Friday, February 25, 2011

Newest National Champion

Touch's Whiteout with co-owner/handler Ike Todd, co-owner Keith Wright
 and scout Nick Thompson

(Photo from the Ames Plantation website)

I don't know anyone who wouldn't like  invited to the 'Big House' at Ames Plantation to have their dog named National Champion. CH Touch's Whiteout finished the three hour race with six finds and a strong finish, and a seventh find just after time was called. The National Championship is a contest for the elite of the bird dog world, and requires everything the dog, handler and scout can give - plus a dash of luck. Congratulations to a great bird dog and great owners, handler, and scout.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Pup

Kris is the latest addition to the Indian Head pack. At twelve weeks she is currently being broke to the lead, crate trained, and taken on a lot of walks. She does a lot of riding-around in the truck with me, and is lucky enough to spend most of the weeknights in the house. Here she is showing some style on a quail wing tethered to the end of a fly rod. Those familiar with Delmar Smiths method will recognize the nylon rope tied to her collar, and how well it works in breaking a pup to the lead, and running with a check cord.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cody is growing up

Seems like I just got this pup, but he will be a year old next month. He is developing very well. I plan on some training time on the Prairies of South Dakota this Summer, some derby events in the Fall, then into formal training.

We took Cody to the training grounds for his first run in front of a horse a couple of weeks ago, and he did very well, immediately figured out that he should key off the horse, stay to the front, and LOOK FOR BIRDS. He found and ripped birds and ran very well for a young dog.

No photos of the training session, but here is one from December on the Kern River - he's alert to some nearby valley quail...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Spring yet?

I've been thinking of Spring fishing lately. Large mouth bass on a flyrod. Clean Delta mornings and topwater fish in the tules. Couple months away still, but I can tie a few flies and make some plans...

Kevin Doran with a fly caught bass fresh from the Delta. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

In the beginning...

Once you're hooked...

I can see now where my life took the first turn towards the outside. My first fish, caught from a dock during a family vacation at Clear Lake in Northern California a lifetime ago.

My dad took the photo, and I have always treasured it.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Power of the Dog

There is sorrow enough in the natural way,
From men and from women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and you think to buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie;
Perfect passion and friendship, fed
By a curse as well as a pat on the head
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

When the short term of years which Nature permits
Is ending in asthma, or fever, or fits,
And the vet's unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or leveled guns
You'll find it also your affair
And that you have given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the thing that lived at your single will
With it's whimper of welcome, is still (how still),
And the spirit that answered your every word
Is gone, wherever it goes, for good,
You will discover how much you did dare
When you gave your heart to a dog to tear.

We've debt enough in the natural way
When it comes to burying our two-legged clay;
For treasures aren't given, but only lent,
At compound interest of building percent,
And though I've no firm figures I firmly believe
That the longer they're the longer we grieve

Yet when debts come true, for right or for wrong
A short term lone seems as bad as a long
So why in hell, before we're all called there
Should we give our hearts for a dog to tear?

- Kipling