Reason No. 357 for Why I Love My Gun Dog

In the midlands of South Carolina, deer season began September 1. And on opening day I sat in a stand in 89-degree weather while a small 6-point, a 4-point, and a spike ever so gently sparred in a field (the 4-point was still in velvet), and four does went about eating. I was sitting on a harvested cornfield. I didn't pull the trigger, but it was a spectacular evening.

Still one of the more entertaining moments of the day happened before the hunt when I came down the stairs in my camo, and Pritch went bonkers. First she ran up and sniffed my legs like I was fire hydrant at a dog park. Then after a good whiff she started hopping around the living room as if the carpet had turned to hot coals, turning in tight circles with stubby tail working like mad. As I packed the truck she followed my every step. When it was time to leave she sat by the front gate whimpering as I pulled away. My wife tells me she positioned herself by the front door until I came home later that night.

You gun dog owners know exactly what got her riled up--my hunting clothes. She, of course, thought she was going to the field for some birds. Not boring bumpers, but birds. My friend, T. Edward Nickens, has a Lab that goes nutzo as soon as she sees the E-collar because she knows they're headed for the duck blind.

If there's anything better than the hardwired genetics of a gun dog I'm not sure what it is. I could list a few hundred more reasons why I love my gun dog, but I'll spare you. Instead, feel free to let us know what makes you gush when it comes to your dog.