I wasn't too happy with mom this last weekend, because on Saturday Halo got to go with mom to school and then Belle got to go with mom to do therapy dog work (I will tell you about Belle's first day as a therapy dog in another post.). Anyway, I was feeling pretty left out and sad because mom didn't take me anywhere. She kept telling me Sunday was going to be my day and was I going to have fun. I still felt left out.
Then Sunday morning mom got up even before I got up, and that is really early. She got us all out of bed and fed us and put us outside while she got dressed. We could see mom through the window and she was getting stuff together like a cooler and dog bowls and check cords and stuff like that. Belle and Halo were getting really excited, so I got excited too. When it came time to go mom came to the back door and called me. She actually wanted me to go with her, and not Belle or Halo. Yippeeee!!
So we got in the GSP mobile (mom's minivan) and we headed out to the lease. I was in my crate and couldn't see much so I took advantage of the time and slept. We drove a really long way to the lease. When we got there we were in the middle of no where and there were other people there with funny looking greyish brown dogs mom called weimaraners, there were also Vislas which I already know about because I have a cute little Visla girlfriend, and other GSPs.
Mom put me on a check cord and a bright orange hunting collar, and we went out in the field to introduce me to birds. I thought mom was kinda crazy because we have lot's of birds in our backyard. There was another nice lady they called the bird lady. Now I didn't know what she was doing at first, but I did later and I sure liked the bird lady. Mom and I headed downwind of the planted birds (they were using homing pigeons for this part of the training). I was supposed to smell the bird and point. Sounded pretty easy to me. So, I started using my nose and I thought I smelled a bird. Now I had never seen a pigeon before this so I wasn't too sure at first about what I was supposed to do, but when I thought I smelled one I locked into a point. The bird lady then came up and flushed the bird and it flew. The first time I just kinda stood there, but mon and everyone told me I was a good dog. We did this exercise several times and I finally was getting so excited I was chasing those pigeons. They would fly off and then land on the coop. Well that ended the first lesson of the day and we just hung out to let me watch other dogs on birds for a while. Then is was lesson number two. They brought all the young dogs back out into the field. The bird lady was there and another guy that went way to the other side of the field. The bird lady started releasing pigeons and then the guy would fire the blank pistol. This was supposed to get us used to the gun and also teach us that good things happen when the gun fires. I wasn't worried about the noise of the gun though because I was so interested in the birds. They said I was ok with the gun and they could shoot with me in a brace because I just didn't pay it any mind, not even when they got really close to me. Finally, it was our turn to run in a mock hunt test. I was going to be braced with a more mature dog and we were going to hunt quail.
Mom took me over to the horse trough and hose to wet me down. She said it was pretty warm and we were going to be working hard so I needed to stay cool. Then we headed out to the field. My brace mate was named Sprint and their was also a person on a horse. I wasn't at all afraid of the horse or the man riding. He kept telling my mom what a nice pup I was, and he also said we needed to be careful I did not catch a bird. I didn't understand that one, but mom agreed so I guess all I was going to do today was find and point. I ran off with Sprint and we started looking. The first three birds Sprint found and then we came up over a hill and I knew I smelled a bird. I started zeroing in on the bird and then I had it. Nose down to the bush and tail up and froze. Mom called point and then flushed the bird. It was my first quail and I chased it for a while. When I came back everyone was making a big deal over my first bird. That pretty much wrapped up the morning. Mom said I did good on the birds and we headed in for a rest. When we got back I was so tired and hot. Mom took me over to the trough and I just climbed right into it and stood there. The water was over my back and if felt so good. I stood their drinking for a while and then got out. Mom put me in my crate for a rest and she went and ate lunch.
That afternoon we were again going to run the bird field only this time the birds weren't planted. There were allot of birds out there because we had run 5 braces that morning and the birds were scattered everywhere. This time my brace mate was another GSP named Troy. He was 4 years old. So, I went over to the horse trough again and got good and soaked down and then we were off. We weren't in the field 5 minutes and I got wind of my first bird. It was at the base of a mesquite tree in the tall grass. I locked on that bird and mom called point and they flushed the bird. So, off we went again and I found bird number 2. By this time everyone was surprised because the squirt (that was me) was finding all the birds and it was my first time. Mom said I came from good hunting stock (that meant my doggy mom and dad) and I just had a great nose. She also whispered to me that she knew I was a great hunting dog. Boy did that make me want to find more birds. About that time I got wind of bird number 3. Bird number 3 was really hard because it was in a cedar, but I knew that bird was there so into a point I went and mom called point and flushed it. The lady on the horse that was acting as judge for the afternoon said finding a quail in a cedar is pretty hard as the cedar will mask the smell of the bird, but I did find that bird in the cedar. Bird number three flew off and over to some more trees and the lady judge told the other GSP handler to take his dog over there and see if that GSP could find the bird since we kind of knew where it was. Mom tried to hold me back, but nothing doing. If that other GSP was going to look for the bird then so was I. Mom did catch up to me though and held me back, but that other GSP just didn't have the nose I did. He couldn't find that bird. We moved on ahead and left them looking for that other bird. We had just reached a new treeline and I wasn't picking up any scent. I was getting really hot and tired by that time. Mom said we would try one more area and then call it a day. We went into another area that looked pretty good, and that is when I found my fourth bird. About that time the other handler and GSP and the lady judge were coming along when mom said point. The lady judge asked her if she thought I could hold that point until we got the other dog up there and mom didn't even hesitate, she said yes. Of course, she was holding my check cord just in case cause they didn't want me to get too excited and spook the bird before that other shorthair got up there to us. It didn't take too long and they brought the other shorthair up to find my bird and after a bit he did find it and point it. At that point they flushed the bird for the both of us. Still everyone knew that last bird was mine too.
Mom said we were done and were going to head on back so I went ahead of her. After a little while I was pretty far ahead so I found some shade and laid down until mom caught up with me. I was pretty comfortable, but she said I needed to get up so she could get back and get some water for me. That sounded good so we walked the last little bit together. When we got back to the picnic area I went right over to that water trough. I was so hot and tired, but I got my front feet up over the trough and into the water, but I just couldn't get my butt into the water. I was too tired. So, mom came over and asked me if I needed a boost and I just wagged my tail. She lifted my butt up and splash I was in the water. It was heaven. I didn't want to get out, but there were other dogs waiting for their cooldown so after about 10 minutes I climbed out.
So ended my first day on birds and hunting. I was pretty proud of myself and mom just couldn't quit bragging about me. I slept the whole way home and then when I got home I ate and fell into bed.
I think I dreamed about bird hunting. I can't wait to do it all over again.