It seems like the last two weeks of my life have just been one big blur. One minute I was enjoying my last Dusky Grouse hunt and the next minute I was standing in the flagship Filson store in Seattle.
It's funny how life flies by when you are having fun. While my work load at the restaurant seems to be at an all time high, it's my upland life that keeps me going. While the hunts are what we all talk about, for me, the last two weeks have been about the education of this sport.
Last week I was fortunate enough to attend a field trial gunning seminar for spaniels with my good friend, training, and hunting buddy, Adis, from Upland Hunting the Springer Spaniel Way. While we both are a ways from actually gunning in a trial, the seminar is a prerequisite mandated by the English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association, which is the parent club of the breed. The seminar was hosted by a local field trial club. At times we felt like we were complete outsiders, but we were there to educate ourselves on the art of gunning for a field trial. I won't bore you with the details of the inner-workings of the seminar, but I will tell you that we shot well and looked good doing it (and I'm not talking about our looks).
Next up was a trip to Seattle for a friend's wedding. Wow, what a city. The food, the sights and the culture, that city has it all. In between the drinks and meals, Nichole and I took a trip the Filson flagship store. It was very cool to spend some time checking out the high priced gear. It was a lot less fun without my credit card! Sometimes you wonder how your wife can get to the credit cards before you can get into trouble! I think it goes both ways.
Between all this, we were able to pick up Abby from Tim at High Prairie Farms. Tim was traveling for a trial so he offered us the chance to bring her home for a week. Boy did that make Nichole happy. Abby wasted no time getting back into the swing of things. She's a funny little dog with a ton of quirks. She made us laugh as much and maybe more than she did before she left for training.
When I dropped her back off today I was able to witness her progress. If I haven't said it before I'll say it now. Nothing can compare to watching your very own springer steady to flush, gun and wing for the first time! I guess if you have kids you'll be a few up on me, but I don't have kids. She was rock steady and was spot on during the her run. I hung back at the trucks while Tim ran Abby. I knew that she would be steady but it was still amazing to see her in action. She'll be up at Tim's for one more week of training with a daily dose of pheasants to sure up a few loose ends. From there, Tim will turn her over to me and I will then have a few weeks to train with her before our pheasant season.
til next time....