Pointing Dog Dharma

"I asked Sparky if the black eared pup, having just freed himself from the fetter of his collar, would really have stopped mid-escape to point a pheasant in the vastness of the North Dakota prairie. Sparky said, “That puppy couldn’t help but point that pheasant. “That’s the dharma of the pointing dog. It has no choice in the matter. A pointing dog is hotwired to point game, be it a pheasant in a prairie, or a grouse in some timbers, or a partridge in a pear tree. A pointing dog encounters game and the dog locks up in a staunch, flesh pulsating, ribs protruding point that exclaims to the handler ‘there!’ He’s got no choice in the matter whatsoever. It’s pointing dog dharma. “And, that black eared pup didn’t just stumble across that pheasant in the vast emptiness of the grasslands. That pup was drawn, like iron is drawn to a magnet, by the sniff of the bird upon the prairie breezes. The dog could no more ignore the draw of the bird’s scent than it could chose not to halt its run and lock up on point. Dharma, like I said. “On the other hand,” Sparky continued, pacing about contemplatively, “what the pointing dog does after making its point is a matter of choice. That’s where you can see how dogs can be a lot like people at times. If a person doesn’t want to do something, well then, they don’t have to do it, and there isn’t much about which a person has no choice of doing or not doing. Dogs can be heady and uncompliant, just like people..."

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