Last But Not Least…

Meet Hatchie.

hatchie

Hatchie River Moonshine is the name my husband came up with.  Sometimes we call him Hatchie, and sometimes we call him Hatch.  Or Big Hatch.  

He’s one of Pearl’s eight puppies, and he’s the one we originally decided to keep.  For whatever reason, I got it into my head that if Pearl had yellows in her litter, I wanted the lightest one.  Well, I got him.  Of course, we ended up with his brother, Duke, too.

I love Hatchie.  I think he’s beautiful, and his fur is so soft that just petting him soothes the soul.  He’s very much like Pearl — muscular, solid, and a water-loving lab if ever there were one.  (Duke couldn’t care less about staying in the water.  Bless it.)

He’s also a little, um….well…..peculiar.  While Duke is laid back (to the extreme), Hatch is the opposite.  He’s a little nervous.  And he doesn’t really want to have much to do with a certain 2 1/2 -year-old who lives here.  He’s not one of those labs who will let children pull on him and lay all over him.  Poor Hatch.  Tater Tot has practically traumatized him, and whenever he sees the little tike running toward him, Hatchie runs for cover.

To get away from Tater Tot, Hatchie has learned to climb behind whomever is sitting on the sofa and seek refuge out of reach from the little fellow’s hands.

hatchie-cat

See?  It’s like he’s a 75-pound cat or something.

Sometimes he hides under my desk.

hatchie-hides

Bless his heart.  It hasn’t always been this way.  When Tater Tot was a baby, he would let him sit right next to him, and Hatchie would stay as still as a statue.

tt-and-hatchie

But as Tater Tot got older and discovered those ears, Hatchie decided that having the protruding parts of his body pulled was not the way he wanted to spend the next few years, so he turned the boy over to his very sweet but slightly dim-witted brother.  Duke and Tater Tot have been best buddies ever since.

Now, don’t let me give the impression that Hatchie doesn’t love Tater Tot.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  He sleeps at Tater Tot’s door.  Oh, he does his fair share of roaming throughout the night, but he always returns to stand guard.

When Tater Tot cries, Hatchie almost always gets to him first, followed by Pearl, of course.  If Tater Tot cries when he wakes from his nap, Hatchie comes to me to make sure I’ve heard him.  And he’ll stay right with us until everything is all better.  He just doesn’t move in close enough to be attacked touched by Tater Tot’s little hands.

And when strangers come to the door?  Well, Hatch and Duke have a system worked out.  Duke stays at the door and barks endlessly, blocking the visitor’s entrance.  And Hatchie?  He goes immediately to Tater Tot and sits (0r follows him around if Tater Tot is one the move).  He doesn’t bark or growl.  But if you watch him you’ll see that every muscle is tense, and he is always between the stranger and the toddler.   My husband and I joke that Duke is the bouncer and Hatch is the bodyguard.  Once we tell the dogs that everything is okay, they settle down and go about their business.

I think that once Tater Tot grows out of thinking that the dogs exist purely for his entertainment, he and Hatchie will be great friends.  We’re working on teaching Tater Tot to be gentle with the dogs and to show them love.  And last night, Hatchie stayed still long enough for Tater Tot to pet him softly for a few minutes, followed by a hug.  

In all honesty, I don’t know that I want to have four dogs at the same time and in the house EVER AGAIN, but I wouldn’t trade our herd for anything.  They all have their quirks, and Lord knows they shed enough hair daily to stuff a twin mattress.  But it’s true that a dog’s love is unconditional.  They’re always happy to see us.  They don’t have temper tantrums, and they don’t tell us “NO!” 83 times a day.  They’re loyal and they protect our home and our family without fail.  All they ask in return is a tummy rub every now and then.

And maybe a bone to chew on.

hatchie-has-the-bone

(I didn’t mention Zeus in here because, well, he doesn’t have much to do with any of the other dogs.  If you missed the post about the old dog, here’s a link).

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Meg @ Spicy Magnolia
    Feb 09, 2009 @ 09:28:27

    I love meeting your puppy angels!

    Reply

  2. Kim H.
    Feb 09, 2009 @ 09:46:52

    Oh my gosh – he’s adorable… and a fearce protector – I love that. I’m sure that when Tater gets a little older that they’ll be very close buddies… I mean who else can throw a ball in a game of fetch for longer than a young boy? I know I wear out much sooner than the kids that come to visit my dogs. 🙂

    Reply

  3. Kelley
    Feb 09, 2009 @ 12:04:08

    Thank goodness you have big dogs. I always say, if you’re going to get a dog, get a DOG. : )

    Reply

  4. thefarmerfiles
    Feb 09, 2009 @ 19:00:55

    Would love to see Tater next to Hatchie now, because Hatchie looks huge in that pic!

    Reply

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