Earlier in the year I had the pleasure of meeting some new designer acquaintances who were on a travel adventure across the USA. When Nathan Strandberg and Katie Kirk of Eight Hour Day made a stop in Portland, we bonded over our chocolate labs on a rainy day spent walking the dogs at Thousand Acres on the Sandy River Delta.
While the Northwest weather may have driven Nathan and Katie on to their next destination with haste, their pup Eli and my pup Lucy didn’t seem to mind the rain, mud and driving wind that makes Portland fall something special. Those labs seem to have an unwavering love for life that shines thru so clear that it makes it easy to put up with some of their eccentricities.
So when Katie wrote and illustrated the book Eli, No! about her faithful companion’s shenanigans, it all felt very familiar. If I had to write a book about my dog pal, it would be titled LUCY, YEEARRRCHHHH! because that is the pterodactyl noise that I make when she is doing something inappropriate. It’s not the most endearing sound to come from a human, which is why you probably won’t be seeing a sequel from my neck of the woods anytime soon. Instead, I’ll just use Katie’s book to relive Lucy’s less glorious moments.
Every dog has a dark side, and we call Lucy’s persona non grata Lucifer. One of her non-endearing traits that Eli also exhibits is a tendency to chase squirrels. Sure, they’re annoying and steal all your nuts, but that’s no reason to yank on the leash so hard that your human’s arm is pulled out of its socket. Remember, a person with no arms takes a dog on no walks!
Another lab personality flaw is their obsession with food. Lucy can gobble down a whole baguette in less than 3 seconds flat WHILE RUNNING from two grown adults. She has also successfully consumed an entire Scrabble set with only a few ill side effects. Apparently, Eli does the same thing and then farts lemons and pears. Fun party trick, Eli.
Another daily reminder of the Lucifer in Lucy is her vocal reminders that SHE. IS. HERE. Where’s my dinner? That garden gnome sure looks dangerous so I’m going to bark at it all night long! Where’s my dinner? Let me up on the sofa! Where’s my dinner? Woe is her, she sure thinks about her dinner a lot.
But in the end, our lovable labs give much much more than they take with all of their wily ways, and I don’t think Katie or I would trade their companionship for anything. Thanks for putting it down in words and pictures Katie – these dogs are totally worth it.
To read more about Eli and Katie, check out the website www.elinobook.com.