Four-Legged Full Family Fun!
Macey has brought a lot of enjoyment to our family. She is mild-tempered and always eager to play. With 5 kids in the family, she is matched pound for pound in the play department.
For the past year, we’ve loved watching the special level of companionship that the kids have developed with her. From trips to the lake, hikes in the hills, and everywhere in-between… Macey and her constantly wagging tail join us on every adventure.
Here are a few reasons that have lead us to believe that she truly is the best family dog!
Patience – This golden retriever has the “patience of Job.” Our youngest child cannot contain his excitement surrounding Macey. He is 8 months old. He follows her everywhere throughout the house. Then, when he manages to catch up to her… he pulls and pushes and perturbs the best he knows how. She puts up with him through it all.
Even when he sinks his four little, recently gums-crested teeth into her coat. Macey will make sure to look at my wife and I with an eye brow raise that seems to suggest “You’re seeing this right? That last nibble just increased my petting quota from you by 8 more minutes/day.” (I’m convinced that she has an internal petting clock… Currently she requires about 15 minutes of daily petting)
Intelligence – We own chickens. Macey is a golden retriever. She is fascinated by the 14 feathered friends that graze in our backyard. Every now and then, one or more of the chickens will decide that they want to graze on grass in Macey’s portion of our backyard. They’ll fly over their fence and trespass into Macey’s 1/2 acre dog run. Now… the first few times that this happened, we would return home and see Macey pinning down a chicken. There would be evidence of chase and scuffle with trails of feathers in the dog run area. The birds would always be frightened, but intact. Macey would watch as we would avoid giving her affection and would focus our efforts on comforting the fowl and returning them back to their coop. This happened about half a dozen times. Each time, I would refrain from giving Macey affection in hopes of teaching her that this behavior was unacceptable.
It wasn’t until my wife noticed that Macey wasn’t aggressively attacking the chickens… she was preventing them from escaping. After escaping their chicken-run, they could potentially also escape from the dog-run. Then they’d have access to other portions of our property… including our garden. Macey stops them from escaping and and holds them down until we find them and escort them back to their coop. No more withholding affection and petting from that point on. Now when I find that she saved another chicken… she gets double the quota of daily petting allotment.
Entertainment/Engagement – This aspect of Macey being a great family dog can be summed up in the experience of her fetching and retrieving items. The kids absolutely love throwing balls and sticks… only to have her diligently return them. My favorite retrieving practice requires her to stretch out her legs a little more. I enjoy trying to golf. I’m not that good. I have a pitching wedge and some tennis balls. I imagine that I’m Tiger Woods on the 11th hole in Callaway Gardens. I’m actually a very novice golf hack that likes to whack tennis balls in his front yard.
Most times I whiff at the ball. Every once in a while I connect and send the tennis ball in a lobbing arc across the yard. Macey bolts after it and tries to snag it out of the air. Then she’ll return the ball right back to me. I can’t help but think that she chuckles to herself knowing that she’s got a good 8 minutes to rest before I make contact with the ball again… It is a very fun form of entertainment.
I didn’t grow up with a dog. We had a cat household when I was young. Not a crazy-cat-lady household of cats… Just your average adopt-every-stray-cat-in-the-neighborhood household. Our cats didn’t want our attention. I’m amazed at how much Macey thrives on having our attention. We couldn’t ask for a better family dog.