Our lives are ultimately caught in a kaleidoscope, and as it twists, the shapes and colors that are facts and experience shift in and out of our view. As the twisting goes, we soon see before ourselves a new image, a new reality, and perhaps a new ethos, a new understanding. This process is known to all of us older than the age of 30, and it is such a profound part of living that if we were to live a few centuries, the same individual would be fundamentally a different person every couple of traditional lifetimes. We would be reborn many times without ever dying.
My worldview has changed greatly in recent years. The long screeds against show dogs have disappeared. They aren’t worth the time to write, and I honestly no longer agree with their theses.
And I have had to atone for my own myopia. It is difficult. I find it almost impossible to read what I wrote even three years ago. I am that much different from what I once was.
Back in 2015, I was on a tear about the German shepherd that won best of breed at what we call “the National Dog Show.” It is an event that is held in November, but it is televised after the Macy’s parade on Thanksgiving.
The dog that won BOB was Kysarah’s Pot of Gold, better known as a Patrick or Paddy. A German dog expert had declared his locomotion to be among the worst he’d ever seen, and the various blogs that were touting the “evils of dog shows” were quick to lambaste Paddy, his owners, and his breeder.
I left a stupid comment on Pedigree Dogs Exposed that it was shocking that they were turning the dogs plantigrade. You know, pretty much all the things you read on these sorts of blogs (including mine, if you dig a little bit).
German shepherds were never my thing. I generally left this breed alone on here. I was much more interested in the great crusade against brachycephaly, which (newsflash) has been lost and was lost long ago..
But I did get a hair stroppy about German shepherds and sloping backs and hock-walking back in the day.
It was good for my ego, good for my hits, and good for my pathetic little soul.
I didn’t know that Paddy was a beloved pet. He had been a junior handler’s dog, and his young handler had done well with him.
I didn’t know that Paddy had a wonderful life chasing the ball and leaping in the bogs of Eastern Massachusetts. I didn’t know how much he was loved. I didn’t know that he was a loyal and sweet and intelligent dog.
He was merely a victim of my horrid ideology. I had no idea that the animal rights fanatics were sending death threats to the family, including his junior handler. I had no idea that my ideas could be feeding into something that toxic.
What’s more is that the twisting of the kaleidoscope aligned my vision a bit differently.. I had come to, through circumstance, to live with Paddy’s nephew. I never considered Quest to be my dog, though I was on his papers. Jenna could have her dream dog, and I would focus more on the golden retrievers.
But I came to see that Quest was truly special. He is smart and protective, but he is good with other dogs, even other males. I cam to realize that he is a damned good dog, and I have since come to live with Dare and Miami, both of whom count Paddy as an uncle.
Have since come to count Paddy’s owner, Pamela Martin, as a good friend. She was very close to Anya, Quest’s breeder, and she mourned with us when found out that Anya had been killed in a truck accident.
And if that sorrow wasn’t bad enough, we received news that Paddy was euthanized on Sunday.
I never met Paddy, but I know his kin. I know his people.
They jokingly called him the “Broken Brown Dog,” the leaping bog dolphin.
But he was always unbroken.
Though the haters were always going to hate, he was always going to be loved.