collar would normally go . This is similar to those found on the wrists of human babies in hospital nurseries (and, frankly, every bit as cute and symbolic).
While some families choose to remove this collar upon arrival; we always wait until it has nearly been outgrown. This “changing of the collar” is a melancholy moment, bringing with it the reality that our little one has begun the first of many steps toward growing up (a fact we could largely deny until this very moment). And of course as time passes, this new item will be traded for her first adult dog collar, followed by a training collar, and before you know it a full-fledged working harness as she graduates “TSE College.” But let's not think about that just now. They grow up very fast, and precious few are the days this little girl can be “pretty in pink.”