This morning I went over to meet Luke, the EC. He lives in NW. A blue roan about a year and a half old. He was so charming, and had eyelashes about inch and a half long. I was mesmerized by them, honestly. He was a happy, sweet loving dog. Loves his mouth and what he can do with it. Motors along by the propellar that is his tail. Easily distracted, but very compliant when she (Lois) had his attention. She is training him in obedience and I can tell they have a lot of fun.
I like him a lot; I liked his size, his impish expression, his joy, his shaggy paws.
Afterwards I was on my way to the bank to finally deposit my check from PDX , leaving messages for Mark to be sure he meant it when he said he’d back me up when Arlene called. She wants to know. She wants to know. We must’ve talked for over an hour while I wound through the west hills and down to the credit union where I sat in the car watching the gas station and the line of cars at the light.
I told her. If “bitty” this available girl turns out to show real promise in temperament for a therapy dog…then I’m in. She wants to know what she’ll do if some nice couple calls who want a dog to hang out with and they want a little girl…Tell them to wait until they’re temperment tested. Lots of litters are unknown for a while. Aren’t they keeping anybody? I know one girl is going up to Canada, orange girl I guess. The other could be mine. Its your litter, I don’t want to tell you what to do, I said, and if she goes, I’ll be OK…but why not give us the chance. It could be a real team. But I don’t want to lose a great home…if it’s the right home, they’ll wait a little bit and yes, I’ll fly out when they’re 6 7 8 weeks old.
I heard myself talking. I heard how calm I was, how much sense I made, how strong I sounded, even as I was whispering really loudly to myself: what the hell are you doing!! If I gotta trust one of those voices, I’ll trust the one that showed up on the outside….becasue I’m no good at faking when my mouth opens.
Tonight I’m reading English cocker stuff, learning what slabsided means, and how a forechest looks…I am studying the outline I’d have one. A jolly, merry little dog.
Although what sold me on the FS is a breed standard that reads::
The Field Spaniel is a combination of beauty and utility. It is a well balanced, substantial hunter-companion of medium size, built for activity and endurance in a heavy cover and water. It has a noble carriage; a proud but docile attitude; is sound and free moving. Symmetry, gait, attitude and purpose are more important than any one part.
expression: Grave, gentle and intelligent.
Now let’s look at the EC standard:
he English Cocker Spaniel is an active, merry sporting dog, standing well up at the withers and compactly built. He is alive with energy; his gait is powerful and frictionless, capable both of covering ground effortlessly and penetrating dense cover to flush and retrieve game. His enthusiasm in the field and the incessant action of his tail while at work indicate how much he enjoys the hunting for which he was bred. His head is especially characteristic. He is, above all, a dog of balance, both standing and moving, without exaggeration in any part, the whole worth more than the sum of its parts.
expression: Soft, melting, yet dignified, alert, and intelligent.
So you have:
noble, gentle intelligent vs
soft, , merry intelligent
The description of the FS is a description of a dog I could adore.
Now I need to keep the papillons safe from a dog of substance, and myself moving to the beat of the rest of my life.
I myself move through the hills. Up, , around, taking sharp curves coasting without the brakes. One minute I have clarity so clear, it rings like crystal in my solar plexus. An hour later, a monkey fist rolls around under my ribs, making the lining of my stomach ache.
Oddly, the people in my life who I count on for support seem to vacillate as well…one moment exciteted about what Ive found..the next shaking their heads in perplexity. Why a bigger dog? Why another dog? Why this?
Why. Because the elements of my life that make me who I am --at my best --are lining up like constellations in this 50th year. They draw a map of the night sky and in it, I travel, up out of the chair, up from the long nap, away from the endless www history and out into the world. Walking. Moving. Sharing the gifts I have found along the way.
the books I write. the dogs I partner with. the man I fly this spaceship with. the