I wish I had a scanner .. she was truly a beautiful dog. An Irish Setter (whose full name may not be quite right ..but it’s pretty close). We visited many breeders (that was fun!) and picked the middle of the pack in the litter. She was nearly 4 months old and for us with our first dog that was probably a good choice. Kelly is the only dog I’ve actually looked for.
We had a cat (Rum) who was not too impressed with a puppy in the house but they did become good friends fairly quickly. Kelly came to live with us back in the days before crate training and positive training – we signed up for a class with her which I wasn’t allowed to handle her in (I was too young- 10 or so) but we wound up with a not too crazy trainer who believed in rewarding the correct behaviour at the least.
Kelly had character – her recall left something to desire especially when my Dad needed her somewhere immediately. She played us well. She ate the wall in the kitchen when we left her alone. She had allergies – oh my she had allergies! She also worked beautifully for me. I could walk her down Yonge Street (a very busy main street in the city I lived in when young) off leash in a perfect heel and she’d ignore any distraction. Her recall improved enormously and I figured out the adage “a tired dog is a good dog” all by myself. We walked miles and miles and miles, Kelly and I. In the city, on old train tracks, at farms, in the country anywhere we could.
Kelly was my compatriot and partner on many adventures (I’m an only child). We would occasionally get a little lost and I would ask her to go home – she always brought me home. We saw a porcupine in a hole in a tree together. We watched deer together. We were running through a path one day (she was on a long line so it must have been early days before I trusted her recall) and she zoomed faster than I could run. She pulled me right over. I smashed my knee and head and still had to hobble home. She didn’t leave my side for a minute of that torturous walk home. She snuggled in bed with me as I recovered from a cracked knee and concussion.
She was a great introduction to life with dogs. She was kind, and funny – her humour cracked us all up regularly. She needed and wanted work – and she wanted to please us. Friends of the family thought she was stupid – how is it beauty and stupidity are so often equated with each other? Forgive me I digress. She wasn’t stupid – we were inexperienced, she was active. I am so very glad she came into our life.