March 22, 2010
Will Your Wife Ruin Your Gun Dog?
By David DiBenedetto
Okay, readers, in the name of journalism I’m tackling a thorny subject—and one that could land me in the proverbial doghouse. A couple of months ago I ran a post with the above photo of my wife, Jenny, cradling Pritch when she was a 7-week-old pup. As I’ve said before, I got very lucky when I landed Jenny. Among a host of other great attributes, she loves to cook wild game, can handle herself on a fishing boat with aplomb, and just adores Pritch—which according to some commenters here just might be the pup’s downfall.
Man’s Best Friend regular, Clay Cooper, started things off with some good-natured ribbing after he saw the photo:
Trying to figure out in the picture, who is more spoiled?
And Jim in Mo followed up with this advice:
…If that dog is going to hunt get him away from that pretty girl, she will only make him her baby, she's already in love with him. I'm kidding but actually not.
Jenny and I got a good laugh out of it, of course, but I think a part of her was a bit offended. She has been involved in much of Pritch’s training process, often serving as the bird girl, hunt test support group, and grievance councilor. She also reinforces Pritch’s obedience training on walks and even around the house. And the truth is, when I became exasperated when training Pritch to HEEL, Jenny was the one who eventually broke through with the pup.
But does Jenny spoil Pritch? To borrow a line from a famous poet: "Let me count the ways..." I often call her the Chief Spoiler. Her new favorite pastime is snuggling up on the couch at night with the dog. But the truth is I’m delighted my wife loves the dog and vice versa. And I’m not worried about it affecting Pritch’s gun dog training. The biggest obstacles there are those created by my own amateur abilities (or rather inabilities).
So fellow gun doggers, I’m curious of your thoughts. Do you keep your spouse and gun dogs separate? (Notice I’m using the word “spouse” because I know a few families where the wife does the training and the husband does the spoiling.) Have any stories of your spouse spoiling your gun dog rotten?