Sometimes, they let us down.
At the end of a season, half-a-dozen years in, you expert a certain level of professionalism.
Mostly you get it.
Then there are the days like Thursday. Her blood was up. After a series of birds, we got into some chest-high sage where she was tough to see. I lost sight of her and when I saw a bird get up 100 yards ahead I realized how far ahead she was. I tried to reign her in.
To no avail.
Though I couldn’t see her, I could see birds getting up in twos and threes well out of range. While I shouted frantically.
I’ve used my whistle sparingly this season. Thursday, I didn’t even have it.
I’ve just expected her to do what she needs to do.
Thursday I regretted not just the lack of the whistle, but the lack of a training collar.
She let me down.
It took me a few days and a couple of trips to get over it. But she got back to center, I think she noticed the lack of shots or dead birds.
And I remembered the times I’ve let her down, with lousy shooting, or work, or poor planning or a million other excuses.
She’s far from perfect, but so am I.
So we hunt on and we hope to be better.