Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Posted June 4, 2015
My family had made several trips to pet stores and shelters but couldn't find just the right dog for us. Then we met Dakota. My father was so taken with him that he sat with Dakota in his cage until Mom finished all the paperwork. We were never given any cause to regret taking him home with us.
Dakota was a black lab/chow mix. I can't recommend the breed enough. He had the size of a lab, with the full coat of a chow chow, and the friendliness of a lab. He even had the chow's characteristic black tongue! What a perfect combination! Absolutely gorgeous to look at but without the negative traits often associated with chows. Losing him broke several hearts.
This boy was a great big softy. Dakota loved laying out on the lawn with Dad and always wanted to go for a ride when I left the house. When we got a puppy a few years after he joined the family, Dakota was fabulous with her. He was both patient and playful, watching out for her like a big brother.
Dakota's only vice was chasing groundhogs - which, I'm happy to add, he rarely ever caught. He only ever damaged property once; when youths taunted him through a partially open car window while we were shopping, he chewed on a seatbelt. Not a bad record for any dog.
I don't know if we just got very lucky, or if these are traits shared by many black lab/chows, but I would always recommend one as a family pet.