They say a dog is a man's best friend, and Ranger exemplifies that at its best. I drove six hours to pick Ranger up, got out of my truck, and he ran right to me wagging his tail. A bond was instantly created. Ranger truly is my right hand man and has impacted my life from the moment I brought him home. The biggest way that Ranger has impacted my life was last fall when I lost my grandpa. I will never forget the first drive in my truck I had after that happened and the moment that I knew Ranger truly was my best friend. I was driving in a world of emotion, and Ranger was in the passenger seat. Knowing that I was not my normal self, he came over to the driver's side (knowing he usually gets in trouble for that) and nudged my shoulder and licked my face. He really is my best buddy.
I could say that any day with Ranger is the best day I have had with him. If I had to narrow it down to just one day, it would be the first day I ran him in a hunt test. Even though it was just a started test, I was a nervous wreck. The day started with a few hour drive to the test. My dad was driving, I was in the passenger seat, and Ranger and Fig were in their Gunner Kennels. This was a special day because it was Ranger’s first hunt test, and the first test I went to with my dad. Ranger went two for two in his first two started tests despite the nerves of his handler. Even though it was just a started test, he and his dad had a blast!
Ranger recently ran his first two finished tests and got two passes. All of the work that it took to get there is courtesy of my dad. As much as Ranger loves me, he loves to work even more. He has one of the best “off switches” I have ever seen on a dog. He can be sitting on the couch being a big teddy bear but as soon as he hears, “Let’s go work!” he is all business. His drive and determination to work is off the charts. In the field he is a beast, always wanting more. My dad has trained him as well as our other labs throughout all stages. He began training him as a puppy, I ran him in started, and dad ran him in seasoned and finished. My goal is to be able to handle him myself in his last two finished tests to get his finished title. Day in and day out, Ranger shows up to work always fired up and ready to go. The best part about my dad training Ranger and also training me to handle him is the quality time that he and I get to spend together bonding over the things that we both care about.
Anyone who has ever been around Ranger knows that his personality is where he stands out. He is the sweetest and most loving dog I have ever been around. Ranger is most definitely a people pleaser. Whenever he does something he knows he shouldn't, he immediately is apologetic and tries to make sure you know he is sorry. One of Ranger’s most desirable traits is the love and attachment he has to me. If I go somewhere, he wants to be with me. I have to travel frequently for work, and when I leave, Ranger sits on my bed and looks down the driveway for me to come home. If he is inside and I leave, he will sit at the door and whine when I am gone. When he is in the house with me, he is the biggest lover. I work from my home office when I am not traveling for work, and he is always sitting right next to me all day while I work. If I leave my office during the day, he is right on my hip. When I walk to the barn to get in my truck and tell him to come on, he will spin circles in excitement knowing that he gets to go on a ride with me.
One of people’s favorite things about Ranger’s personality is his love for affection. If he is sitting on the couch and you rub him and stop, he will nudge you with his head or paw wanting more. He can never have enough love! From being my office co-worker to all of our late night ice cream runs, he really is my best friend.
Ranger truly is my best friend. People say you always have that one dog that changes your life. For me, that’s Ranger. In just the two years I have had with him, he has been with me on some of my best and worst days, and I know he will stick with me no matter what.
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