Saturday, March 7, 2009

Point, Swim, Fish, Hike

It was near 70 degrees today, and I was lucky enough to be able to bring Winnie to my friend's farm where we got into many different kinds of fun!

I brought a couple chukar with me and planted them for her to point. I don't know if she's good at finding birds or is watching where I plant them, but she found them both quickly, held a point for a nice, extended time, then flushed them before I got there for the photo op. I was going to do more with the check cord, try to hold her till I flushed the bird myself. But it was really warm, so I just let her find, flush and chase 'em. Of course she instantly got about fifty burrs in her coat which took a while to deal with.

I took advantage of the heat - and the fact that Winnie was very warm from chasing the chukar - and tried to get her to swim. This pond had a really nice shallow entry so I threw the dummy just a few feet in and got her excited about retrieving it. She didn't mind that, but definitely got to a point where she wasn't comfortable going deeper. Several times I had to wait for the wind to push the dummy close enough where one of us could reach it. I didn't push the issue though, and thought it was a great start toward getting her comfortable in water. Next time the water will be warmer and I'll find a strong swimming dog to help encourage her.

After some painstaking burr removal we shared a sandwich and a cold beer on the dock before we started our next first together: Fishing!

I hope in the future Winnie will be a regular fishing buddy. This largemouth bass is the first fish she's ever seen. Her reaction ranged from mildly amused at it splashing in the water, to utterly unimpressed at seeing it up close. Come on, Winnie, that's a pretty decent fish! What do you want from me??

Then we went a few miles up the road to the Shenandoah National Park for a brief hike and another opportunity for her to cool off in some more water. Geez, from the looks of this picture she's really let herself go since the show last weekend!

It was a most enjoyable day sharing the outdoors with my best buddy.

1 comment:

Laila said...

Hi, Winnie! It looks like you had a great day hunting, hiking, and swimming with your dad! Swimming is so much fun--even better than hunting (if you can imagine that)! It took me a while to get used to the feeling of having my feet off the ground, but I love it now. Try again when the water gets warmer. I hope you learn to swim soon! Love, Laila