I suppose we were a little suspect of each other. He wondering why I was taking him from his tiny universe and me wondering if he could be everything his predecessor was. He has grown comfortable around the house and has taken well to training. I haven’t even shot a bird over him and yet he has already made me look forward to hunting again, given me back a passion I lost. I am baffled by what dogs do for us.
It is August and Denver is baking, but for the first time in a year, I can’t wait for a cool breeze indicating autumn. There are great times ahead for Dutch and me.
I’m looking forward to walks under yellowing cottonwoods and naps in predawn wetlands. There will be nicks from barbed wire and days when a truck heater never felt so good. And of course there will be mallards banking into decoys and pheasants to chase.
So throw a couple of preseason dummies for your companion. Fall is coming. Anticipate how perfect the world can look when following a hunting dog with shotgun in hand.