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Our Pride(!) and (much) Joy

  • Blog Post by: Walter Bruning
  • October 23, 2009 - 9:37 AM

Once my vision was improved after several surgeries and after about 18 months of shooting skeet again, the old itch to hunt birds returned. But what to do as I neared the big Seven Oh?

 

My wife and I visited a game farm and I shot some pheasants over a club dog. That was fine, but it wasn't my dog. The last bird dog, Babe the Brittany, had died in 2003. Then I met several guys here who hunted valley quail, whatever they were (!) and they used pointing dogs. I was excited about birds again so we decided to search for a pointing dog.

The criteria were pretty stringent: must be older and trained, we have no yard whatsoever and there is no public ground nearby that might serve to train a dog; I wanted a dog that could hunt right away last Fall, not a year later; and, the state of my health, though pretty good, is always a little dicey as time moseys by, to say the least.

 

Through the wonder of the web I found a new friend in Colorado, a veterinarian, Shawn aka Birddogdoc, a bird hunting nut who loves dogs too. Through his many connections, after a few false alarms, a candidate appeared. Windtuck Colorado Pride, Pride for short, a regally bred English Pointer bitch, was languishing in a kennel of field trial dogs in Colorado. Her crime? She wants to hunt to the gun, not over the next mountain. So she flunked out as field trial prospect but for foot shooting we had our girl. My wife Joanne and I went over and picked her up in the Denver area last September and our lives have changed forever.

 

She is now going on four years old. She loves to hunt, points stylishly as you can see above, is a fair-enough retriever and is just a character!

 

The perfect dog? No, there really aren't any in my 40 years of knocking around the fields and woods. She likes to creep a little on point when I get close to her. She won't move unless I'm there though. That's okay because I like her to flush the bird. I trained seven bird dogs over 25 years and all were allowed to flush except one. I trained one to be steady to wing and shot just so I could say I did it. But as soon as you start hunting such a dog with your friends' dogs you'll find that all that effort disappears. If the other dogs break it's nearly impossible to keep your dog from going too.

 

The bottom line is that we love her to death! She lives in the house and pretty much thinks of it as her kennel. We're up every morning at 0530 hours and by 0615 we're out for her two mile walk on a roading harness. Keeps her fit and us too. Hard to get old with a kid like Pride in the house. She won't let us. More to follow.

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