Kramer the black lab burst into their lives…and hearts

Until two years ago, Kim McHugh had never had a dog, and any feelings toward them would have been described as fear. But when she and her husband, Dave, got Kramer, the tiny black Lab puppy changed her life in a big way. Now, his fervor for tennis balls and seemingly boundless love have made Kramer a special part of the McHugh’s home in Matthews. Kim tells his story.

Puppy love: We had been talking about getting a dog and one November day, we drove a few hours to a farm near South Carolina. Of all the possible puppies, Kramer was the one who came to us. He was so small he fit in a shoe box, but two years later he’s about 65 pounds. He might fill out later, but he still has so much energy.

Mr. Personality: We named Kramer for the Seinfeld character because he’s so loveable and goofy. Kramer adores people, especially new ones, and comes with me to work at BTR Construction & Roofing most days. I keep a tennis ball in my desk drawer so he’s usually nearby, waiting for one of the day’s several games.

For love of the game: When we got Kramer, someone told us Labs like tennis balls and he’s been obsessed ever since. He’ll take his ball over a treat any day and playing catch with him has become one of my greatest joys. When we get to the field and throw his ball, Kramer takes off at lightening speed after it. His gallop is one of the most soothing sounds because I know my boy is experiencing nothing but pure bliss.

Unexpected lessons: I may not have grown up with dogs, but now I wave at them through car windows and cry when I see one not being treated well. Kramer has taught me a lot of patience and opened up a place in my heart I didn’t know I had before. He’s brought out more love. Hilary Trenda


Go to , scroll down to the Incredible Pet contest and follow the instructions from there.

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