Hanako gets pregnant without notice. The veterinarian alwasy scolds us that he can not predict the date of birth like this. Taro seems to enjoy raising kids. When he holds his puppies with his front leg, the puppies search for the nipples and blindly bites and chews on his skin. His belly becomes miserably reddish and swollen as if a bunch of mosquitoes had bitten him. But Taro seems to be happy.

I saw a promotion film of seeing-eye dogs at a welfare services festival, and came to know that the yellow seeing-eye dogs are Labradors. I met the only black Labrador that was endowed by Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II. The name of the dog is Sandrignham Tramp and it was actually the favorite of Her Majesty. I become strongly interestid in the Labradors, the people and the country of England.

Her Majesty is known to love black Labradors. Her late father, George V was known to love yellow Labradors, and Sandringham Sydney that made the Royal Kennel world famous was a yellow Labrador. I learned that Her Majesty not only praticipate in the field trials but also is interested in breeding and does the process of selecting puppies. I learned that Her Majesty especially takes interest in raising and training dogs, and often visits the kennel even for a short time between her official obligations.

Mr. D.Reid, a member of United Kingdom Hunting Dog Judging Committee, and Mr. B. Meldrum, the Manager of the Royal kennel unanimously emphasized that Labradors are working dogs and not toy dogs, and that there is a way of relationship between dogs and people that can be built tightly only through working together. I came to understand that Labradors are not statisfied only by playing, and that they are very ambitious to show their working ability.

At the beginning of the history of using dogs as helpers around the house, the dogs were required to perform various duties such as opening a door or picking up the receiver of a telephone. But these days, thanks to the advances fo home electronic appliances and improvement of housing conditions, picking up what the person dropped has become the only duty that is required. The goal of the life of handicapped people is normalization. In the same way as ordinaly people do, they can also have a pet, and it might as well be useful if the pet is good at picking up things from the floor. Even if they may have some other people nearby, who could help them occasionally, they are not available all day long. When the helping person is sleeping during the night or out on errands, only thing the handicapped person can do is wait.

Labradors are thought to be the collectors of the games, but I asked myself if there was any way to let them utilize their abilities other than in hunting and field trial, and as a conclusion, Ithought of training them for living with and helping the people on wheelchairs. The combination of a person who is unable to pick up somithing that he/she dropped on the floor, and dog who is good at picking up things can be a match made in heaven.

Labradors were also the reason why I was able to meet Dr. and Mrs. Cruz. They kindly introduced me to the club and enabled me to join Her Majesty's The Labrador Retriever Club. In order to put some Japanese taset in the photograph to be printed in the club yearbook, I chose a statue of a mounted warrior in a nearby park as the background of the photo. The park is located on an ancient battle field where the Kamakura Government Army and Yoshisada Nitta's Army had a fierce battle about 800 years ago. The photo appears on the page 94 of The Labrador Club Yearbook of 1995.

The Japanese population is rapidly aging, and due to the need to enhance community-based welfare services, the national government drew out two different qualifications, that are social worker and help provider. A working dog used to be called as an independent dog or partner dog, but to clarify its function, the official name to categorize a working dog is decided to be "kaijo-fukushi-ken" ( Independent Dog ) or a shortend form of "kaijo-ken".

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