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Bauer has the ability to turn a cranky, annoying teenager into a baby talking, snuggle partner. He has the power to turn a grumpy, tired man into a teddy bear. I have seen him turn a headstrong 11-year-old into a mushy, loveable kid. I have felt him turn a really crappy day completely around. Last night, I witnessed him do the same for a stranger.

We were out for a walk, and DH asked if I could grab a couple things on the way home. I stopped at the grocery store, and Bauer waited patiently in the car. As I was putting the bag in the back, the cart-boy (a very sweet developmentally disabled guy) walked over to help. He saw Bauer, and said, "Awww, I love dogs." I told him that he was very friendly, and he could pet him if he wanted. He stuck his hand out for Bauer to sniff, and after sniffing Bauer put his paw on his hand to shake. They shook hands, and he started to pet him. Bauer got very close to face, and I said, "He is a kisser, you better watch out." He said he didn't mind, and let Bauer lick his face. Bauer was standing on the back seat of my SUV, and was just about eye level with him. The guy was petting him, and then Bauer leaned forward and put his head on the guys shoulder (like he was trying to hug him). They stood there like that for a couple of seconds, and then the guy stepped backward and said to Bauer, "Thanks, that really made my day." Bauer is very snuggly and loving at home, but usually when he meets a new person he has a hard time containing his excitement. He was so calm with him, and it was like he sensed what the guy needed. I was so proud of him.

I am sure that everyone has a story like this, so please share!
 

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Awww, what a good boy!!!

Tucker actually surprised me with his understanding a couple of months ago...Tucker has ALWAYS been pretty hyper and a jumper when people come into the house...I have been working with him since day one, but nothing has really changed...well, my dad has been battling cancer for a few years and is pretty frail at this point...he is terrified of Tucker knocking him over so whenever my dad comes over, I always hold Tucker REALLY tight until he calms down...one day, my dad walked in before I had a chance to grab Tucker...I was SHOCKED...Tucker was SO gentle...you could tell he was DYING to jump, but recognized the situation...he stayed back a few feet from my dad, tail wagging a mile a minute and did mini jumps away from my dad, careful not to touch him...as my dad walked into the house, Tucker followed slowly a few feet behind, tail still wagging a mile a minute...to this day, Tucker knows not to jump or overwhelm when my dad comes over ...it is really sweet!

Also, my B/F has 3 kids...almost 8 year old twins (one of which is autistic) and a 4 year old...the first time they met him, I wasn't sure how he was going to respond...he really has never been around kids...he is GREAT! They LOVE him...he is so gentle and it is interesting because typically when someone runs around, that gets Tucker SUPER excited because he thinks the person wants to play with him...he is actually smart enough to realize when the kids want to play vs. my B/F's son just running around because of an autistic stem...Tucker continues to amaze me with his sensitivity to situations and the way he relates to my B/F's son.
 

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What a good dog Bauer!

My Rocky loves people, but only after he knows they are 'okay'. He would never nip anyone but he does let out a bark at times. And the little stinker will act nice and friendly and let people get close and give him one pet but then at times he lets out a big woof!
 

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I get hugs like that from Eddie every day. I think it is more for him than for me but I ain't complaining! He is not a stranger lover so if he goes over to a stranger it is a real biggie!

I have had a cold all week and spent two days at home. At one point I sat in the recliner next to the sliding door while waiting for the little dogs to come in. The next hing I knew, Eddie climbed up one leg at a time onto my lap and stuck his head under my chin licked my neck a couple of times then got off. I felt a whole lot better!
 

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That is sooo cool! Thanks for sharing it! Tal and Barney get all beside themselves when they meet someone new. When someone new comes along though, they are getting better about not jumping...still a ways to go but progress!
 

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Aw, good boy, Bauer. That is a really touching story, and I'm sure the guy will remember the encounter for a long time.

Our encounter from today doesn't come close to being the same, but we were at the dog park early this afternoon, and there was an older guy there with his wheelchair-bound adult son. They didn't have a dog themsleves, but they obviously had been there before. I think the father brings his son there every week to get out and to see the dogs. And it was funny, there were lots of dogs being wild and running and playing hard all around them, but none of them even came close to knocking them over or making it dangerous. And a number of them, including both of our labs, actively went over and said hello... the son was so happy to be meeting and petting the dogs. Toby decided this was a good opportunity for a butt-rub, and he oh-so-slowly backed up to the wheelchair and basically tried to put himself in the guy's lap... though gently. I'm not sure who enjoyed it more, the son pretty much had Toby in a full-on hug on his lap. And when I called him off and told Toby "sorry, you can't go for a ride with your new friend" I swear the guy in the wheelchair was going to tell me otherwise and the dad was laughing pretty hard. I'm also not sure which of them had the bigger grin.

Reminds me I really should find the time to get my dogs certified for therapy work in the hospitals here.
 

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Debi,
Thanks for sharing that... it made my day and it is early morning here. Though there a good amount of labs w/ the propensity, "Way to go Bauer!", credit to you for raising him is such a loving way- that says a lot about you too.


Cheers and you might think of getting Bauer into some therapy work. They have reading programs at libraries with kids and dogs, I just heard of this at a Dog Scout meeting.

Doug and Tiegan, CGC
 

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Back in 1992, my mom was visiting nursing homes with the church. Whenever she went, she left Kasa, our 2 YO yellow lab sitting in the car. Kasa was not formally trained, never therapy certified, a rambunctious puppy. The nurses saw her in the car and asked to bring her in. Kasa went from one patient to another gently greeting them all as if she had been trained to do that. There was one woman who never smiled or spoke until she met Kasa. When the nursing home moved to another location, Kasa was invited to visit there. I noticed how different she was with the elderly when my mom hosted a senior citizens picnic. She went around to all of them and allowed them to pet her. Both my mom and Kasa have since passed away, and I imagine them at Heaven's gates greeting people coming there from nursing homes.
 

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I had a yellow lab named Roxy when I lived in a bad neighborhood where most dogs were drug protecting pitbulls. One day there were 2 little boys walking down the street when I got out of the car with Roxy. She was never on a leash, never needed to be. They froze, they were so terrified of dogs. I immediately put her in a sit next to me and talked to the boys for a while. They eventually were coaxed over and slowly began to pet her. Well, they quickly became friends. I told the boys they could take her into the back yard away from the street to play with her there. The were so amazed when they found she could catch a frisbee.

After that it was a common occurence for me, while doing dishes, to see the boys standing in my driveway by the window yelling "Can Roxy come out and play?" They would play with her for a couple hours a couple times a week in my yard. They were underprivelidged, never had a dog and the ones they met weren't very nice. I was glad I was able to teach them to always be cautious of dogs, but not to fear them. I also loved that Roxy would be so tired out after. She was a super hyper lab, but not the day they met her. Not until they were comfortable with her. I always loved that she chose to be calm until they overcame their fears.
 
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