Sometimes, I think the dogs enjoy a rainy day as much as I do. It’s a sure fire reason to stay home and assume our positions in our favorite spots. Jake on the couch,
and Grady in the bed.
I know if I put my boots on and grabbed the gun they’d be at the door ready to go out and perform for me once again. It’s what they love to do as well as pleasing the old man. But the old man has to realize that they need a day or two to recover. Grady’s ribs are showing (all of them) and the way he covers the hill the meat won’t go back on until sometimes after January 31. Jake is pretty slim also but he’s figured out how to hunt smart and puts on fewer miles on a trip than the youngster.
The last two days the boys ran their tails off finding birds for me. Jake covered over 32 miles while Grady put on the burners and covered 52 plus miles. The elevation gain is unimaginable. On a normal hunt I gain at least 1500 feet of elevation, but when I hit the elevation the birds seem to be on I side hill in pursuit. The dogs are constantly uphill and downhill covering the terrain.
Although I complain about having to go up or down to the points, it’s pale compared to the elevation the dogs have covered to find the birds.
That doesn’t count all the birds they have to retrieve on those steep hills. Very seldom do they fall dead where shot. Most of the time they role down the hill and sometimes the crippled bird flops way down the steep slope with dog in chase. Probably the hardest thing a dog does is retrieve a crippled bird up a steep hill. Imagine what they that takes out of them with a mouth full of feathers. But they deliver the bird to me and are ready to do it all over again.
I complain about having to carry water and food for them and replace the water with birds in the vest. Poor Larry, I put on a whole 14 miles to what the dogs did in those two days. When the day is through, I snap the success picture to prove I’m the great hunter, when the real work was done by two dogs.
The picture is usually back at the rig and doesn’t show the steep country the dogs encountered in fetching these birds. It simply shows we were successful. Dogs can’t count and they’d rather assume their positions in the back seat of the truck than waste time taking pictures. Especially on day two of this hunt.
The picture shows five birds but it doesn’t say anything about the poor shooting by the big guy and how many time the boys headed down the hill at the shot knowing there should be a bird down and running around looking for the scent of a dead bird that wasn’t there.
Yes, they love chukar hunting as I do. But it’s still a lot of work and at the end of a hunt they are beat. We get home and they just want to lie around and wait for treats. I complain to Barb about how sore I am and have her take off my boots and socks and maybe rub some oil into my back to ease the pain. What a sissy I can be. Especially when the dogs did all the work.
That is why the dogs are having a dog appreciation day again today. Don’t forget to give your dogs that special time. I’m sure they work as hard for you as mine do for me.