Salutations! My name is Shep. As you can see, like my master Rich, I am a handsome fellow.(See his blog about how People Magazine snubbed him again.) Being as I am a dog, you might think that I would not have a lot to say in a web log, in fact it is quite the opposite. Starting at a very young age I have had a voice. I remember the first time Rich came to meet me in the furthest reaches of rural Idaho. He tells me that he drove for many hours with two young children in the hopes of obtaining a companion for the family. As he arrived, myself along with my 11 litter-mates stood at attention at the sound of the minivan pulling into the gravel drive way. I was only 8 weeks old at this time, very small, but boy did I have a voice. We lived in a pretty nice home with lots of straw and acres of land to run around on and I stood up and told Rich all about it. I barked and barked and barked about it. I had lots to tell him about myself. You see I had to tell him that I almost didn't survive being born. My human mother told Rich that I was her "spider puppy" that I was so tiny that I shouldn't have survived. I had to compete with all of my brothers and sisters for food, but by god I did it. Also, my canine mother tugged kind of hard on my umbilical cord creating a hernia in my belly button. I know Rich has a belly button and he finds nice surprises in it, but mine is an outtie because of mom. Long story short I did survive and Rich took me home to Utah to live. I never stopped talking the whole way there. I was sad that I had to leave the only family I had ever known and it made me cry. Rich and his family told me it was going to be ok and they gave me a nice place to live. He taught me how to behave too, because just between you and I, I was a bit of a little shit. As I said I had a lot to say and I said it a lot. Rich told me to be quiet all the time, in fact he still does. But I still need to tell the world all of the wonderful things that go through my big beautiful head. ( I am pretty aren't I?) So I talk. I talk to anyone that will listen. It's kind of funny because the humans that I talk to just look at me in puzzlement and tell me that I need to be quiet. I don't really have an inside voice, I just have to speak at the top of my lungs. Sometimes Rich actually commands me to speak and I let it rip. He seems to really enjoy it when I talk after he tells me too. Sometimes though I do have a quiet voice. In fact the humans don't seem to even hear it, but I think Rich does. Sometimes I stand in front of him and just look at him with my big brown eyes. This gets his attention and he looks at me, I can tell he knows that I am saying things to him. Usually I am saying that I am hungry and want some supper. He just gets it, and he takes me and my other dogs up to the place that he keeps our food and I just chow down. I along with all Labradors absolutely love food.
Sometimes I look at him and tell him I have to go outside and pee, and he gets it. He lets me out so I can go. Other times I just look at him and tell him I need a hug and he gets down on my level and gives me attention. I act like I don't want it, but I really do. My other humans love me too. I have a boy that comes to visit me every weekend and sometimes he just won't leave me alone. Don't tell my other dogs but he loves me the best! I have it pretty good I must admit. My humans give me everything I need and I will keep telling anyone who wants to listen. By the way, thank you for listening to me.