Benno is going very grey round the muzzle, much more so than labradors usually do. But then, there is an unknown quantity in his parentage, one we tend to keep quiet about, in order not to hurt his feelings.
He comes from over the border, Wales way, where labradors are sometimes interbred with lurchers. They are mainly used as working dogs; the labrador part being the reliable retriever and the lurcher providing the speed.
Perhaps, we should call him a "lurchbrador" or "labralurch" ?
Whatever, he is the sweetest, gentlest creature, always keen to please us.
As for the rest of the family?
Delightful people, all of them. Separately. But it would take the combined effort, full-time, of a small country's entire diplomatic corps to get them round the negotiating table.
We have a wonderful variety of professions, breeds and races in the closest family: a physicist, a pilot and a pastor, an accountant and an archeologist, a doctor and a determined drifter into and out of professions, a musician and a muser, even a sociologist and counsellor who could put us all right. We have German, Dutch, Greek, Danish, Polish, Jewish, Caribbean, Armenian, Pakistani and English blood sloshing around; we could be our own United Nations and our own lively, argumentative, noisy debating society. We could put the world to rights.
And do we? Do we, heck!
Give me dogs any day.