If ever I were to be in the heavenly/hellish position of being stranded on a desert island, apart from a speedboat, the one luxury I’d like to have with me would be a dog. Probably a Labrador, to be specific about it.
Not only do you get the companionship which may, if you’re that way inclined, tempt you in to abandoning any effort to flee the island, but also their extraordinary ability to prove over and over again why they have earned the title of man’s best friend.
Labradors have a long and storied relationship with the water. The first St. John’s dog – an early forbearer of the breed we now recognise as the Labrador Retriever – was said to have been brought to England in or around 1820, but the breed’s reputation had already spread to these shores; there is a story that the 2nd Earl of Malmesbury saw a St. John’s dog on a fishing boat and immediately made arrangements with traders to have some of these dogs imported to England. These ancestors of the first Labradors so impressed the Earl with their skill and ability for retrieving anything within the water and on shore that he devoted his entire kennel to developing and stabilizing the breed.
Despite many centuries of selective breeding and a controlled evolution of the breed in to a dog perfectly crafted as a sporting companion, the Labrador can still fish. Here, watch….