Seeing the best in life's challenges

For the Love of my Dogs

on April 10, 2012

I live with two Brittanys, sisters from the same litter.  I remember reading somewhere that the Brittany is like a highly intelligent, very active young child.  To me, the Brittany is the perfect dog, but they are not for everyone.  I wanted to write about why my girls mean so much to me.

Brittanys are spaniels, so they have those sweet faces, big floppy ears, and soft eyes.  But they also have lots of energy, and they need to be able to run — a lot.  We have a large, fenced back yard, their own private dog park.

Kona is liver and white, like her dad, Mike.  She is a soldier, the serious one.  She knows and follows the rules.  She is intense, always on alert.  She would have made an amazing field trial dog or even agility dog.   She can easily jump our five-foot fence, but she doesn’t, because she knows she’s not supposed to.  When I happen upon the scene of a crime, she will act guilty whether she committed the crime or not (and most likely she didn’t).  She’s always a little bit nervous, and she’s skinny. When she begs, she woos you with flirty eyes.  Kona is also the dominant one.  She’s not fixed, and definitely a pushy bitch.  She will steal her sister’s bone in a heartbeat.

But Tink doesn’t mind.  Tink goes with the flow.  She doesn’t much care about the rules.  She is always happy and has a great sense of humor.  Really, you can joke with Tink and she just wags her tail.  She gets this mischievous look in her eye and you can just tell she is laughing inside.  She’s silly and playful.  Tink is white and orange, like her mom, Angel.  She loves to eat (and one does wonder if this has to do with being spayed).  I tease her and tell her she’s a hefty dog.  It’s a good thing she can’t jump the fence, because she’d do it all the time.  When Tink begs, she stares at you very directly – she’s very clear and you know exactly what she wants.

Brittanys are bird dogs, pointers.   They usually hunt in pairs, and a really important thing they have to learn is to honor another dog’s point.  Kona and Tink do this naturally.  It is fascinating to watch them hunt. They routinely catch squirrels, but they have also caught two groundhogs, a raccoon, a couple of ‘possums, and many small rodents.  They can sit, perfectly still, for hours.  They are of one mind, instinctively knowing what the other will do even before they move.  They balance each other perfectly.

To me, they reflect the two sides of my personality – I have that serious side, sure, but I also have that playful side.  Watching Kona and Tink, and how they balance each other, has helped me to appreciate both ways of being, how we need both approaches to life.

People talk about how wonderful it is that dogs love their owners unconditionally.  But I think it is more interesting to observe how we owners love our dogs.  No matter what my dogs do, whether it is digging up the new landscaping or vegetables in the garden, destroying the stacked stone wall to get to the rodents living inside, dismantling the newly stacked woodpile into a heap of rubble, or scratching the paint off the back door, well, we might get mad at them for a minute, but that doesn’t last long.

We know that they are just being dogs.  We don’t take these things personally.  We accept them for what they are, and actually enjoy their antics and just laugh.  Just by being who they are, they allow US to love THEM unconditionally.

2 responses to “For the Love of my Dogs

  1. Seasonsgirl says:

    My uncle has a brittney on his farm in NE and I love when we go out so I can plya with her. If we could take our dogs out there they would love playing with her.

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