Joanna all grown up. Mostly.

Joanna - guilty face, resting on my couch pillow.
Joanna resting on my couch pillow. She’s not allowed on the couch, as you can see.

I thought it was high time I wrote a follow up to my original Joanna story, “Meet Joanna. She may be my unraveling.”  My rambunctious labrador Joanna turned 5 years old in August, and I’m happy to report, these days she uses her powers mostly for good and not evil. Mostly.

Seriously? Who can resist this guilty face with a dirty nose?
Seriously? Who can resist this guilty face with a dirty nose?

Of course she has her moments. She once stole a stick of butter off the counter and another time she ate an entire ball of fresh mozzarella. If she gets in the bathroom, she will rip up the toilet paper and drag it through the house – but everyone does that, right?  And then on Mother’s Day of all days, Joanna snatched a sandwich right out of my hand and swallowed it whole.

Joanna got hold of the paper towels :)
Joanna with the paper towels 🙂 She helps with the cleaning.

One of the worst moments was when Joanna pulled a garbage bag from under my neighbor’s fence. She tore it to shreds, dragged it through our yard and rolled in it. We were never able to determine what was in there, but it was the most offensive smell we’ve ever encountered. I gave Joanna 4 baths and even had to brush her teeth… while I was wrangling 5 kids running around the house holding their noses and screaming. It was that bad.

For a long time, I wouldn’t admit that I even liked Joanna… and definitely not that I loved her.

Joanna on pillow
I didn’t do it. Nobody saw me do it.

The first time I realized I was a goner was when Joanna was playing with my sister’s dog Holly. They were racing through the yard at breakneck speed when Joanna squealed in pain. I jumped out of my seat to examine her… and I had tears in my eyes. She was fine, but I knew right then and there that I was hopelessly head-over-heals, doomed in love.

Joanna with her favorite pig. Usually they only last one day -- but this one is hanging on!
Joanna with her favorite pig. Usually they only last one day, but this one is hanging on… one ear and no tail, but still in one piece.

It dawned on me that my naughty puppy is all goodness, through and through.  She loves me and can’t wait to see me. Children can do anything to her. She doesn’t even flinch if they step or fall on her. If they pull her ears or lay on her, she gives a lick.  Every morning, she wiggles with joy and leans her full weight against me, as I rub her adorable tummy.  This food-driven beast will even wait for breakfast and ignore her overwhelming obsession to eat – to first get some love from her family.

I now love Joanna’s exuberance. She is packed full of personality. When she dreams, we mute the TV and silently giggle while her feet go like mad and she woofs in her sleep.  I can’t help but smile when she eats flying bugs in the yard, hopping and chomping at the air. Some of her funniest moments are when she gets the “zoomies” and bursts into frenetic-crazy puppy mode, charging around the house.  Our goal is to not get run over.

Joanna and Alvin making friends on my designer dog bed, formerly beautiful chair and a half.
Joanna and Alvin making friends on my designer dog bed, formerly beautiful chair and a half.

And now, our cat Alvin has warmed up to her.  Alvin slowly slinks across the floor while Joanna mercilessly hovers over him, tail a-wagging. Joanna then proceeds to push her nose against Alvin, smelling every inch, trying to suck the cat up through her nose like a vacuum cleaner. Alvin reacts by giving furry purry kisses.

So as you can see… I hate that dog, lol!  When she looks at me with that guilty expression… how can I resist?  She is still clumsy and blissfully unaware of personal space, a food thief, and a stuffed animal’s worst nightmare — but she is also delightfully sweet, loving, gentle, and pretty darn funny.  I look forward to seeing her when I get home… and I worry about her when I’m not home.  Joanna has stolen my heart.

Joanna at 11 weeks. Can't resist.
Joanna at 11 weeks. This is the only reason she survived puppy-hood.

Would I ever get another puppy? I have said NO again and again, but truthfully… I could probably get talked into it.  Please don’t tell my son I said that.

2 thoughts on “Joanna all grown up. Mostly.

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