Sometimes potential ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. Right? Isn’t that the Billy Beane story line? Peat’s got tremendous potential, but can we survive him? That’s the latest question around here. Angus is sick of him. He’s wearing us out. But in the morning he’s the sweetest thing since evaporated milk, and he just wants to play (usually much too roughly) at all other times. Peat humps and batters Angus, and Angus has begun shaking in terror when Peat barks, which is often, and at ear-splitting volume. Lately, Angus retreats to the bedroom when Peat’s running around during playtime, and I shut the door. Last night was the first night in Angus’s life that he didn’t come sleep on the bed. I assume it’s because of Peat. I feel for the old dog (even though he’s only 8). Often I feel like an old dog. I am an old dog (although I’m younger than Angus in dog years).
I wrote two emails this evening offering Peat to some people. I didn’t send them, but they’re ready to go. We work with Peat every day on basic obedience and retrieving, but it’s painful and painfully slow progress. Often I feel like Sisyphus. Our dogs are family members, pets, they sleep with us, they ride inside wherever we go, which is not how all hunting dog owners relate to their canine partners. But that’s how we roll, and Peat’s lopsiding our wheels more than we’re used to. More than we enjoy. This whole saga makes me feel like an idiot. I am an idiot. I wrote a post about that not too long ago.
Still, we’ve had some great experiences with Peat, and we’ll still go no matter what happens with him. But in a way, he’s made me wonder which is bigger for me, chukar hunting or my bond with my dogs; they’re intimately connected, but it’s a question I’d never pondered until now. I’m not sure what I think about that. Anyway, here’s a little of what we’ve seen the past couple of weeks in our confusingly beautiful pastime.