August 30, 2010
Reader Gun Dog of the Week
By David DiBenedetto
Okay, thanks to some prodding from loyal followers I’m kicking off Monday with a Reader Gun Dog of the Week.
As you may remember, we’re spotlighting readers’ dogs. So far we’ve covered everything from a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling retriever to a Lab to a GSP. So this week I’m going with a breed near to my heart—the Boykin spaniel.
The pup, Cooper, also tromps around my home turf of the South Carolina Lowcountry and is owned by Lance Anderson (A.K.A. Muddman). No doubt the two of them are furiously preparing for bird season (seven days until dove shooting begins in S.C.). Thankfully we’ve gotten a bit of a reprieve from the heat this past week.
Now let’s get to the questions:
Dog’s Name: Blackwater's Fowl Ambitions "Cooper"
Breed: Boykin Spaniel
Age: 9 months
Type of Hunting: Waterfowl and some upland
Favorite Place to Hunt Together: Cooper’s first season is coming up, and I'm sure he will like a little place my buddies and I call Lil’ Arkansas.
Moment You’re Most Proud Of: A couple of weeks ago we were training in the yard at the house when I threw Cooper’s bumper next to a little grown up patch beside our property. I send him and he strikes out, but before he makes the retrieve he stops and makes a 90-degree turn into this patch. He has his nose in the air and all the sudden he gets really birdy and starts to straighten the smell out. He slows up and gets in panther mode, and all of the sudden he runs in and flushes 3 quail. I just stood there shocked, because we don't see very many quail in South Carolina. Plus, I haven't really worked with him as far a flushing is concerned. Now I can’t keep him from investigating that cover. I think I told everyone I came in contact with about Coop’s first flushing act. This little dog's natural ability just astounds me.
Moment You’d Like to Forget: We were out at the Isle of Palms and Cooper and I were walking down the beach. The beach was packed, and people were stopping and petting Cooper. Of course, we were right in the edge of the water when Cooper gets a “stomach cramp.” I see him hunker down as well, as does everyone else, so I'm like, “Come on Coop” and I start pulling his lead. But he drops a couple floaters, and a woman at the edge of the water in a chair gets up to move. All of the sudden they didn't think Cooper was that cute anymore. I was so embarrassed.
Most Important Thing Your Dog Has Taught You: Coop’s main lesson to me would definitely have to be patience, because one minute I want to scream then the next minute he will make me so proud to be his owner.
If Your Gun Dog Could Talk It Would Say? Just throw it one more time, please. I won’t bother you anymore just once more.
Sounds like one heck of a dog, Lance. Keep up the good work and best of luck with the upcoming season.
Those of you who have submitted your dog for the contest, but have yet to hear from me, don’t despair. I’m still wading through the entries and will get to you soon.