|12 weeks (with Killian on right)
Well I have to tell you about Saturday . . .
We head out to the field, there's 18 birds planted and two in a crate for us. I set out
a rooster and we take Sadie in to see what happens. The cover was about 3-4 feet
high and she's a live wire. When she finds the bird, she jumps straight up into the
air - backwards, wheels around, tears right back up to it, and then repeats the
process a few times. This is all really new and different for her!
Then she stretches out real long and close to the ground, probably extended about
6 feet. She eases up, carefully grabs the end of the tail and begins pulling...
Yee-Haa! The rooster takes off, I nail it and she goes impala-bounding in on radar
having marked it perfectly. We rush up telling her to fetch it up, she's really wound
tight now and is waiting for the bird to do it again, pulling at the tail feathers some
more (that was big fun!).
She figures out that maybe the bird isn't going to do that again and begins pulling it
to see if she can get it to work again (she's tried to repair her toys at home...) and
after a few tries and our coaxing, she retrieves the big rooster to hand and I can't
remember ever feeling any better than that moment. What an absolute little
She wasn't a psycho dog, she didn't harass Piper (3-year old black lab), she
responded to hand signals, to whistles, to verbal instruction, all with her head up to
see what was going on (and up). When not directly following an order, her nose
was on the ground and she was working close to about 20 yards... perfect. Her
stamina was great and she only tired when Piper (who splits his time between here
and hunting in Colorado) did. Weather was dry, 41 degrees, breezy. She put up
about 3-4 birds on her own and was in on maybe 10 more.
You mentioned that you hoped she did it with style, I have to say I've never seen a
6-month old pup with more class. She was participating on a different level than
most pups. It was like she was looking at the big picture almost instantly, what a
pleasure. She enjoys going into the thick stuff as much as anything else and when
she hits scent, she's electrified but controlled. She's systematic, problem solving, a
real thinker. A dog person just can't watch enough of that kind of work. She even
went against the grain, back behind us trailing one that we had walked past and
flushed it right behind Diana, much to Mama's startled surprise. When all the
fussing was done, we had 14 birds in the freezer, and 400 memories in the books.
We'd have had more birds but I missed one or two. I hadn't touched a shotgun
since last fall for the most part so there were a couple of times I shot like a
When you're hunting with others and it's the dog's first day afield, you have these
nightmares of having to kennel the dog due to it being out of control in a new
situation. Even if you are reasonably confident that this won't happen, being "live"
often has it's little surprises waiting in store for you.
Well, it was about as opposite of that as you can get. Diana was very proud and so
was I. Uncle Fun laughed and said, "Well I see you've got another stinky dog!!!
Maybe we should call her "Stinky!!!" Our other hunter was Butch Johnson and he
couldn't stop saying great things about her. He said he's seen $2000 dogs that
never worked on her level. He's a real nice guy to hunt with. What a day!
We took lots of photos and will have them processed. We used the "good" camera
which is still a film type (remember those?) so it will be a few days. She's a
phenomenal dog, both in the home and out in the thick stuff. Congrats to you and
congrats to us! What a day!
Signed, "Another satisfied customer!"
Randy, Diana & Sadie
|Christmas Eve visit with Aunt Streak
and Mom Rainey
|Rainey & Streak visit