We have the sweetest dog, and he helped with the gardening last night, too. His name is Booker T. Washington Strawberry Grape, in honor of a strong black historical character (Macauley added on the last two fruity surnames). We also have a black cat that Ryan gave me as a kitten for my 31st birthday who I named Maya Angelou after one of my favorite black authors, as well as our 12-year-old Russian Blue named Alice "Allie" Cooper and an 11-year-old Humane Society cat named Avrie. Pet hair is huge issue around our house! Drives me crazy. We adopted Booker a couple of years ago from a big family who ran a dog sanctuary on their property in Arkansas. They said he was rescued along with 20+ other dogs who had been chained to a trailer home in Oklahoma, and they advertised him on Pet Finder as a PitBull/Hound mix, but we've come to think he's mostly Lab. He is about 3 years old I think, and he is big, about 90 lbs., but he is the calmest and most easy-going dog, although he can be a little neurotic at times, probably due to some residual issues from his tortured past. Poor baby. He got away from Ryan's dad last year and ran out onto Lone Pine and got hit by a car really hard but made it through with no visible injuries. He was so sore, though, and the vet gave us 5(!) prescription meds to help him through it--pain killers, muscle relaxers, 2 antibotics, and sedatives to calm him down if we needed to bring him back in to the office. He was fairly traumatized by the whole ordeal and I haven't been able to get him back into the vet's office willingly since. The front desk vet tech had to come out to the parking lot and pick him up like a small calf and carry him in when I took him to get checked for heartworm a couple of months ago. When the vet did the x-ray to check for injuries from getting hit by the car, she showed us several pieces of buckshot embedded in his back, not hurting him or anything, but again more evidence that he has had a hard life. After she told us that, Ryan suggested we might need to change his name to 50 Cent, another strong black character who had also been shot nine times and lived to tell about it. We called him Fiddy for a few days. The lady we adopted him from thanked me profusely for taking him and said we were heroes for adopting a BBD (big black dog) because many people are intimidated by BBDs or find them too plain and BBDs are the most euthanized because no one wants them. Don't know about being heroes, but Ryan and I both believe in adopting from shelters and helping out innocent animals if we can. And we get a lot out of having our big black D-A-W-G from Arkansas. He is just so humble and loyal, and I sure wish I was half the person my sweet black dog thinks I am.