2018 – What A Year
The end of 2018 is approaching and it has been a fantastic year for Lab Photo of The Day. I could not have imagined that this page would bring together so many followers and lab enthusiasts! We are proud and so privileged to share your photos. Every morning is like Christmas in our office because although we plan, we never know which photo is going to hit the coveted spot of the day – it will never stop being exciting! We never get tired of looking at labs – never. We get pumped up to post the coveted spot. We take pride in choosing the photo. I can’t tell you how, what, why we choose – I really can’t – I just know we have to feel it. I have pledged to stay true to our original formula from our first post on Facebook in 2013: we look, get excited over a shot, look, color or story and then we post. Every photo is fantastic, all of your labs are amazing and we review each and every follower and photo that hits our mailbox, inbox text message – plane, train or automobile we don’t care how it gets to us we look at it. I know that this process has slowed us down a bit as of late, but until more hands and eyes come along we do the best we can.
This has been an exhausting, exhilarating and hard working year. This year we learned a lot about labs, we mean really and truly learned about what these dogs can do. We all know they look damn good in photos but what most people do not know is just how hard YOU all work to get these dogs at the top of their game. The amount of knowledge, time and dedication that goes into a champion dog, a hunting dog, a field trial dog – a working lab – is truly amazing and not be discounted.
A dual purpose lab that is all business in the field and all love in the home does not happen by accident. It starts with good breeding however, that doesn’t always guarantee a winning outcome. But that’s okay because what we have learned is that the dog has to love what he is doing more than anything. The well-being and happiness of the dog comes first and it shows when the dog is in his element and happy to do his “job.” A lab doing his/her job in the field looks intimidating: muscles bulging, dead on stare, incredible self restraint, on point with commands wearing a sleek vest, collars, camo. Suddenly your labs are not dogs; they’re Navy SEALS. They’re lean, mean fighting machines. Heavyweight Champs of The World. Triple Crown Winners. Olympic Gold Medalists. Hell, they are all of that and more. And a lab at rest after an arduous and rewarding day in the field is a picture of peace and happiness. A dog that wants lay on the couch and hang out with the family. That’s all lab, and that’s why we love ’em.
I can not think of any other sport that asks its athlete to do the best job of going against his instincts. To surrendering his prize, to train hard and wait, to go hard all the time, to work in any climate, and do it again; again – and again. Imagine trying to train a thoroughbred to wait once it hears and sees the opening of the gates. Is this even possible? I don’t know but I do know this: a lab can do it. A lab can swim in icy water. A lab can be in a full sprint and hear a whistle, stop dead in its tracks, turn around, view a hand signal from as far as 200 yards (may be more) away, adjust and continue his job. I don’t think I could do that myself! Could you? (Okay maybe Tom Brady could but who likes The Patriots any way? I’m Ohio bred and all orange and brown.)
I want to personally thank each and every person that looks at Lab Photo of The Day and I am hoping that you make the jump over to Field Dog Life because it is a bigger and better platform. One photo a day is not enough time and attention to give to your dogs and all that you do out there, and it certainly is not enough space to do everything we want to do for our followers and fans. I learned a lot this year. I had the absolute privilege of attending the Super Retriever Series and spoke to some of the premiere trainers and breeders in the country. It was one of the most incredible sporting events that I have seen. I also had the pleasure of meeting the nicest people who were eager to talk and explain every step of the competition. I love the competitive aspect of field trials and the “hard charging” of a day in the field.
We can not get lost in what all of this is for: our best friends, our pride and joy – for the love of dogs. Lab Photo of The Day is here to bring one to many. We are here to shine the light on a sport that is fragmented by its very nature (the number of hunting associations, lodges, breeders, hunting groups, affiliations, local clubs, hunters etc. are many.) We are also here to spread the good word and raise awareness to a very important group of people that need to see just how far you can go with your lab: the next generation of hunters and field dog competitors. Social media is a necessity and we exist because of it. I am not a breeder, expert hunter, field trial judge nor is anyone else in our office. But, we have seen photos and corresponded with tens of thousands of our fans so we have expedited our education on the Labrador Retriever. This is the beauty of our social media; it allowed us to gain a lot of knowledge from many, many sources in one place over a few years time (don’t forget we have been around since 2013 on Facebook, and since 2015 on Instagram!)
Based on the thousands of photos, videos, phone calls, meetings, emails and messages we have read, seen and listened to since 2013, we are keenly aware of what that next generation needs and wants to see in a dog and in the sport of hunting; and we want to make that happen. I am pledging to make 2019 the year of the dog. 2019 is also the year that we learn more about YOU. And, 2019 is the year for NEW RECRUITS to the “LPOTD Army” and the sport of hunting. We want YOU to follow us and get outdoors with your dogs. The dogs are the superstars on Lab Photo of The Day and now on Field Dog Life no doubt, but behind every amazing lab there is an amazing owner, trainer, breeder or family. 2019 is your year, along with your superstars, to shine.
Happy 2019 – labs, love and light to you and yours.
Field Dog Life
New home of Lab Photo of The Day
Featured Image – Chief
Field Dog Life Official Lab
Mudlake Retrievers, Alaska