I was prowling around in my old computer a few days ago and found a ton of photographs that I had completely forgotten about. Dogs, fishing, hunting, landscape, weather, animals, lots of stuff, including a few early pics of my beloved male chessie, Lewey, whom I believe has been reincarnated as my young male English setter, Ozzie.
Their personalities and behaviors are eerily similar, and I'm not just engaging in some maudlin, cross-species emotional transference or supernatural anthropomorphism, either. My wife has noticed the same thing. It's weird, I tell you.
Or maybe it's just that the heart tends to see what it wants to see and many young male dogs simply have a tendency to be big. lovable, goofballs who act human. At any rate, the pics of Lewey as a pup were an interesting find because a few days ago I noticed a litter announcement on the Teamchesapeake website (a forum for folks who hunt and trial with chessies) out of one of Lewey's littermates. As far as I know it's been the only breeding out of Lewey's litter (other than my accidental litter), or at least the only one I've seen, which in turn was the only litter that Bill Burks ever produced out of his fantastic trial dog, Suite Judy Blue Eyes.
Time marches on, I guess. The first pic was taken not long after I got Lewey, during a training day with the old retired pro trainer who first got me into my serious (or at least semi-serious) retriever training phase. Lewey was just along for the ride that day, but as he got older he got to know that dog trailer well. Of course, both he and the old man are gone now, and these days I find that having an old dog and no training partner a bit of a melancholy combination. It's mostly bumpers in the back yard any more, but at one point it was a helluva lot of fun to train two young dogs.
Tess, (on the right) bless her homely little heart, has never been a terribly attractive dog, but Lewey was always a looker.
When I saw the puppy as on the chessie website, I quickly entertained the notion. You know, the puppy notion. Then just as quickly I shot it down. Tess probably has a couple seasons left in her creaking old bones, and right now I'm simply too preoccupied with the setters, anyway. But I can still think about it...