Sunday, February 20, 2011

Going To The Dogs or Not!

As I may have mentioned earlier we added Gabriel, a Flat-coated-retriever, to our family. Gabriel being a pure bred has opened up a whole new world to us. We attended our first dog show this past fall. What an experience! There was every breed of dog imaginable and some breeds I had never seen or heard of in my life.

Owners came in as many shapes and sizes as their dogs. Boxers were showing in the ring next to us. Some owners/handlers didn't look anything like their dog, however, one owner stood out to me. She looked like her dog's twin. She wore a suit that matched her hair and her dogs coat, they were both stocky and moved around the ring with the same gait. There were other pairs that matched. A tall thin woman walking with a tall thin poodle. Short, small people holding
Tea-cup Chihuahuas. I remember in days past when it was said as couples grew old together, they began to look alike. I guess the same is true about some dogs and their owners. Personally, if I didn't think an Irish Setter's coat would be extremely time consuming, I'd have one to match my own red hair. I might even slim down to match the body build.

Flat coats are known for their friendly, out-going personalities. This friendliness is often demonstrated by licking everyone and everything in sight. Our Gabriel doesn't fit this general description. He's more subdued than the breed at large. Example, another Flat-coat owner who was also watching the show put out his hand for Gabriel to lick. Instead, Gabriel sat there and gave this stranger the stare. By the stare, I mean he looked blankly at the man with this, I'm not licking your hand, I don't know where it's been look.

This same gentleman had a bowl of water for his dog. This being our first dog show didn't realize water wouldn't be available for our pets. I asked if Gabriel could share. You would think I'd asked for a kidney by the look he gave me. I mean, they're dogs for heaven's sake, not newborn royalty. We ended up purchasing a portable water bowl that folds up. Gabriel happily drank the rest of the day. He never did warm up to the man who wanted him to lick his hand, I guess he held a grudge about the water bowl.

The trip over was loud and traumatic. Gabriel didn't want to stay put on the seat, he howled in protest, sounding more like a coon chasing hound than the pure bred Flat-coat he is. The trip home was the polar opposite, Gabriel was worn out and slept the whole way. He continued sleeping after we arrived home. He got out of the car, went by his food and water dish straight to his crate. Now I know what to do if I ever want to knock him out for the evening. Until next time, remember not to howl at a full moon unless it's attached to someone you like.

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