Scott Chaffee sent this picture (via Rich Hollister) of Al pointing a covey of sharptails in South Dakota. He reports that Al is doing very well and is reaching his prime. He is running strong and finding alot of birds. He was an August pup and compared to the pups born the January before with whom he had to compete, he's always been just a step behind. Exposure to wild birds make a bird dog and this trip to summer camp has made all the difference.
Now Daisy is a different story. When he first turned her loose she ran wider than any dog at camp and ran thru coveys like a 6 month old pup. I can just see her testing a new handler and having the time of her life. I told Scott to put her on a check cord and remind her that he was in charge and that she needed to remember her manners! He did that and although she's probably not as happy being controlled she's getting the job done. She's a precocious 2 year old and a good one.
I remember years ago when Jack Nicholson and I would drive out Mackinaw road to a 200-300 acre field of wheat stubble. There were young pheasants everywhere and our dogs mostly trained themselves. That field is now an industrial park and I haven't seen a wild pheasant in 10 years. Birds make all the difference and it's unfortunate that we now have to send the dogs 1500 miles away to find them.
The mornings are cooler now and I've been able to get Lu and Bette into the woods. We're finding grouse and woodcock consistently and they are ready for fall.
Most people can't wait for summer and hate to see it end. Not me........I can't wait for it to be over. Hurry fall!