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The Dog I Belonged To

Every upland bird hunter knows that the relationship with their pointer extends way beyond the notion of “man’s best friend.”  Sure, a good bird dog knows the traditional commands of “come,” “drop,” and “whoa.”  But after years of training (for both the dog and the hunter), one seems to become an extension of the other.  A subtle jerk of the head or shake of the tail conveys so much more than any command ever could.

A recent article from The Contemporary Wingshooter, “The Dog I Belonged To,” offers a beautiful story about the author’s years with his first bird dog, a Brittany Spaniel by the name of Lady.  Offering an overview of his efforts to train Lady (and realizing he had just as much to learn) as well as their many years of hunting together, Ron Ellis (the author) paints a picture of a relationship that every dog owner yearns for.  In one story, Ellis tells of a hunt in which Lady was pointing toward a small clearing and did not so much as flinch as Ellis approached.  Early on in their relationship, Lady had made it clear that when she acted that way, it meant a bird was almost right under her and she didn’t want to scare it away.  Sure enough, Ellis says he felt the snow-spray as the grouse took flight.

In another anecdote, Lady once fell down a well during a hunt.  Ellis’s friends “graciously” offered to lower him head first into the well to rescue her.  As his friends said, “Hey, it’s your dog.”  After coming back up, one of the friends’ dogs fell into the same well.  The friend looked at Ellis and said, “Hey, you’re already wet.”  Back down the well he went.

Whether you’ve read every issue of The Contemporary Wingshooter or this is your first introduction to it, we encourage you to check out their many beautifully written stories about everything wingshooting.

In the meantime, share your pictures of you and your pointer on our Facebook page!

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