By Diane Badget

How true is it that not everyone should be owned by a Flat-Coat? Try this tongue-in-cheek list of requirements on for size!

  1. You can sneak a dog hair out of the butter with dinner guests present and not get caught.
  2. You can convince the world that you are a fashion trendsetter, and that black or liver fur woven into sweatshirts will be the wave of the future.
  3. You can maintain your cool (and your sense of humor) when the dog that behaves perfectly in obedience class and in practice decides to show the world how cute and silly he can be at a trial. (NOTE: This usually happens when the entry fee was a whopping $20.00, the show is an 8 hour drive, and yours was the only Flat-Coat entered in ANYTHING that day).
  4. You can look around the house after putting away the broom and the vacuum cleaner, see fuzzy hairballs drifting lazily across the floor, and think, “Maybe I should knit another Flat-Coat!”, instead of “I just cleaned the &*%@# floor!”
  5. You can still play when you go to the tennis courts with a friend for a game or two, and upon opening your can of tennis balls, find that they are all deflated and bald.
  6. You can learn to allow yourself an extra 45 minutes getting ready to leave the house, so you can play the “Great Shoe Hunt Game”.
  7. You can perfect the art of grooming a moving target – i.e. brushing out a Flat-Coat tail.
  8. You can overcome feeling foolish when standing in your front yard dressed in camo, blowing a whistle, holding a cap pistol in one hand and a canvas tube in another, and yelling at some invisible someone named “Mark!”.
  9. You can retrieve a needs-to-be laundered pair of underwear from under the couch five minutes before guests arrive and not wonder what they are doing there.
  10. You can retrieve a needs-to-be laundered pair of underwear from the middle of the living room floor five minutes AFTER the guests arrive and EXPLAIN what they were doing there.
  11. You can pat a nudging head, throw a yucky tennis ball, and repeat the process for a solid hour without ever loosing your place in the conversation or the action on the T.V.
  12. You are not the least bit disconcerted by having a 50-70 pound, 5 year old puppy sharing your home, simply because it never dawned on you that eventually a dog should mature. You’re able to reason, “A dog, yes….a Flat-Coat, no”.
  13. You no longer notice, nor care, that yours is the only house in the neighborhood with no nic-nacs on the coffee table.
  14. You are grateful that only surfaces taller than 18 inches need regular dusting.
  15. You can smile sweetly and say “A Flat-Coated Retriever” for the umteenth time, explain why he doesn’t look like a Lab, or a black Golden, or a Setter/Lab cross or….and not loose your cool.

Those of us who have mastered all or most of the above points know we are Flat-Coat people. For those who can’t, we hear parrots are nice.