Monday, October 24, 2016


A point during training.
     Nothing matches the magic of having a new pup in the house. Old dogs create comfort, new dogs bring wonder. The pup’s excitement and curiosity generate the same in us. Every trip afield becomes an adventure.
     There is laughter sprinkled with frustration, but most of the latter is usually brought on by our own unreasonable expectations. The difference between flustered and amused is attitude.
A woodcock point.
     Hopefully, the pup is trying its hardest to do what we want…but it’s just so hard to stand still when that bird is four feet from the nose!  I constantly remind myself that a bumped bird is a learning experience, and hopefully the young dog is smart enough to put it all together
     An older experienced dog is a great teacher and the pup will learn much. Of course, it is important to teach the younger dog to honor the older dog’s point, then hunt them together as much as you can.
     So this is our autumn to teach a pup, but Maggie seems to be teaching herself. On her own she knows to stay close in thick cover yet ranges further where the country is open, always quartering nicely to search every corner. Somehow she learned we are all part of the team, for she checks back often to know where I am. If only my shooting were better the process would cement in her mind quicker.
     When she comes upon the older dog pointing the brakes are applied. When she finds bird scent on her own Maggie’s hind end wiggles in overdrive until the bird is pinpointed. Now we are working on patience to just hold that point longer.
I walk ahead of Maggie pointing a woodcock.
     I am certain most of our success comes from good breeding, for that the credit goes to Ripsnorter Kennel in Ohio. Maggie’s manners were taught early and she loves to please.  
     Life is looking pretty good.

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