By the time Graham was one and a half years old, he knew at least 150 words or phrases, which we documented, because it was so funny how he learned English. If he didn’t understand something, he would cock his head to try to figure it out. I could introduce him to someone 2-3 times and he would then remember their names after asking him to find them.
For the first 9 years of his life, Graham and I would take forty-five minutes to a one hour daily walk together — often just the two of us and sometimes with friends. When he was about 8 years old, he started getting a little bit pokey on a bike and hike trail that we always walked on, especially in the summertime. On the way back, all I would have to do was say the magic word “BAGEL” and Graham would pick up his pace, knowing that a half of a bagel would soon be in his gut. Gluttonous desire for food could always bring him about to a fast trot. I just can’t understand why “BAGEL” is not a universal word in the realm of obedience training, such as sit, come or stay…
Graham taught me truth and the meaning of pure unconditional love. He tolerated every thing he was given; with his never ending cheerful personality. I often wonder where I would be today without the true constant of Graham in my daily life. During his lifetime he helped me through some very hard periods. He always filled me with comfort and joy and I miss him to this day. Graham left us in 2002 and we had a small ceremony to honor him for his special gift of just being.
This is a watercolor painting that I did of Graham when he was about a year and a half old. I miss him to this day…This is dedicated to all of the Yellow Labs in the world who have the same loving devotion and disposition.