This week we’re headed north to Saskatchewan to check out a GSP owned by Rodney Zoerb. The dog, a male named Willow (It’s a long story. You’ll have to ask Rodney.), is apparently a bird-finding fiend.
Rodney lives by a good gun dog philosophy. In his words, “Owning one of these animals (GSP or likewise) is like owning a Ferrari–it is no fun if you don’t get out and use it.”
I’ll second that. Willow is Rodney’s first gun dog. And the excellent photo was taken by Rodney’s wife. Now onto the questions.
Breed: German Shorthaired Pointer
Type of hunting: Upland for pheasants, which are his favorite because it involves the most running. Hun’s (Hungarian partridge) are a close second and Willow has become an expert at finding them. Prairie chicken (sharp tailed grouse) are also on the menu. We’ve also gone duck hunting a time or two (see Moment I’d most like to forget).
Favorite place to hunt:** There is no shooting done in our favorite place, as it is within the city limits of Moose Jaw Saskatchewan. We have a wide-open space full of some prime time upland habitat, and we go there everyday for two months before the season to hone the skills of both dog and hunter. This could explain why Willow’s retrieving still needs a little work.
Moment I’m most proud of:** Last year while hunting pheasant Willow locked up hard on three birds that we would have walked over if not for his nose. Willow is truly the first hunting companion that I’ve known who gets more excited than I do to get in the field.
Moment I’d most like to forget:** Well, I assumed since Willow retrieved the dummy in water and on land without a problem fetching ducks wouldn’t be an issue. I learned my lesson on Willow’s first duck hunt as he whined and shivered beside me in a make shift blind beside a great duck pond. When I shot the first duck Willow went charging in the water, and as he approached the duck everything was looking great. He picked up the duck and turned around. Then the duck wiggled just a little twitch and Willow promptly spit it out. He spent the next 30 minutes standing behind the duck looking at it as I yelled “fetch” and some other words I won’t mention. Eventually I have to give Willow credit as he came to a compromise and pawed/pushed the duck the whole 25 yards to shore, right to me but without having to stick the icky thing in his mouth.
What has your dog taught you? Patience. And the ability to laugh instead of getting mad.
If Willow could talk he would say:** Master lets go already. Birds! I need to find some birds! Get off that computer and walk me. Oh just look at me I’m ever so cute and BIRDS we need to find some BIRDS!
Sounds like you’re having fun, Rodney. And props to Willow for nosing the duck all the way to shore. He gets an A for effort. Keep enjoying it.
For anyone still wishing to submit their dog to the Reader Gun Dog series just click here for more info. And if you’ve sent your dog’s info to me already don’t be surprised if you hear from me soon.