I'll Never own Another

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I'll Never own Another

Post by Sharon » Sat Jul 18, 2020 1:05 pm

I thought some would enjoy this as I am not the only old one on here :)


by Robert C. Pettit- American Field Magazine- July 9 2020

"After the death of a beloved canine companion, how many times have we sworn “I’ll never own another?”

The enjoyment a dog brings to our lives gives us a feeling of satisfaction and contentment. We would like to believe they are going to be with us forever and it will never end. Unfortunately it does.

We suffer through puppyhood while the little rascal chews on the leg of the new sofa and tears up that expensive padded dog bed you just bought.

You sacrificed buying a pair of new hunting boots so junior could have his bed. Deciding the comfort of your companion came first, you justify that purchase by thinking you can get one more season out of those old boots.

We tolerate the holes and the flowers dug up in the backyard, all the while swearing that you will kill that little no good x#o% once you catch him. When you finally lay your hands on the little menace, you forgive him as he kisses your face.

Welcome to the world of dog ownership.

As dog owners we soon learn that our canine companion doesn’t see our faults as our human friends do. The dog is forgiving of all transgressions that we as owners sometimes inflict upon their trusting soul.

Does a dog have a soul? I can’t answer that question, but I will share my belief. The King James version of the Holy Bible in Isaiah, chapter 11, verse 6, talks about the wolf dwelling with the lamb. It also speaks about the leopard lying down with the kid (young goat). I can’t vouch for anything to do with leopards or goats, but dogs are believed to be descended from the wolf. Enough said.

Man is the better for having a canine companion. Dogs teach us patience, kindness, and tolerance; all necessary ingredients in being able to maintain a positive relationship with our human counterparts.

Speaking of tolerance I refer back to the puppy digging up the geraniums you just planted. How can you be mad at that little devil? Caught in the act, you give him a swat and immediately feel guilty for doing it.

Have you ever been sad and disheartened when things weren’t going well in your life? If you’re a dog owner your dog will sense that and come to give you comfort. That eases your tension and you come to the realization that things will get better. That’s what dogs do.

Dogs are pack animals and we soon learn that it has to be us that take on the role of pack leader. That means junior has been swatted enough times to understand you won’t tolerate any foolishness. There has to be boundaries and structure in the dog’s life as well as your own. Without that your dog might not be as happy as you had anticipated and neither will you.

Let me tell you about my experiences with dogs.

My first dog was a border collie named Lucky. You may read about her in the story “Lucky’s Boy,” published in my book “Dog Tales & Hunter Trails.”

What a great experience for a little boy to own his first dog. That dog is the smartest, the bravest, the most beautiful, the most of everything. The adventures we shared had a positive impact on me. I’m sure you’ve experienced the same feelings, if you’re a dog person.

How did I get to this point in my life where I don’t want to own another dog? I love dogs and they reciprocate. So, why don’t I want another? Simply put, it’s the sadness you feel when you lose one. Dog owners can equate that with losing a member of the family, because they are members of our family.

I’m remembering my last hunting dog, and a master quail dog she turned out to be. A pointer, I bought her sight unseen and a friend brought her to me in Mexico. As she matured it was exciting watching her develop; however, mammary cancer overtook her at the age of eight which forced me to sacrifice her a year later.

At seventy-five years of age, and still excited about hunting with her for another two or three years, regrettably, it didn’t turn out that way. The cards that were dealt didn’t take into consideration my feelings.

I’ve been in contact with a friend who lost one of her favorite German shorthaired pointers. A single woman, she had four that lived with her in the house, but her favorite was the one that passed. It’s been a heartbreaking emotional time for her and as I write this she’s still having trouble coping with her loss. As a dog owner I understand her pain.

Who do we turn to in our time of grief? Our friends all give the standard platitudes, but that only brings up emotions that you’re trying to forget. Nothing is worse than meeting old friends and they express how sorry they are about your loss. That brings memories flooding back. Your friends mean well, so you thank them and put on a big smile, but inside you’re hurting.

Speaking for myself, I unburden my woes to God who listens to what I have to say and I feel relieved after sharing my burden. But this also strengthens my resolve to never buy another dog. The heartbreak is just too hard on this old man.

As a professional trainer for more than fifty years I’ve trained many hundreds of client dogs, but usually for a short period of time, not the lifetime of the dog. Bonds with animals and humans strengthen over time. A trainer will usually keep his or her pupil in a training course for one to three months. Then the finished dog is returned to the owner. During that length of time a strong bond doesn’t usually develop between dog and trainer, although there are exceptions.

For me there were four. I offered to buy and have bought certain dogs from their owners due to becoming emotionally attached.

My favorite of all time was a dog named Skip. A pointer, this dog protected me when called upon, was a skillful trick dog, a master retriever and a superb quail dog. Skip was also honored in the story “The Greatest Dog” in the previously mentioned book.

I’m often asked to give advice on rehabilitating a problem dog. I sense that the person asking for help has come to the realization that somewhere during the dog’s training they have committed errors. I admire those novice trainers for wanting to repair the damage because their dog is usually considered a family member they love. How could I not help them, more for the sake of the dog?

I scan different magazines daily looking for well-bred puppies from different breeds of hunting dogs. I read about this sire and dam that have produced world beaters. Their offspring are hunting dogs without equal. It has to be true; it says so in the ad.

