Friday, June 4, 2010
Apologies for the two-week lapse in activity. Summer's here, school's out, the kids and wife are home and when you work out of the house it takes a while to settle into some semblance of a summer routine.
Plus, I've been chasing this thing around for the past few days...
"This thing's" name is Jenny, an almost-eight-week-old English setter. Last weekend my oldest son and I drove to Kansas to pick her up. I didn't tell him we were actually going to get a pup, just look at them. That was, of course, a despicable lie. Not only were we going to get a pup, but my son would be charged with picking her out. I would have absolutely no influence over his decision, which is about as scientific a method of picking a pup as I know.
Still, when both female pups (There were four females in the litter and I had first pick after the breeder and stud dog owner) were placed on the lawn, the friendly one with the orange eye patch immediately caught my eye.
But I kept my mouth shut. This was his decision. My male chessie Lewey was every bit as much my son's dog as he was mine, and since Lewey's death it's been obvious there is a hole in my son's life that my female, Tess, just can't quite fill. She's a sweet dog, an adored family pet and a great hunting companion, but it's obvious to everyone that Tess considers herself mine and mine alone. Whereas Lewey, from the day he came home made it clear that all of us - myself, my wife, my children - belonged to him. We only half-jokingly called him our half-human dog.
I had originally planned on getting a setter pup before Lewey died, then afterward decided I wasn't ready for another dog, that I'd just wait, see how I felt in a few months and get a chessie pup sometime next year. And I am still going to get a new chessie pup next year. Tess is getting older and besides, I can't imagine not having a couple chessies around.
I will always be a retriever guy at heart. But I kept thinking about how much fun it was bird hunting with my old pointer, DP, and I knew that at some point I was going to get back into pointing dogs, anyway, so why not now?
And when the breeder e-mailed me to say one of his females - a pretty little orange-and-white girl straight from Grouse Ridge Kennels - had just had her litter, I told him to put me down for a female.
So seven weeks later, there I was, exhaling a sigh of relief when my son picked up the little orange-ticked fuzzball and said "I think I like this one."
I think she's pretty cool, too. We named her Jenny, not after the Mike Gaddis novel Jenny Willow (about an English setter) but after a much-beloved bird dog that belonged to my wife's late grandfather.
She's not a replacement for Lewey, and of course she never will be. Which, I guess, is the point of moving on. She's got her own path to make. But if the past week is any indication of the future, we're going to have a lot of fun walking it.
Posted by Chad Love at 12:05 PM