Pheasant Hunting with Golden Retrievers
If you are going to a hunting club, it's best not to arrive in a Subaru wagon. You can only make it worse arriving with a couple fuzzy Golden Retrievers sitting along side you in the front seat. But that is the hand I've been dealt. Well the Subaru is a choice I made because I'm tight. I could have just as well driven out in my Power Wagon at 10 mpg on a downhill. And for a moment it's a Bob Seger moment "All the same old cliches, "Is that a woman or a man?" At this moment the guy has the balls to ask if I know what i'm doing. I don't dare make a stand. I give him my standard line. These are my pets (which they are), the hunting dogs will show up in a minute. I don't bother telling him these pets have 20 hunting days under their belts for the season. I don't make them sit and stay -- their fortee. I let them go: Golden Retriever wild and jump all over him.
I could make a list of the different breeds of hunting dogs I would like to own. Ideally, for where I live, it would be a griffon. I almost exclusively hunt for pheasant or quail on a large corn farm. A river runs through it. My favorite hunting, hands down more than an idle walk through the corn, is beating through the coyote-willows along the riverbank. For a variety of reasons, I have two Golden Retrievers. How I became their master is a different story I will explain some other time. For the moment imagine these pets, that is how I introduce them, that are obedient and very loving. One has a great nose, big too, and boundless energy. The other is beautiful and would hunt for himself on his own terms -- if it wasn't for a training collar.
For a couple years I hunted over my friend Jim's two perfectly trained Griffons. How I miss those days of sneaking up on a beeping point while the griffons followed that bizzare specialized and bred instinct to point and hold.