In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’ve decided to do a post about love and the things that are close to my heart. Now I know what you may be thinking…”what man would publicly blog about such a subject?” Well, me, that’s who.
My wife, Charlyn and I are the proud owners of a male German Wirehaired Pointer named Cooper and a female Lab/Weimaraner mix named Tessa. They are such a treat to have as part of the family and we love them dearly. Cooper will be 20 months old at the end of the month, Tessa is a bit over two years. We got Cooper four months after our other German Wirehaired Pointer, Kobie left us in April, 2012. My wife found Cooper at Dark Star Kennel in Arkport, New York in May, 2012. She was really excited and emailed me at my work to tell me all about it. I emailed her back and told her we would talk about it at home that night after work. I happened to click on the link she sent with her email and saw Cooper, I emailed her right back and told her to go ahead and ‘pull the trigger!’ We picked Cooper up from the breeder that August as we made a trip back to my hometown of Rome in upstate New York for my sister’s wedding. On our flight back home, Cooper was tucked into a carry on case under our seats, he was already 11 weeks old and the last one to leave the litter. The breeder, Eli Marcus, was kind enough to hold him for us until our mid-August vacation. Here’s a photo of Cooper today…
How can you not be in love with a face like that. And let me tell you, he has got the personality to go with it! Cooper loves to put birds on point. In April, 2013 we took Cooper through his Natural Ability field test with the NAVHDA (North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association) organization. He passed with flying colors. You can see in the next photo what a typical walk with Cooper looks like…
You may not be able to see Cooper, but that’s his tail in the center of the photo holding a bird on point. And believe me when I tell you, once he puts a bird on point, it’s like he was put into one of those cryogenic machines that freezes your body solid, he does not move until we flush the bird! Again I ask, “how can you not love this?” Well, okay, if you’re not fond of dogs, or the outdoors, or fresh air, I guess I can see it then.
However, as the months passed, we felt that Cooper would do well to have a playmate. And actually, we thought we’d do well to have a second dog too. We did have two dogs at one time…before our Yellow Lab, Laney passed away in 2009. So, we kicked it around but never really put an effort into finding a mate for Cooper. Then one day recently, it happened, Cooper needed more dog food. So we did what any logical dog owners would do and headed to the pet store after Church one Sunday morning last November. Wouldn’t you know when we got to the store there was a pet rescue/adoption day going on…hmmm, this could prove to be interesting. Well, my wife had to use the ladies room, which was located in the back of the store. Just so happened that the pet rescue/adoption folks had their pet corral set up back there too. I told my wife that I’d wait right out here for her, pointing to the pet corral. When she came out of the ladies room, she found me on the floor petting a two-year old female Lab/Weimaraner mix named Tessa. Again, we did what any illogical dog owners would do; not only did we bring home dog food for Cooper, we brought him a playmate as well. The rest, as they say, was history. It couldn’t have worked out any better! The gal working for the pet rescue agency said it was her best adult dog introduction in her entire career. Cooper and Tessa bonded immediately. Here they are today, doing what they love to do out in our backyard, tear it up.
Tessa also enjoys our daily walks. We are fortunate that our house borders a wetland area with a walking trail. As you might imagine our dogs love this daily routine. On the weekends we try to get out into the open field ranch lands where there is a huge pond and plenty of open space. It is here that we will let the dogs run free for a bit if there is nobody else around. This has been especially fun to watch since Tessa has joined Cooper in these jaunts. Below is Tessa during one of these runs just about a week ago.
So, as you can see, Charlyn and I feel really blessed to have two dogs running around and playing in the house again. Speaking of Charlyn, I would like to share a picture of true puppy love and the Valentine that God placed before me again in 2009. I say again because Charlyn and I have known each other since she was eight and I was nine. She was my first girlfriend, crush and heartthrob as a little boy. Today, she is my best friend and since October, 2010 I’ve had the privilege to call her ‘wife.’ Happy Valentine’s Day, Charlyn! I love you with all my heart!