There has been a pattern in Tessa's behavior lately, and I was not quick to realize it and fix it.
She has always hunted well, albeit a bit too independently, but was easy to turn and call back in the field. Lately, I noticed her recalls, while still there, were a bit sluggish. Then, during last week's hunt, she disappeared more frequently, dropping from sight and not responding to my recall very well at all. Today was no different and I should have just picked her up and ended the hunt. Actually, I should have addressed the recall issue before taking her out there again. Instead, I spent way too much time hollering after my dog who had the time of her life hunting her heart out, oblivious to my presence, disappearing several times. It was incredible frustrating, the more so because there is no one to blame but myself, and I am annoyed at myself for having let it get to this point. Needless to say, this was Tessa's last hunt until her manners have been refreshed.
On a good note, Dewi, one of our two Llewellin Setter hunting pals, did well and was unbothered by the gunshots, overcoming his gunshyness. Rhys, who is not very fond of the water, went for a swim. So did Tessa, although the water was likely pretty cold.
Tessa couldn't care less about the Super Bowl but the Clydesdale are a big hit. Two days before the big event, there was a feature on the horses on the evening news, and at the first most subtle snort Tessa jumped up and rushed to the TV to meet and greet - a Clydesdale!
Working quail with Rhys and Dewi - our first hunt this season. Tessa did well but still has the tendency to drift off sometimes, following the wind instead of the team to hunt for herself. I thought there was something way too independent about her today. I need to fix this.
The year started out with mostly disappointing weather and lots of hours spent at work, and before I knew it, half of January had passed without me taking any photos. But that day, I just had to go on a road trip, and decided on Jackson County. I didn't come up with much, so I decided to stop by the big junkyard off US 441, to take Tessa to the cool old cars at the bottom of the hill. We didn't have much time but it was 30 minutes well spent. A bit of heaven for me, actually: blue sky, lots of sun, my little bird dog, hundreds of old cars - and cows. Yes, cows roam freely here. They were munching on some hay to the left, and Tessa kept a close eye on them, making sure that they kept on munching.