|Logan Elm Red Rambler|
For me there is nothing that makes my day any more than when a young dog that you raised from a pup does well. When the older dogs do well, you expect it. And, it has happened before. It still is nice, but it just doesn't feel the same as when a pup excels.
When a young dog does well, it makes all the time and effort worth it. You spend hours and days evaluating females, planning crosses, and predicting how the pups will mature. After what seems like forever, the female has pups and you check on them several times a day, hoping she will do a good job with the litter.
As the pups start to grow, you watch them wonder at first around the box, and then around the pen. You try to predict which one will step it up to the next level, or if any will? Once the pups are weaned you watch them fight at the food bowl and wrestle around always wondering, who will be the jump dog? Who will be the best?
After what seems like a lifetime, you get the pups started and finally have the chance to evaluate them. Usually the best seem to have just a little more spark or flash, but still you wonder how much potential is really there. Will what you see in the starting pen stick out in the field?
Once you start running them in the field you celebrate that first jump and watch as they start to get a check now and then. You cuss them when they run deer and never want another pup when they can't find their way back to the truck. You worry about their faults (and they all have one) and hope they aren't too bad.
At some point, with a pup now and then, it starts to make you smile. You think, "hey I kind of like him. He may be all right." He starts to make his way up your list. He started at the bottom but now he is getting towards the top. You wonder if his potential will be realized and he will become your best.
Rambler didn't place at his first ARHA hunt but he still looked ok, just a little confused. He has won the last two. He is making me smile. He may stink it up when I run tonight. He may never win another hunt. Yesterday when he won, he made my day. And at least for now, at least for today, he is making me smile.
I'm sure anyone who has raised beagles for any time, knows how I am feeling. There is nothing that beats when your young dog makes your day.