Of course I’ve learned long ago that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Another reason for selling at that cheap price is because the breeder has too many dogs. Why didn’t he think of that before he bred the litter? Am I tempted to buy one or more? Of course I am, but due to my age and the rigors of training a young puppy, I’m not going to buy another dog.

My wife tells me that I should buy another. I think it’s because she wants me out of the house so she can do her projects without interruption.

I haven’t picked up a shotgun since the death of my last hunting dog. That’s been over two years. I recognize the fact that it’s a detriment to my health not roaming the fields and getting the exercise that goes with it. Maybe it’s time to reconsider and buy another dog. With luck maybe that one will outlive me.

What the heck, I’ve convinced myself. I’m going to buy another dog. I’m a dog man, after all." quote

by Robert C. Pettit- American Field Magazine- July 9 2020
" We are more than our gender, skin color, class, sexuality or age; we are unlimited potential, and can not be defined by one label." quote A. Bartlett

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Re: I'll Never own Another

Post by marysburg » Sat Jul 18, 2020 9:17 pm

Thanks Sharon, so many of us have felt this way.

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Re: I'll Never own Another

Post by Max2 » Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:45 am

I said this and here I am with a coming on six month old little pain in the butt !! :D Who makes me smile non-stop . Kinda like I was 15 minutes ago watching him open up a little out back. Starting to look more full grown then puppy. My main reason for holding off was a little different then those you had mentioned. But gosh I have heard what you have stated so many times from folks who had to say good-bye to their beloved family member. I think your post will help many as it makes one think.
Nice read ~

.......... little guy's being quiet down there I better go check on him :lol:

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Re: I'll Never own Another

Post by Steve007 » Sun Jul 19, 2020 3:26 pm

Recovering from the loss of a beloved dog without another dog to help is something I hope none of us have to deal with. I was once dogless for the first time in quite a few decades. My non-dog-girl relatively new wife did not understand. But I did, and I knew what I needed. Dog guys need a dog to work with. It's who we are.

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Re: I'll Never own Another

Post by birddogger2 » Sun Jul 19, 2020 6:16 pm

Sharon -

I read it on the AF site. Thank you for importing it here. It is something we all go through, I have a 4 yr. old pointer who I thought...might be my last one. Then... Blue passed at 14 1/2.
I gave Blue to my son when he moved into his first house. That was about 9 years ago. He needed a bird dog and...more importantly, my 1 yr old grandson needed a dog in his life. He was, quite possibly the best dog I ever owned, certainly the most driven, toughest bird dog I have ever owned....but a boy needs a dog and Blue filled the bill for both my son and my grandson. He and I could have competed for a bunch of years, but my son got to hunt him...a ton... and that was far more important that a few ribbons. Blue was a real part of his family. He loved them and they loved him back. For a dog, it don't get better than that.

Anyway... when it became clear that Blue was not going to make another Thanksgiving hunt, my son asked me to start looking. He has a litter mate to my 4 year old dog, but wanted a pup to start. The timing was right. I need another puppy like I need a hole in the head, but...what the heck! I found a prospective litter after some searching and a few phone calls... and put in an order for two pups...one for each of us. The litter should be dropping in a couple of weeks and I can't wait.

Puppy breath...nothing like it in this world.

YES I am an idiot. I need another horseback field trial lunatic dog like I need..(fill in the blank) ...you know! But I still can't wait!


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Re: I'll Never own Another

Post by Cicada » Tue Jul 21, 2020 6:57 am

Great read with any luck I will be in his old boots next spring.


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Re: I'll Never own Another

Post by averageguy » Wed Jul 22, 2020 4:17 pm

Great Read. Thank you for Posting.

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Re: I'll Never own Another

Post by GreyGhost » Sun Aug 30, 2020 5:23 pm

That’s a great article Sharon! Thanks for posting.

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Re: I'll Never own Another

Post by DonF » Tue Sep 08, 2020 10:43 am

I cannot imagine life without a dog! I keep a min of two around all the time hoping not to get left without one. Right now I have four and hoping Sis will die one day before me so I can take care of her and not worrying about leaving an old dog with someone that just doesn't understand!
I pity the man that has never been loved by a dog!

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Re: I'll Never own Another

Post by Sharon » Sun Sep 13, 2020 3:14 pm

"one day before me" would be ideal :) but unlikely to happen . My last dog here is 7 so if he can get to 14 I'll be 81 ,so that should work out fine. Of course now he's got this illness so ....................
" We are more than our gender, skin color, class, sexuality or age; we are unlimited potential, and can not be defined by one label." quote A. Bartlett

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Re: I'll Never own Another

Post by MNTonester » Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:04 am

DonF wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 10:43 am
I cannot imagine life without a dog! I keep a min of two around all the time hoping not to get left without one. Right now I have four and hoping Sis will die one day before me so I can take care of her and not worrying about leaving an old dog with someone that just doesn't understand!
I married a farm girl 42 years ago. Dogs were not allowed in their house growing up. Our first dog was an outside dog (that didn't last long). The company I worked for went belly up and we had to sell Katy. It was many years before another dog came into our life. My wife and little kids were visiting family one weekend and I went out and bought my first real hunting dog, Bilbo, a Springer Spaniel. That dog was so sweet and eager to please that my wife completely reversed her notion of a dog's place. All our dogs have been house dogs ever since and she says she couldn't imagine life without a dog.
Funny how a dog worms himself into your life and affections.

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