Of Dogs and Human Relationships

While I have many character flaws, as my family has pointed out to me on occasions, I consider myself a fairly keen student of human nature as well as dog behavior. This past Friday night Martha and I celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary, and my oldest daughter, Holly, celebrated her 40th birthday the next day. When Holly was a little girl, she would tell everyone,” Mommy and Daddy got married on July 25th, and I was born on July 26th”. Now that probably would not be a big deal today, but it used to just horrify Martha to hear her say those words. I must say that I was somewhat shocked to hear Martha explaining to an acquaintance the other day how she had a 40 year old daughter. She casually mentioned that we got married when we were 11, and Holly was born when Martha was 12. Now I did not stay married to the same woman for 44 years by being stupid; so I pilled a “Bre’r Rabbit, he lay low” like the proverbial tar baby. We were both young and right out of college when we got married, but we were not that young. However, we grew up together, and it has certainly worked for us.


I got to thinking about the women( in my case only one), jobs(again only one), and dogs in my life the other day. I quickly surmised that my resume would look fairly boring, but I am quite happy with it. I do know that there are quite a few differences in training a good dog and training a good woman! As I have watched Chuck work with our English Cockers this summer, it amazes me how he uses gentle reinforcement and repetition to make them want to please him. Repetition and reinforcement with a wife will land you a frying pan upside the head, but these little Cockers are really responding.


I inherited my love for dogs from my late Dad. In his younger days, Pop was quite a rounder. He once told me that his dog was the only thing that really loved him whether he had been a good or bad person. Of course Pop was also the person who told me to lock both my dog and my wife up in the trunk of the car for 30 minutes, and see which one was happy to see me when I opened the trunk. Wisely, I never followed all of his advice. However, I do strive to be the kind of person my dog THINKS I am. If I can even come close to that goal, I will be living very close to the standards in The Good Book.


We are beginning to point towards hunting season now, and I will be filling y’all in on things as the late summer progresses on in to fall. Tempus is fugiting on along!