In the training game, the conventional wisdom is that a man or woman will own one great gun dog in their lifetime. (Maybe two if the good Lord smiles kindly on them.) I’m not talking about your run-of-the mill family pet, but a truly great gun dog–with all of the drive, talent, instinct, and smarts you could dream of. And like life in general, you never know when you’re going to hit it big with a pup.
Take my older brother, for example. He claims his very first Labrador, Charlotte, was his lifetime dog. She practically taught herself, and the only thing that held her back he contends was his own ineptitude. Still, they made some noise at trials and had a darn good time in the field. Four dogs later and he’s still reminiscing about Charlotte’s talent and wondering if he’ll ever own another that’s her equal.
I’ve owned one gun dog before Pritch, but we only piddled about. Neither of us really gave it everything necessary to be a team. As for Pritch, it’s probably too early to tell if she’s going to be my lifetime dog. But so far I’d say probably not. Does that mean I love her any less? Hell, no! Or that I won’t continue working with her? Fat chance! She still has plenty to teach me. (In fact, she’s probably the perfect dog for me at this stage.)
But I’m curious how many of you feel like you owned the one great gun dog of your lifetime or if you’re still waiting. Or do you think whole notion of one great gun dog in your lifetime is just bunk?