You can learn a lot from your dogs especially if those dogs are sporting breeds. Weird way to start a column about modeling isn’t it?
Well it’s true. We have four Brittanys. These are 30-45 pound orange and white huntin’ dawgs that are used for pheasant, quail, chuckar, partridge and the like. Having four dogs and having a place to run them affords a great opportunity to walk and watch as they run. We take ours out in pairs and they run for 20-30 minutes just for light exercise.
Well the other day our male (Charles) turned 15. Now 15 in the life of a dog is quite a long time and we’ve been very lucky. (Don’t worry the modeling part is coming soon and I promise it will be worth it.)
On Charles’ 15th birthday we got a bird from our trainer and put it out for him. Charles is a retired show dog that absolutely loves to hunt. Unfortunately at 15, those hunts are somewhat shortened for him. Charles ran like a puppy, chasing the birds and trying to find more with every step and every breath. He never caught the bird (he kind of points and then dives in if you don’t get to him fast enough), but it didn’t stop him from searching and trying.
This really got me to thinking as I watched him. In all his years of dog shows, travels, hunts and training, he has never gotten cheated. What I mean by this is that he has always run flat out, greeted people at the front door like they were the most special people on earth or performed at his best level while in the show ring (and yes the movie “Best in Show” is a very accurate depiction of what goes on at a dog show!). He has indeed and does indeed live his life (and his opportunities) to the fullest, mainly because he doesn’t know any better.
To Charles the world is full of birds for him to find and even though his skills have deteriorated a bit and his stamina isn’t what it used to be, it doesn’t decrease his enjoyment of the event.
So how does this apply to modeling? Pretty simply actually.
As modelers we tend to go in spurts with our hobby. We get interested in a kit and then we lose interest. We get interested in a subject and we lose interest. We fill our shelves of doom and we lose interest. The bottom line is that we tend to cheat ourselves from the best of all modeling experiences which is finishing a model.
The reasons for this are many and have been discussed in these pages at great length in the past. However I believe that the biggest reason is that we haven’t figured out what my dog already knows, that is that there may not be a hunt tomorrow.
Our lives change all the time. Whether it is work or family or we simply lose the physical functions (bad eyesight etc), things get in the way of our hobby. We all look longingly back at the time that we wasted when we had the opportunity.
I guess I would rather look back and remember all the fun I had enjoying the hobby than to look forward to “when I will have more time to enjoy the hobby”. We all know that life rarely slows down and someone will always find you something else to do that is way more important. .
For Charles his opportunities for more days narrow every day, but that never changes the enthusiasm that he hits the fields with. It could be because he doesn’t know better, but I would rather think it is because he doesn’t care, he’s having the time of his life at that moment and nothing else matters to him.
So for today, enjoy the hobby like you don’t want to be cheated For this moment, shut up and build! You may never have another moment like this one.