I can tell you about today's training. I took 2 pigeons down to the "bottoms" to work Gunner. Planted them and he did really well finding them. After they were up and on their way home Gunner and I went down toward the river to let him swim and cool down some. The first place we reached Gunner could go down but not me..too steep. So I called him back and we found another entry point. I had to turn sideways and go a couple of step down to some small tree and then I was going down to the river. Well I took 2 steps and looked back at Gunner standing about 10-20 feet away to call him down. And no Gunner. ??? I climbed back up and called him. No Gunner. He had just disappeared. Not a sound but the wind. I whistled and used the e-collar. Not a sound or sight of my boy. I stood still for a few minutes waiting to see if he would check back in with me like he always does when he gets out of my line of sight. Still nothing. I am worried and started to whistle and call him and walk back up the trail. Maybe he missed me and was heading back up the trail. I was hoping I would get to the bottom of the trail and he would be there messing with the frogs. No Gunner. I looked up toward the way we came. Now I was scared that he would have tried to go home. The reason...we cross a 2 lane road, and a 4 lane highway (US 23) and over the rail road tracks to get to the bottoms. I was terrified that he would try to cross those roads to get home. I ran up the rail bank and looked . Still no Gunner. I don't know how to feel at this point relieved that he is not in the road but scared because by now I have no idea where he is. So I decided to make one more loop looking for him and if I don't' find him to go home and get Thom and some help to search. I get back down to the river trail and am calling him and I hear a male voice..Thom. Calling for me. I yell that I am on the back trail and run out to find him. I get to him and I'm in tears. Trying to tell him about Gunner and how I can't find him. He tells me that Gunner is fine and showed up home about 5 minutes ago and he put him in the house with some water and came to find me. So I feel relieved and a bit afraid to ask if he was truly all right. Yes, he is fine. Tired and confused but fine. I get home and Gunner is very excited to see me like "Momma where were you??"
I don't know if he saw something and chased it and then couldn't figure out where I was and just did the only thing he could figure and come home. I don't really know because it was not like I saw him taking off and called and he did not respond it was like he just disappeared to the point I even wondered if someone had taken him. He was just gone. I am buying a Beeper today so I can at least know which direction to look if he ever gets away like that again but I have to let him have some head room to hunt. So we are home and I am finally breathing again. And he actually started lifting his leg on bushes to mark today. I know,TMI, but I have been waiting for his big boy behaviour to kick in.
Tomorrow we are going to the big field with Thom and do some phez work and it should not be as dramatic.