Sunrise training with Doc

Irish Setter, German Shorthair (GSP), Brittany Spaniel, and Doc made up our collection of dogs for Friday’s early morning training session.

Chris working Irish Setter pup on check chord

I wanted my trainer, Chris Colt of Cove Mountain Kennels, to evaluate Doc on his hunting since he scored low on that in his last hunt test. I’m not concerned with Doc’s steadiness since he is very solid on steady-to-shot-kill-and-retrieve.

Doc on point

We began by bracing Doc with a young Irish Setter pup. The Irish Setter was kept on a check cord while Doc hunted the field. When Doc went on point, Chris would bring in the setter and work with her. We were both very pleased with Doc’s field work.

Doc on point

After Doc and the setter, we worked the GSP on several birds just to reinforce a couple of areas, then went back and worked Doc on a blind retrieve and another planted bird. Doc occasionally confuses blind retrieves with pointing and will sometimes point a dead bird, but this time he handled it perfectly.

Doc quartering nicely, ears flying

Doc’s blind retrieve was about 75 yards and I was hoping that he would have to spend time searching for it. Instead, he found within a couple of minutes and retrieved it to hand.

Doc’s blind retrieve

The breeze was becoming fickle, sometimes dying and often shifting directions, which presented a real challenge in finding the planted bird. Although I marked the area where the carded pigeon landed, we were unable to find it.

German Shorthair Pointer on point

That was where the Brittany came in. Chris brought her out to help Doc and after extensive searching, she found the bird and went on point. Doc did a nice job of honoring even though he often looked back at me for direction.

Doc honors Brittany on point, but looks back at me

Following training, our oldest daughter and I drove to Spencer and hunted for opal in a “mini mine”, which is a fenced area containing tailings that are trucked in from the mine. For a fee, one can dig for opal and we found a couple of nice pieces. At one time the public could drive up to the mine and hunt the tailings – where I found all of my high quality opal. Regardless, one of the pieces of pinfire opal that I found would pay for the trip.

Pin fire Spencer Opal

Another successful rescue

Looked out the window Sunday morning to see a black Lab sleeping on our neighbor’s front porch so we took it in. He didn’t appear to be an old dog, but was very stiff and sore as if it had traveled a very long distance or perhaps been hit by a car.

The Lab was neutered, had at one time received rabies shots, and although dirty and smelling of skunk, was not neglected. We didn’t want to take a chance of exposing our guys to canine influenza, so we kept it in a crate in the garage, gave it food and water, and lots of blankets to lay on.

We immediately called the Humane Society, but nobody had reported a missing Lab so we decided to keep it until Monday when the animal shelter opened. It was very well mannered and I took it on short walks every 2 to 3 hours, then washing my hands after each walk.

By the time I took him for a walk on Monday morning, he had recuperated enough to be full of energy and howled his displeasure at being crated. Carrie took him to the animal shelter when it opened and luckily, he was microchipped and should be home safe and sound by the time I post this article.

The owners don’t live far from us so whatever his adventures or why he chose to spend the night on our neighbor’s porch, I guess only he knows.