I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t been a challenging 9-1/2 months since I picked you up in Idaho, especially when you threw up on my lap as we crossed the border into your new home state. You were the last, roly-poly holdout, thrown
in with another litter to keep you company until I could finish a shoot (with one of your sisters, of all things).
I asked your breeder for a small, light-colored male … a clone of your uncle Buddy was my ideal. You turned out big and dark, but everyone here has grown to like your bright eyes beaming from that dark chocolate face. Your red beard completes a very handsome ensemble.
You’ve certainly found a lot to carry, chew, swallow and then share with us later. Your menu has included deer legs, hooves, an entire (dead) red tailed hawk, horse manure, small rodents, unidentifiable hides, and number one (so far), a bear arm, claws intact. Furniture and clothing must taste good too.
At least you’re not a biter. In fact, you are a poster boy for “social animal.” If dogs could join Rotary, you’d be the greeter, welcoming everyone to meetings. You run full-out toward any person, dog, even cats, and do your best to make friends with sniffs, licks, rubs, and the occasional hump. You love to play, and I love that about you.
And while you are still not “top dog” around here, your uncle is deferring more and more often to your size and alpha attitude. Sometimes you could use more finesse, but we understand it’s genetic, and inevitable. But even after a particularly rough debate over who is in charge, you’re willing to cuddle with Buddy, lick his ear, and let bygones be bygones.
You’ve been a real test, Manny, trying our patience at every turn. But when I saw your eyes light up at the first whiff of pheasant in California, you had me. When I found you honoring your uncle’s point in the tall grass on our first Kansas hunt, all was forgiven. Happy birthday, and welcome to our family.