Buddy–A Series Of Adventures – Collar Me Loyal

See, Baby? I keep my promises.  It finally stopped raining, so I took you for a walk.  I loved seeing your excitement.  You didn’t miss one square inch of marking or sniffing–good job! I’m so sorry we didn’t go farther. We need to take things slow and not cause any undue strain on your leg.  It pains me to see you limp but it is also simply inspiring to see how you ignore it. I know you wanted to run free the way you were cautiously pulling on your collar.

Hey, how about that collar?  It sure has lasted a long time, hasn’t it?  Wow, we’ve had this collar since what — 2004?  We did have to go through a series of collars to find just the right ones for you, though didn’t we?  The regular collars, the gentle leader, the choke chain, the pinch collar, until finally we found a great combination between the prong collar and the E-collar.

Who knew that training a purebred hunting dog would be such a huge financial investment, be so involved, and cause such a stir with folks?  Isn’t it amazing how many people are out there in the world, pushing their beliefs on others?  Especially in regards to the “best” methods for keeping and training animals?   Remember some of the crazy things we would hear?  I think the three most frustrating were:

“Oh, how cruel to  kennel your dogs all day!”

Or “You use a prong collar on your dog?  How could you? How mean to let those points dig into him.”

And of course the famous “Oh how dare you use an electronic collar on your dog. Do you get off on zapping him? How would you like to wear one?  You shouldn’t have a dog.”

You taught me early on that your kennel is your palace.  You and your two sisters run to your kennels willingly.  You love your kennels—they are your private places to hide your favorite things, to pout, to contemplate life, chew up big smoked bones, re-cooperate from a hard day of hunting or playing or tearing up things you can reach but shouldn’t of taken.  I understand that when you go there, it means “do not disturb”.  You understand that when I put you there, I’ll be back as soon as I can.  Heck, your sister Sunny Girl gets into her kennel and closes the door!  Yeah, real cruel.

And oh yes, you hate your prong collar so much—that’s why you spin in circles of excitement and then thrust your face and neck close to me so I can put it on you.  You know when that collar comes out it means we’re going for a walk, and you love your walks!  I know how important it is for you to scope out the neighborhood!  You appreciate the collars gentle reminder from time to time when you are getting close to making a bad decision.  You appreciate having your choice—of how much you want to not listen.  After all, the rules are not the same in the city as they are in the field, and you don’t always know what’s off limits—like the squirrels and the bunnies and the resident geese–but you sure are a quick study and rarely need that reminder!

Oh the E-collar. Indeed you hate your E-collar so much — that’s why you point to it, and then to me, then it, then me, then spin in circles of excitement and then thrust your face and neck close to me so I can put it on you.  You know this collar means we are doing what you love most in the world, most likely for the entire day. You know this collar means we are going hunting.  You can’t wait for me to attach it around your neck so you can instantly transform into the mean lean hunting machine that you are.  You know you will range free in tall grasses for hours and miles, seeking out and pointing those big colorful birds with the long tail plumes; hoping the conditions are just right that when it takes to the sky, I will get a good shot off so you can burst after our quarry as it spirals downward, and bring it back to me. You rely on your E-collar to pull you back when you are so deep in the moment that you forget to be a team, or don’t see you are about to be faced with a dangerous situation.

I must say we’ve been so much better off living a mostly solitary life together.  What a drain of energy it would have been to be subjected to scores of ignorant ranting’s from unqualified strangers.  You know the ones, those self-appointed  dog care judges who don’t know a thing about training a Versatile Hunting Dog. They seem to be everywhere we go.

Remember the first time I took you to Petsmart?  What a great day!  We had only been together a few weeks.  Just getting to know each other.  We had been working on “heel” pretty hard for the last week or more and I felt ready to try things out in public. Even back then you were my good loyal boy. There you were, ‘strutting your hot self’ all lean and young and full of boundless energy.  You were positively gorgeous, with your velvety liver and tick coat,  big chocolate brown eyes, very blaze orange leash and shiny new prong collar on.  You were doing exceptionally well with “heel”, even though there were quite a few people in the store.  You got so many compliments.  You loved the attention.  I was so proud of you!  We checked out the treats, the food, some toys, and even went to take a look at the birds, just to see if you would show interest.  You were an angel the whole time, and stayed ever at my heel.

