Coat so dark it is black on our late workouts, smooth as some shorthairs … I had my doubts from the start, Manny. But your striking conformation has become more handsome by the day. You are a beautiful wirehair, with more potential than I deserve.
Now that you are getting along with your great-uncle again, I’m again able to appreciate the magic of two dogs hunting in concert, unlocking the mysteries of birds as I watch, spellbound. Thank you for becoming a member of our pack, finally accepting Buddy as the lead dog. He is a gracious alpha, isn’t he? Some day soon, his gait will slow and you will inherit his job; just wait your turn. Until then, learn, learn, learn because Uncle Buddy has a lot to teach you.
Like being patient with me. And pacing yourself in the field and the crate – you know we’ll always let you hunt … just not first. That’s Uncle’s job. And his place is on the couch, while yours is at our feet. But that’s not so bad, is it?
You learn so fast, sometimes I have a hard time challenging you. As we prepare for your Utility Test, I promise to amp up the mental – and physical – challenges. I am sure you can handle them with skill and your own version of grace.
I love that you and your uncle are polar opposites in the field. Buddy, graceful as an impala, skimming the ground. You are the linebacker on our team: solid and steady, workmanlike. I hear you approach from great distances: crashing, tumbling, thumping.
You may share DNA and striking good looks with your uncle, but you make me to think differently every time I open the gate, challenging my own ideas of dogs and hunting. What I learned from your uncle, you re-teach me. As Uncle Buddy trots more and dashes less, you are coming into your own physically. When you streak north, disappear, then materialize in the south, did you circumnavigate the globe to rumble back from behind us? Manny, you are why they invented GPS collars.
I spy on you two when I’m inside. When I see you in the yard, nose-to-nose or snuggled in a single doggy lump with your uncle, all is well in the world and in my mind. That you’ve found your place in our pack is a miracle and I’m ever grateful.
Happy second birthday.