That mean so much. I was going to go out and see about getting a grouse up but everywhere I usually go there was a truck or two. So I went to the West Side park and was just going to let Gunner play hunt and maybe scare up a dove or two in the harvested corn fields.
We get there and it is great the sun is shining and the wind is not blowing a million miles an hour. Gunner all ready and me looking forward to just stretching my legs. Off we go and about 1/4 mile down the trial we come upon an older Gentleman with an elderly English Setter. The Man sez' "He's looking really good". I thank him and he asks if I remember them. Then a light goes on and I do. We had met about a year ago when Gunner was a little guy and just starting to go on big boy walks. We talk for a bit and he asked if I had seen a starter pistol and holster? I told him I had not. He told me that he and Roger (the dog) had come for a play hunt earlier that morning and he had lost his pistol. Mr. W. said that Roger is 15 yrs old and he can't really hunt any more as he doesn't see very well and has some "Arthur" in his legs but he brings him to work the backs of the cornfield to see if he finds anything and it makes them both happy. As we walked the dogs both ahead sniffing and looking for birds. He told me about his many years of going up to the Dakotas to hunt with Roger and some friends. But not anymore as his family, read kids, worried too much so he and Roger just stayed close to home. He asked me about the E-collar Gunner was wearing and I showed him how it worked and he though it was a lot better than some of the old ways that were so hard. Just about then Gunner slams into a point in a tuft of brush. I'm thinkin' what could be there and about that time the Setter goes into a hard point...actually honoring Gunner. Gunner looked a bit startled but holds for me to get up there. I am thinking please let there be something here...and kick,kick a dove flies up. I don't' know why it held. Maybe it was unsure about the 2 dogs looking at it but anyway. The dogs were happy and after seeing Roger pointing you could see the dog he had been an still was. Just beautiful and calm/serious. Mr.W said, with his voice slightly cracking and a hint of a tear in his eye. "That was beautiful, wasn't it. It has been along time since he has done that" Heck I wanted to cry is was so great to see. My Gunner all shiny coat and clear of eye and Roger older but so calm and confident in himself. We walked a bit longer and then headed back. Both of us quiet for a while. Got back to the parking area and told him I'd keep an eye out for his stuff. And maybe we'd see him again soon.
It was a inspiring day and I wouldn't have missed it for anything.