So I took my new BMH pup out for it's first stalk after months of preparation. The wee dog is only 10months old and tracking brilliantly on dummy runs (no bother on a 1/2km track at 24hrs old with ditches and 90 degree bends).
Now, as we all know you can read all the tracking books and do all the dummy runs but rest assured Murphy will raise his ugly little head somewhere and throw a spanner in the works. But I love the pup and I am guilty as charged by letting him ride shotgun, enjoy having him up on the couch during tv time and truthfully I treat him better than I would family. He is my best friend.
But this is where things get comical, he is the only dog I know who must flap his ears at a decibel level as loud as a bad letter box! No-one has mentioned this in the deer dog manuals before! I clean his ears regularly and I swear when he is happy he rouses as much as a falconers most happy hawk. When he gets up in the morning I can hear him rouse in his kennel, those long hilarious flapping ears smacking wildly off the side of his head. When he is exercising flap flap flap! Now imagine the quietest morning, first day off season, creeping onto my favourite area, dog on the lead attached to me and as I get closer peering through my face veil over some of the nicest clear fell..... "FLAPP FLAAP FLAAP FLAAP!". I turn around and he looks at me as though saying "what?". I swear........he is like that weird son a man is burdened with but loves unconditionally non-the-less.
So I am wondering, does anyone else have dogs with weird vices. Oh and here is another one they don't mention in the deer dog manuals. When in the wild and you get that call of nature never ever take a number two with the dog on the lead next to you. Oh Yes! Stalked the whole morning with Mr Mc Flappy-Ears and when one decides to answer that call on the last 500m before reaching the car I turn around to find my friend with the big nose and long ears applying a face mask in the parcel I have just left for nature. Now, I mean he has my poo caked all down the side of his face, down his back and under his chest. I swear.....he is that special case I have to love unconditionally regardless of the most stupid antics I have ever seen a good dog do.
But you know what. I absolutely adore him. He is that friend that wants to go stalking at absolutely no notice. I have found out he is awesome and telling me if deer are ahead, reacts differently if they have just moved from an area I am walking into and leaves the foxes alone. He has a bit of a sniff after those but leaves them alone as much as he is disinterested in cattle and sheep. So that I have to compliment him on.
The funniest other thing is my god can that dog snore!!!! I am no doctor, but it is my understanding that snoring is caused by either a man having a serious binge, fatty tissue on the back of the throat or getting knocked by a heavy weight. But this pup is only 10months old! I actually have to turn the tv up when he starts snoring and it sends me into fits of laughter when the wife looks at him exactly as I do when he flaps his ears on a stalk. She says "what is wrong with him, can you wake him up?. Then I start rocking him to wake up, does he? NO! So I rock him that bit harder, now does he wake up? NO!!!! I shake him and his head is rocking from side to side, I lift him and I swear to god, the dog fakes that he is still sleeping and goes into some kind of humanitarian peaceful protest, goes limp in my arms and still pretends to be asleep but I know he is awake because his snoring has stopped and I can feel his body tense a little. I know he is only a pup and a dog at that but I have never seen an animal so hilariously pre-meditative or actually pretend to sleep so he doesn't have to get off the couch!
Anyway, I look forward to getting him out hunting again this weekend. He brings a whole new element to my life, a set of experiences in dog training that I have never encountered before and if a dog is like his owner then that means I am hyperactive, have a poo-fetish and actually do snore loudly when the wife tells me so in the middle of the night. Also like father like son, he may have got the pretend to be sleeping thing off me as I also do this when the wife starts asks me to get off the couch.