I’ve gotten to the point right now where I can let something go.
One of the reasons I’ve had such a rough time writing about dogs lately is that I’ve had a hard time letting something go.
The thing I’ve held onto is an ideal, a dream dog, the kind I once knew but is now pretty darn rare.
I’ve had to let go of whatever dream I had of ever having a decent working retriever. I’m not in the position where I can have such a dog, and I’m such an incompetent dog trainer that giving me such a dog would be a total waste.
I know about dogs. I appreciate dogs. But I don’t know enough and I don’t have the skills to do what I thought I would do.
Further, such a dog would be totally useless here in the hinterlands west of the Atlantic flyway and east of the Mississippi flyway. I once talked to a bird watcher from New Hampshire who was looking for West Virginia waterfowl, and he said all we seemed to have were mallards and Canada grassmuckers. Virtually all duck stamps sold in West Virginia go to stamp collectors.
I see a dog world that is in a lot of ways flawed, but I’m no position to offer any kind of challenge or critique.
For my own sanity, I’m letting all of this go. I spent a lot of time chasing lost dogs through what I’ve written on this blog, but these dogs are gone.
Golden retrievers have become a cancer-ridden, structurally unsound, and often temperamentally unsound mess. I don’t know how this mess gets fixed, but I don’t think it ever will. This is the curse of popularity, and it’s not helped by the simple fact that these dogs are perceived to be inferior to the Labrador, and over time, this will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. In a half century, will we think of golden retrievers the way border collie people think of Old English sheepdogs now?
It’s depressing to see something that once gave you a lot of joy fall apart before your eyes. It’s even more so when you know that there is nothing you can do about it.
I have to stop torturing myself.
I have to let this go.
I’ve found I like hunting deer to wasting my time with dogs.
And there are plenty of deer around here.