We've had such an AWFUL winter this year in the northeast. It's been a constant barrage of snow and ice storms. As a native Pennsylvanian, people here are ready to tar and feather that jerk groundhog Punxsutawney Phil because this is clearly all his fault. For those of you not accustomed to weird Pennsylvanian traditions which you should all be because Harold Ramis (may he rest in peace) made a hilarious movie called Groundhog Day staring Bill Murray in 1993. In that movie Bill Murray is forced to live Groundhog day over and over and over which is what this winter feels like. It's never frigging ending. But anyway for all of you who may live under rocks if our boy Phil sees his shadow, which he did this year, were doomed to 6 more weeks of winter. Because basing weather predictions on a stinky land beaver isn't weird at all. But anyway you cut it it's still snowing and the ice is still not melting and were still not working birds or hunting as much as we should be. Which is sad. And disappointing. I hate you extra worst than normal winter.
So this past weekend we escaped the PA snow and traveled to the Mills in NJ to join Bob Gelder and a group of his puppies to work them on some chukars. Bob owns Shore Shot GSP's in Ocean County, NJ and had a litter out of his VC female Bonnie 2 1/2 weeks before Cleo whelped her litter. Bob also owns Cleo and Luna's sire Max so all the puppies that were there were half siblings to our big girls which made it even more exciting to see them in action. I think Bob invited us because he knew I'd go crazy if we didn't get Sage out on some birds. Bob is a good friend.
It's like Ghostbusters....don't cross the streams (or leads in this case)
When we got there is was PUPPY OVERLOAD!! There were 6 or 7 puppies from Bonnie and Max's litter! Sage had a blast rolling in the dirt and sand with those pups. It was fantastic from a socialization standpoint and I swear it was the first time Sage has touched anything other than ice or snow in 5 weeks. She was loving every second of it.
I see you Chukar!!!
WHAT!?! Where are you going?
When it was time to get her out we threw out a chukar and just let her chase it trying to develop some drive in her. When she finally chased it down and got close enough it would hide and you could see her using her nose to locate it. She would flash point it a bit before eventually pouncing. She would pick it up and carry it for a bit. Another throw of the chukar would send her tearing off through the woods. She did an AWESOME job at 12 weeks of age. I think we will do this with her one more time and then transition into not allowing her to have the bird and start popping some pigeons.
Feathers are the new milk mustache
When Sage Monkey was done with her chukar Jimbo took the big girls out and ran them in a nearby field. After they were out about 5 minutes I took Sage up to the edge of the field to see if she wanted to run a bit. When we arrived Momma Cleo who was half a field away stopped dead in her tracks and looked hard in our direction. She took off towards us shifting through her gears and when she arrived she greeted Sage with tail wagging enthusiasm. She leaned in and touched her nose to Sage's nose and I could almost hear her say, come on kid lets go! And off they went with Sage running as fast her rabbit hoppy back legs could go. Momma Cleo and Auntie Luna ran her far across the field and Jim and I stood there together in awe with a feeling of real contentment. This is going to be the best summer ever.
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