Wednesday, January 25, 2012


January 23, 2012
[at home]

The night after yesterday's hunt, Tessa started throwing up. A lot. She was also very quiet, but not really in distress, and her stools looked normal, so I was just keeping an eye on things. A long night, several comforters, rugs and towels later, she was back to normal.

Hunt No. 4

January 22, 2012
Jersey, GA

Back at the plantation today. The wind whipped around a bit, and everything was very wet from the fog and drizzle, and scents must have been all over the place, more so than usual, because the noses were working overtime. It was fun to watch Tessa quite literally being drawn through the fields by the invisible string of a scent, nose up in the air, and sometimes low on the ground. Even when she stopped for a moment, sitting next to me, her nose would wiggle in the air.

Unfortunately, Rhys busted quite a few birds, and we all agreed that this has quickly become a bad habit we need to break. Fortunately, Tessa didn't join him in the fun or try to beat him to it.

Tessa on point with Rhys and Shane were honoring in the distance.

Tessa held this point quite a while as it took me a few minutes to get to her. I was happy to see no flagging here - still rare for her.

Good Morning!

January 19, 2012
[at home]

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Winter Day and A Covered Bridge

January 15, 2012
Watson Mill Bridge Outdoor Recreation Area
Madison County, GA

The weather was so nice this afternoon that we went for an impromptu roadtrip to Gholston Stand Crossroads, Comer, and Watson Mill Bridge where we watched the sun set. Gorgeous winter day!

Recovery Run

January 15, 2012
Sandy Creek Park, GA

The day after the hunt, we go to the park for a recovery run. It's just business as usual for Tessa. Ah, to be a young and healthy dog! Rhys and Shane had to skip the park, still recovering from yesterday's hunt, but Snoopy joined us.


January 14, 2012
Jersey, GA

Our third hunt for the season. The first one was a disaster, Tessa all over the place, chasing, bumping birds, and there were other issues beyond my control (other than that it was a bad move on my part to expose her to those issues) but long story short, totally unacceptable. For the second hunt, I didn't put her in the field until later, after the other two dogs had their run and she wasn't competing nor being interfered with. That worked, and she did better, and I had much more control over what was happening out there.

Today, she was a joy to hunt with. We were assigned a zone that consisted of a narrow stretch of land, mostly chest-high dense sorghum fields, and there were other hunting parties in all adjacent zones, meaning our dogs were not to stray past the perimeter of our zone, which I feared would be a challenge at best. To my surprise, Tessa never ran into the other fields. At first I kept a close eye on her and turned her when she got close to the cut-off, but after a while I didn't even have to do that anymore, it was almost like there was an invisible fence. Maybe she figured out that because of the different terrain, dense cover, and low visibility, she had to hunt close if she wanted to be part of the team.

The first casualty was 1-year old Rhys, who cut his tongue on the sorghum about 10 minutes into it. For those unfamiliar, a dog's tongue can bleed like crazy - I had never seen it before and thought for sure he would bleed out but my friend was completely unfazed and sure enough, Rhys never skipped a beat and the bleeding stopped on its own (left a mess on his beautiful white coat though!).

The field was tough work, but all three dogs worked hard and I suspect that the harder they have to work the more they enjoy it. All birds were accounted for and then some.

Shane, who is 16 years old, had a good run, and came out unharmed, just very, very tired. Rhys somehow managed to collect a lot of cockleburs in his paws, and one paw required veterinary care. Tessa is chafed up on the underside but nothing serious. After 3 hours of running through this stuff, she wasn't even tired when we got home. I am also happy to report that there have not been any signs of lameness or stiffness on the right hind leg that gave us a bit of trouble last year.


January 12, 2012
[at home]

Tessa tries to bark the rain away.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

January 11, 2012
[at home]

"A. Egypt - final answer."
"A. is the correct answer! Let's see what amount is behind this question ... lots of big money still out there ..."
"$ 15,000!"

Oh my, the birds we could buy with that money, and a nice piece of land to go with it.

[Lunch break at the Nelson residence]

One of THOSE Mornings ...

January 11, 2012
[at home]

The Hunter

January 8, 2012
Athens, GA

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Pre-Hunt Run

January 8, 2012
Athens, GA

We were on the books for another quail hunt today, and I took her to the pasture for 30 minutes for a little pre-hunt run. Another pretty daybreak!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Two Runs

January 2, 2012
Athens, GA

The last day of our holiday break - since it is a Monday when Sandy Creek Park is closed we had to make do with two fields in town. At first we went to Lake Herrick, good for fetching tennis balls at full speed, then we proceeded to the abandoned cow pasture which has been a true blessing over the past few weeks. 15-plus fenced acres of meadow with a little hill in the middle and a good-size pond on the far side. Lots of paths through the clumpy grass, courtesy of the cows that once resided here. Some briar patches and shrubs where tons of birds gather, attracting bird dogs and bird watchers alike. There always seems to be a breeze, and this piece of land feels so much bigger than it actually is. Much to our liking.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

January 1, 2012
Athens, GA

So here you are, 2012, 366 new days rolling out before us, sure to bring joy as well as pain - never any telling where joy and pain will fall, but that is the mystery called life and we have no choice but to follow its path wherever it may lead. Looking forward to all the joy and will find a way to deal with the pain.