The look on her face as you grab the keys for the gun hutch, “Is he?” Then the look she gives you when you take your shotgun from the gun hutch, “No way! It can’t be.” But these facial expressions are only her questioning her fate for the day. She doesn’t know for sure until you ask her, “Where are the birdies, girl?!?” It’s not until then, when she has determined it as fact; “We’re going hunting!”
Back… And forth… Corner to corner, tail wagging a million times a minute; the shaking and whimpering in exhilarating anticipation for the greatest day she’ll have since the last excursion with her best pal. For a moment, it’s hard for her to understand her commands; her excitement overwhelms her. After that short moment where she is impossible to control, she comes to your side, semi-sitting, paws stamping back and forth, tail still wagging furiously across the floor. She has been waiting too patiently to get back out in the thickets, gullies, and fields of Mother Nature.
She is the only thing standing between the elusiveness of Mother Nature’s creatures and man. For man, as smart and sleek as he may be, is nothing compared to that of the heightened level of her prowess. His quick draw and dead-eye ability to hit his target is incomparable to that of her ability to find those that loiter in the thickest of thickets; in the shadows where they wane into non-existence.
Her powerful legs thrust her through the terrain swiftly and gracefully. The bird seems to cease to exist without her precise hunting capacity and her ever-so convincing nose. She detects the exact aroma she has been waiting for. Instantly, sharply she comes to a halt. Her eyes squint, the tail that has wagged so feverishly before, has become intensely straight and rigid. Staring, piercingly into where she “knows” the bird lay, she awaits you tolerantly. Her concentration is unparalleled to that of any other. She is eager to hear the quiet fields become disturbed with the ruffle of feathers through the air. Standing up tall, her eyes glare at the blur that has introduced itself into the blue backdrop of the sky. She delays her tension of enthusiasm that is building up inside, to spot the bird falling out of the air towards the ground.
“Dead bird, girl! Fetch!” is the command she has been so primed to hear. She releases from her point, to where she last witnessed the bird come to its final resting place. At the moment she arrives at this location, she experiences an overwhelming feeling of elation, both for her sport that she loves and for her pleasing her hunting companion, man. Filled with great enjoyment, she darts back to her human counterpart, eagerly awaiting his appraisal, his approval.
The man is uplifted in pride for his hunting partner, recognizing that without her, he could not experience the brilliance of upland hunting to such success. Part of the beauty of the upland hunt, is his knowledge that her ability to hunt supersedes that of his. This understanding of the man, is not only appreciated, but highly respected.
At the conclusion of his day, she is more than ready to fall asleep, rounded in a ball, at his lap, on the front seat of his vehicle. Later, they land back at home. He opens the door for her to let her out of his truck and before he even removes his hunting gear and more importantly, his prizes of the hunt for which without her he would have had to work to much harder. He walks her, slightly limping from her exhaustion into their home. She will shamble to where she lays. There, she will continue to rest until her tired and worn out muscles recuperate. And, although she lay there in tenderness, for her, it was more than worth it.