Maisie started out small and has stayed small. She was barely the size of Jake's head when we met her, a 10-week-old black lab puppy in dire need of a new home. She was skinny and sad, with the sweetest little face.
Jake's not all that fond of puppies so I was in the market for an adult dog to keep him company, but after a maddening six-month period during which we learned just how freakishly nuts private pet rescue groups can be, when a friend called with news of a lab puppy, I was willing to give it a try.
The minute Jake saw Maisie, he dropped down on the ground in front of her and rolled over. She jumped on his neck and started chewing. They lay there like that for a good long while and that was that. She was his, he was hers, and I had just doubled the pet food bill.
Ever since then, Jake and Maisie are inseparable. She's very, very sure she's Maisie, but she's also pretty sure she's Jake. I don't think she's always quite aware that he's his own dog. Which he is. When Maisie gets to be too much, just a little too much love even for noble, patient Jake, he lifts his upper lip just a fraction, and that's that. She backs off, chastened. (For maybe five seconds.)
The whole point of this is to say that, while we thought Maisie would grow into a nice, big, healthy lab, she has, in fact, remained a nice, tiny, healthy lab. Except for her tongue, which wouldn't look wrong on a St. Bernard. Here she is, running (yes, illegally) on the beach. Seriously, how can she even see with that thing in her face?