I will never understand people who aren’t me. I look into these eyes, and I see to the very depths of their souls. How precious you are, my darling. How precious. And I might have 80 of you, and you might be a challenge sometimes. And I might have 80 of you that are challenges sometimes…. but when I touch you, all the world stops in place.
It is for you that my nights are short, my days are long. You feed me, house me, clothe me. What a giving beast you are! And all you want is a cookie. A cuddle. My love.
I promise you, I absolutely promise you, that there is nothing more precious than you. I have known you as an infant, and you were rejoiced on the moment you were born. Sweet little sausage with paddles for feet, I have held you in my hand. And I named you to myself, with a kiss on your tiny head. “Chesapeake”. Yeah, nobody will ever know, but that’s who you are.
I watched you grow, and I met you again when you grew way up. Held you to the lure and got bashed in the face when the desire in you just could not .. should not be contained in my mere hands. Be tough, my baby. My face will mend.
How incredible is it to release a dog from your very own hands, watch him chase the lure, know that everything you have done up to then is who he is? What reward shall there be for his performance?
It’s funny, the whole reward system. Last week, one of my babies came out of the box in the morning and ran behind it. (Go read Big Tay.) Scampered off to the apron and needed some help to be retrieved. I don’t pick Boyfriends for smarts and I wonder what a less loving owner/trainer might have done with him.
Ok, I don’t wonder at all. While we joked about him at feeding the next morning, we all knew he was very safe here. He’ll be slipped again from beside the box. One bad schooling doesn’t a disaster make.
Used to be, or so I’m told, when you got a kennel of dogs that was what you had. There wasn’t a lot of trucking dogs about for whatever reason there might be. Of course, it also used to be that there were race fans. Public folks who knew the dogs by name. Bet on them and paid our purses.
Craig used to tell me about it. “Back in the day” he’d say. It’s tough for me to want back what I never had.
I only have 7 years in the biz. Maybe I’m so new that the dogs still enchant me. Maybe there isn’t supposed to be a time when that stops happening. Maybe every damn one of you is supposed to be able to relate a funny story, describe a personality, say out loud that you kissed your dog today. And not just the one that won some mega dollar race. Maybe the one that tickled you. Or needed a kiss just then.
Because if I’m the only one out here loving my dogs… I quit.
Go fast, turn left. I love you.