Right now, it is basics. Come. Down. Mabel. Fetch. More fetch.
Never too much fetch with a setter.
I think I can see it burning there. But then she doesn’t listen, turns the other way, does not even raise her head from a pile of fresh horseshit when I double-tap the whistle. Could she possibly be deaf? No, here she comes running like a bat of out hell right into my shins.
So we play fetch and play-fetch. Dabble around the water. Follow the older dogs into the field. Kennel up. Remove socks and sandals and shoes from the clamp of needle-tooth. Play fetch some more. A routine of walking. Kennel time. Leash time. Fetch. More fetch. Crate. Meet other dogs. Puppies. Children. Picnics. People. Socialize. And play fetch some more.
There’s a new bird dog in the making and a new season out in front of her nose. Welcome to my world, Mabel.