"Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hunting Dogs

Meet Mr. Winston (Poodle) and Missy (Bichon Frise).

My wife says these are now my hunting dogs.  Non shedding and much smaller than my previous dogs.  Remington was my 75 lb. Golden Retriever that I had for 18 years and Bailey was my 100 lb. German Shorthair Pointer.  I know what your thinking about Bailey-Boy, but he was a GSP (on PED's).  My wife looked up the poodle on the internet and found them to be water dogs and the Bichon is a "sturdy breed", hence it must be a hunting dog.   Hmmm, tough to argue with that logic.

Training has been, how do I put it nicely, a challenge.  Neither dog obeys basic commands.  "Missy, Come.  Come.  Come.  Missy.  Missy.  Missy.  Hey dog I'm gonna kick your ass"!  If she had a middle finger, I think she would use it on me.  "Winston, Winston, Winston, Winston!!  Ahhhh what the hell!  I hate the French!".  Remington, the Golden and Bailey, the GSP, would kill themselves or anyone standing in their way, to get into heel-up.

Lets talk about maintenance.  After a long day hunting, swamps, mud, manure, or whatever, I would turn on the spiket for the garden hose.  November duck hunting, 25 degrees out, the dog still needs to be hosed off.  Now as far as Mr. Winston and Missy, let me put it this way, a groomer is way overpaid!!  These dogs have cost me more in 2 years of grooming than I have spent on my own haircuts for the past 15 years.  What the hell is that all about?  It almost ended last trip to the groomer.  Mr Winston came out with a pom-pom on his tail, my wife loved it.  I stand 6'1" and go 215, I felt emasculated walking across the parking lot with a toy poodle with a pom-pom.

"Fetch it up Remmy, duck down, duck down."  That dog would crash through ice to pick up a dead bird, and swim back to crash through another section of ice to get ashore.  Mr. Winston needs to put on a sweater to take a pee if its under 40 degrees.  Retrieve is another "challenge", that we have not mastered.  Most times they will not even pick up a ball.  If the bichon does pick up the ball then she proceeds to do something called a Bichon Blitz.  I really cant describe it without clenching my teeth and feeling as though my temples are about to explode.  YouTube "Bichon Blitz".

I would not recommend either of these breeds, toy poodle or bichon, for hunting.  But on a cold New England night it is nice to have one or two of these little mini heaters curled up in the crook of your knee.


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