Irish Setters

Silka, the black lab mix rescue from the Humane Society (daughter said, part 1)

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“”I’ve always wanted a dog and finally my parents said, we are going to get a dog.

I am 15 and I live at home.

My family adopted her from the Westchester Humane Society.

We were looking at dogs on their website and a photo of Silka popped up.

The angle of the photo made her look slender and very unique.

We had a picture in our minds of what we wanted our dog to look like and she fit the bill.”

Kasidy, the contemplative dog walker (part 3)

fullsizerender-11“The only limitation of this job is that it is very physically demanding.

I try shoe inserts, take ibuprofen as needed, and am aware of my posture and try to walk as efficiently as possible.

The concrete is hard on the body.  I walk between 7-9 hours a day.

Another downside of the job is the weather– extreme heat, rain and cold can be difficult.

Whenever I am coming to work, riding on the train, I take the first 15 minutes to meditate.

I meditate on the word emptiness.  I try to mimic their openness.

I try to just enjoy where we are in that moment.”

Lola, the proud and independent Irish Setter (the spouse, part 4)

“That moment was about terror and relief.

We were so relieved to have her back after thinking the worst happened to her.

I have never had a relationship with a dog like I have with Lola.

I think that’s due to age and my time in life.

When I had Shannon I was young, building a career and starting and raising a family.

I am retired now and I spend every day with Lola and my partner.

She reads us, and we her.

We have an emotional understanding and I think it’s from proximity and time.

Your kids grow up and they have their own lives, but with a beloved dog, your time is always in the present.”

Lola, the proud and independent Irish Setter (the spouse said, part 3)

“I was looking for a dog like Shannon.

I found a kennel about 100 miles away from our house in Pennsylvania that had Irish Setters.

We walked into the fenced in puppy area and Lola jumped onto my partner and it was love at first sight.

The worst moment with Lola was during one of my partner’s college reunions at our farm in Pennsylvania.

We let Lola out in the front yard.

As the wine flowed, we forgot that she was out in the yard.

About 2 hours later we looked for her but she was nowhere to be found.

We spent hours searching the land, until we gave up after 4 hours, convinced she was dead.

Around 3 A.M., she just trotted out of the woods, looked at us as if to say, what’s wrong with you, I’m tired and going to bed.”

Lola, the proud and independent Irish Setter, (the spouse, part 2)

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“When we ran out of all the breeds he was interested in, I went online to look for Irish Setters, because my most magnificent dog of my entire life was an Irish Setter.

I got him when I went to college in the 1970’s and he went to class with me.

He was my constant companion.

When I was married and my kids came along he would stroll through the park with us and much to my ex-wife’s horror and pride, people would comment on how beautiful my dog was (as opposed to noticing my kids).

That was Shannon, named after Shannon Run Road in Lexington Kentucky.”

Lola, the proud and independent Irish Setter (the spouse said, part 1)

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“We had been without a dog for 8 years.

I found that impossible.

I convinced my partner that we needed a dog.

I was a little sneaky.

I started suggesting his favorite breeds– breeds of his earlier dogs.

There was his West Virginia hound, which we discovered there is no such breed.

I went online and found Tennessee Redbone Hounds and Georgia Hounds, but no West Virginia Hounds.”

Lola, the proud and independent Irish Setter (he said, part 4)

“I always found my dogs before.

Lola was a handful.

The first trainer told us she was proud and independent.

He said, she basically didn’t know we existed.

Eventually, we trained her.

As long as she is not hunting squirrels or rabbits she is a good dog.

The best single moment was after we went away for vacation and came back to her.

She wagged her tail so hard that she fell over.

The one thing we wish for with Lola is that she would be more friendly or playful with other dogs.

But, she is wonderful with people.”

Lola, the proud and independent Irish Setter (he said, part 3)

“Eventually, after looking around online I suggested my spouse look for an Irish Setter.

There weren’t many breeders, but we found one in Lancaster, Pa.

It was a puppy mill of Irish Setters.

Lola stood up on me and made herself known.

We picked her up, and said, we want her.

Then we went into the unpleasant cashier’s office, paid a lot more than we expected to and got out of there.

Lola was my first purebred dog.”

Lola, the proud and independent Irish Setter (he said, part 2)

“There are Georgia Redbone Hounds and Tennessee Redbone Hounds, but they didn’t look anything like my West Virginia Redbone Hound.

We tried to get a dog through a rescue agency but it seemed harder to adopt a dog than a baby.

All the inspectors to prove you would be a good parent were trying.

We went to a rescue shelter in Pennsylvania since we have a house there.

We saw a dog we really liked but he was five years old and had been returned several times because he had issues with blankets.

We decided we were too old to fight a dog over blankets.”

Lola, the proud and independent Irish Setter (part 1)

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“My spouse and I had been without a dog for eight years and we decided it was time to get another one.

We each had favorite dogs in our past.

Mine was a dog I’d found in Washington Heights years ago, which my veterinarian told me was a West Virginia Redbone Hound, that I called Pablo.

His was an Irish Setter he’d had when he was in college, called Shannon.

To appease me, since I didn’t want the  dog as much as he did, he suggested we try to get another West Virginia Redbone Hound.

We went online, only to discover there is no such dog breed as West Virginia Redbone Hound.”