The Look

Copyright © 1999 Walt Zientek

It is most definitely a "yellow lab" thing. Perhaps it occurs in other
colors or other breeds, but it is surely found in every yellow lab.
They are the masters of "The Look."

Usually, the sweet, sad-eyed expression dominates the countenance
of a yellow lab puppy. The heart warming, innocent look that makes
you want to reach out and scoop them up in your arms. The look that
gets them belly rubs and way too many treats and toys. This however,
is not, "The Look."

"The Look" is something else all together.

If you ever raised a yellow pup, you have seen it. "The Look" can arise
just before a wild Butt-Tucking spree. It can strike just before those
razor-sharp puppy teeth sink into your forearm. It can happen just
before the pup decides to climb upon your dining room table or to eat
your reading glasses or to roll in the smelliest, nastiest, filthiest pile of
organic matter.

In the time it takes the owner to say, "Uh Oh!" the sweetest most innocent
yellow dog can transform itself into the Devil's Spawn, right before your

"The Look," is hard to describe but easy to recognize. Those soft, dark
eyes seem to glaze over, the velvety ears go all crooked and lopsided.
Tiny puppy teeth seem to become glistening needles of destruction and
the pup tilts its head, as though listening to a silent command from a
dark, unseen, malevolent master.

What happens next is not for us to anticipate or understand. The now-
transformed puppy will respond to this command of evil, with lightning
swiftness and single-minded zeal. Something will break. Some rules will
be ignored. The Cosmos will tilt a bit, slightly out of balance, for just a
few moments, as the yellow pup completes its task.

And then, as quickly as it starts, "The Look" disappears and the quiet
yellow pup returns. It doesn't seem to understand the commotion all
around. It is puzzled by the yelling, screaming, crying and moaning. It
wonders why the broom or vacuum or paper towels are being used. It
wonders why it is getting another bath. It wonders why it is time to go
to the crate.

So folks, hug your yellow labs. Give them treats for doing tricks. Scratch
that favorite spot along the neck or on the tummy. Dress them up for
special occasions, take their pictures and have parties on their birthdays.
Pat their heads and gaze lovingly into their eyes. But be ever vigilant.
Watch out for "The Look."


for Kylie and Peg

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Last modified: 8-19-2000

Page Copyright © 1999-2000 Walt Zientek <>