I found the nail clippers, you picked out some rawhides and we headed to check out.  The cashiers were all gushing at how beautiful you are.  Yes you are.  And so well trained!  Not bad for our first couple weeks.

We were barely into the parking lot when I heard the shrill cry;

“Excuse me?   Excuse me!”

I turned around.

There stood a woman.  She was a bit chunky, perhaps 50ish, with short messy greying-blonde hair, Bermuda shorts, boat shoes and a cotton button up shirt on, and a huge beige leather purse slung over her shoulder.  She stood there with a look of rigid posture, tight lips and fire in her eyes.

“yes?” I replied, pulling you close to me.

“I wanted to comment on how beautiful your dog is.”  She said, as she quickly advanced much, much closer to us.

“Well thank you, he’s a good boy!”  I responded.

“Then why are you tormenting him with that horrible collar?  Don’t you know how badly it can damage him?  …You shouldn’t be allowed to own a dog…….. if that’s how you’re going to treat him…. I am somewhat of an authority on the training of dogs and I can tell you…….”

Frankly she lost me at torment.

But she went on and on and on without even taking one breath—remember that?  And we both just stood there, being pummeled with her harsh judgments.  I stood there thinking “if given the chance, how should I respond?  Hmmmm, should I take the high road?  Should I just say thank you and good bye?  How should I respond to this nut if she ever allows me to speak?”

“Well?  What do you have to say for yourself?  You don’t have a good answer, do you?” She taunted.

And then, magic happened.  You gave me what was to be the first of many amazing gifts I would receive from you over the years.  While I stood there stupefied by this strangers gall, you, in all your impeccable breed perfection and beauty made your move.  The move that let me know, even this early on in our relationship, that we would be the dynamic duo team for life.  That you would always have my back, that you would be my true, loyal companion.  You took three solid steps right up to her, enough to close the gap between us and not cause tension on your collar, and you looked up into her face with your big beautiful brown eyes.  And then, very majestically, purposefully, and slowly, you  lifted your left back leg and shot a hard solid stream of pee onto her bare legs, also hitting the bottoms of those Bermuda shorts and boat shoes.

She was finally speechless.Collar

“Well?  That about sums up our thoughts, ma’am.  Have a nice day!  Buddy, come!”  We turned away from her, and proceeded to walk to our vehicle, you maintaining a perfect heel the entire way.

I love you so much, dear Buddy.

Don’t Want to Miss a Thing? Subscribe to My Blog

Comments

  1. What a sweet perspective of your choices and how well they work with Buddy. It is clear, in person and in this post, how much you love him and he loves you. He is a great dog!

  2. Hahahahaha! Atta boy Buddy!
    My particular favourite comment came with my dear late golden retriever Oscar who made life ever so much easier with his gentle leader: “Why on earth would you put him in a muzzle? Those dogs are so friendly. You don’t deserve him.”
    My kids’ pediatrician is just the loveliest woman and she once gave me the best advice to fire back at the critics. “Why yes. You are absolutely right.” Then walk away. I’ve only had to use this once. A crazy woman followed me for miles in her car after I admittedly drove through a school zone too fast. I pulled into a shopping mall and she zipped in right beside me. Had on these long grannyish gloves that went up almost to her shoulders. Anywho, stormed on and on at me ” I’m calling the authorities on you! Not only did you drive far too fast through that school zone but you put your own kids in danger.” As my two blinked from their carseats she shook her gloved fists. On and on she spat. When she stopped for air I didn’t speak. When she gawped at me I finally spoke. Slowly. “Why yes. You’re absolutely right.” I scooped up my two and we left her gobsmacked on the curb. Heaven.

  3. I always love reading your adventures with Buddy. This one particularly intrigued me, as I believe he knew that woman was crazy and/or trying to belittle his beloved “Mom”. Ah, dogs, what wonderful loyal creatures, and he is exceptionally so…Love you, Buddy. Give ’em all hell!

Speak Your Mind

*