As working dogs go, my Otis has pretty much always known exactly what his job is…keep everybody smiling and laughing all the time and make sure nobody drops anything on the floor in the kitchen. He’s damned good at it too! Though not really showing much of his age, at 8 ½ he’s getting up there in years. I’ve always wanted to put Otis on some ringnecks, but was beginning to wonder if I’d ever get the chance. He’s a springer spaniel for cryin’ out loud and it’s exactly what his heritage intended. He can sniff out a Blue Dog peanutbutter cookie hidden in tall grass and thoroughly enjoys flushing the birds from the feeder in the back yard, so I’m thinking his instincts for hunting are awesome. Finally, the right opportunity presented itself and we were invited to a private hunting club to hunt for half a day.
Our hosts were my good friends Ben and Terry and their nephew, Steve. Top notch bird dogs Oscar and Pete were there to show Otis the ropes. Over the next few hours, we bagged several beautiful birds (thanks mostly to Steve’s good shooting) and the dogs worked as hard as I’d ever seen. Otis had a grand time, managing to find and flush a couple of birds on his own and getting more than one mouthful of feathers after they hit the ground. As you can see in the photos, he looks pretty happy J
When we got home, Otis drank his water bowl dry, climbed up on the couch, and was asleep and snoring quite loud in less time than it takes to tell about it… no doubt dreaming of birds on the wing and the taste of freshly plucked feathers. After cleaning the ringnecks we brought home, I joined him. I leaned my head back, closed my eyes and something Ben told me a long time ago came to mind. “As you get older, the things you’ll remember about your days afield will have nothing to do with how big or how many. It’ll be about who you spent them with.” Good advice my friend. Spot on.