Effervescent. Yep, that’s the word. If I had to describe Trout with one word, it could only be effervescent.

Because Flat-coated retrievers are not a common breed, they naturally attract attention when we take them out into public spaces. And why not? Flat-coats truly enjoy being around people, and let’s face it, they just appear to be happy, friendly, and good-natured. Because they are! Trout, however, possesses an irresistible magnetism that just seems to draw more people to her. If there is an “it” factor for dogs, then Trout has “it.”

On Swagger’s page, I wrote about the afternoon Donna and I visited Riley and Brenna’s breeder and went home with Swagger. Well, that wasn’t the only dog we took home that day. We had long admired liver-colored flat-coats and fantasized about having one someday. Cavorting with the other dogs was a spirited little “cinnamon bear” (our nickname for Trout) that had me transfixed. While the breeder had not intended to sell either dog, she relented and said we could have either. She wasn’t expecting that we wanted both of them! She was kind enough to give both dogs a bath before we departed, bearing home the two newest members of our family. Unexpectedly, the emotion of the day continued. As the breeder handed Trout to us, a trail of tears hung beneath both of her eyes. I gave her a hug and thanked her for everything she had done for us. “I’ll be okay,” she said. All the years that have passed, from this day to that, reinforce Trout’s enchanting ability to penetrate the deepest reaches of our heart.

Of the four flat-coats we have been graced with, Trout is probably the most flat-coatish (just made that word up!) of them all. She always has a toy in her mouth, proud to show it off, or perhaps barter for more food. Further, she wants to fetch anything and everything from sunup to sundown. On those days we swim, Trout shakes with enthusiasm, awaiting her first splash into the pool. Then, of course, there is the appetite. She is a total pig! Sometimes, when I feed her, I’ll sneak back into the kitchen to snarf down a few potato chips in private. Trout, who can hear a pin drop from ten miles away, hears the crinkle of the bag of chips. Invariably, I see her cute little face quietly appear around the corner, seeking more food, having finished her dinner. What a pig! But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I continue to treasure each and every moment I have with that sweet little girl.