Gunner and I went out in the forest today. We were going to do some launcher work but Thom was having some back issues so he couldn't go. So I decided to move the launcher work to tomorrow.
It was still just a bit foggy when we left the house and headed out to Nace Run. Past the house with the hounds, laying around their houses like lazy teens on a Sat morning. Paws hanging out door and one was even upside down asleepon top of his dog house. Like Snoopy.
We rode up the gravel and dirt road. Lots of leaves starting to pile in the corners of the road. Parked at our spot and started getting ready. I sure have alot of stuff to carry, good thing the dog handler vest has lots of pockets. Unclipped Gunner from his CC and had him fall in at my knee to "heel" up the road a ways. He did great and we worked on his "wait" when we would stop. Then a quick tap and an OK and he was off trotting up the road. Left to right and left again. The acorn were falling like rain and it was hard for me to tell if it was a bird, squirrel or deer. Usually Gunner would look but not really care so it was just acorns. Once on a trail he hit a hard point and I followed as much as possible down the slope. But got stopped by the briar's and bushes. I had to call him off and he was good and came up to me and we headed backup. He went up like no problem. Me on the other hand was not so easy. He was waiting at the top for me. Big ole' Wolfie grin on his face. I think he was laughing at me. I'm not sure though. We covered alot of the new trail and left our markers. This time Mr. Helpful didn't pull them for me. We headed back after about an hour and found the road and started towards the car. I did call him in to "heel" some and then released him. Went a ways then did it again. Finally the car came into sight. Let him just head to the car in his own pace. Got some more water and started home. We were about 2 minutes down the road and saw a big snake in the road. I stopped and watched it for a few minutes and it didn't move. So I got out and got a big stick and made sure that is was indeed dead. Gunner had to stay in the car. It was a copper head, pretty big. About maybe 14-18 inches. Deader than a hammer. No signs of trauma so maybe a hawk dropped it or something. One of the many lovely creatures on the Forest that we have to be so careful of.
We got home and had some lunch and then we worked on the retrieve and release. He retrieves great but the release is still not good. So concentrated work on that. Looking forward to working the launchers tomorrow. My hunter boy is curled up under my feet and all is right in his world. And in Mine too.