First, thanks for all the great name suggestions for my new pup.
I really did read every one both on the blog and on Facebook, and in the end we named him Ozzy. Not for any particular reason or after any particular person, we simply decided that, for some reason, he just looked like an Ozzy. Although I will say that, thanks to his exceedingly calm demeanor, he almost ended up being named “The Dude.”
I’m happy to report that Ozzy is doing just fine and settling in with the other dogs. In the short time he’s been here he’s already gotten himself caught in a pigeon trap, broken into the pen where I keep my training quail, learned that an open dishwasher door means good licking opportunities, and (somehow, when I wasn’t looking) caught and partially ate his first gopher. Or maybe the gopher was already dead from one of the neighborhood cats. I don’t know. All I know is when I came around the corner of the house he was gnawing on the gopher’s head. I’m sure the rest of it will show up in a few hours…
With that out of the way, I’d like to introduce a new feature here on the blog, one I’ve been wanting to try out for a while, but it all depends on you.
One of the neat things about writing a blog like this is getting the interaction and exchange of idea with readers. I love hearing about better, cheaper or innovative ways of doing things, so what I’d like to do is start up a semi-regular blog feature showcasing reader-supplied training tips. However, it doesn’t strictly have to stick with training. If you have a favorite tip or trick you use regarding any aspect of gun dog ownership, training, care or bird hunting with your dog, share it with us. It could be a money-saving tip, a time-saving tip, or a sanity-saving tip.
Do you make any of your own equipment or substitute other items for expensive training gear in order to stretch your budget? Let us know (here’s an example). Or maybe an indispensable piece of kit you always take along on your hunting trips? You get the idea.
Send your tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and try to include a picture to better demonstrate the concept or practice of your tip. Periodically I’ll choose a tip to feature on the blog, and if it’s yours, you’ll win a Swedish FireKnife from Mora and Light My Fire. I mean, FireKnife just sounds cool, doesn’t it?
As a good example of out-of-the-box thinking, here’s a great idea from the always-interesting 8 More Miles bird hunting blog wherein the blog author brainstorms and then fabricates a very handy, neat and portable roll-up multiple-dog chain gang for use on extended hunts.
From the blog:
_This summer, I think I’ve built a better chain gang. For those of you unaware, the chain gang is a useful tool if you’ve got a bunch of bird dogs in your care. Trainers use it so an entire pack of dogs can observe others being trained. For me, they make a lot of sense when you’re airing, watering, and feeding a string of dogs.
Last year in Montana, we had six dogs, and every night at feeding time, we hammered six stakes into the often-hard ground. After two weeks on the road, it got a bit old.
This year, we’ll have eight dogs. The chain gang lets you hammer just two stakes — one at each end — and you hook up a dog every six feet on 18-inch drop chains. It gives the dogs plenty of room to stretch out, drink and eat, do their business, all while not tangling (literally or figuratively) with one another.
After a lot of Internet reading, discussions with buddies, and scores of visits to various hardware stores, I came up with a pretty handy system that I think will suit my needs well._
That was a great idea that served his needs and didn’t break the bank in the process (further chain gang details can be found on the blog). That’s what we’re looking for. So if you have a favorite Nugget ‘O Wisdom, send it along to email@example.com. Fame, fortune and beautiful groupies await those lucky enough to be chosen*
*not really, but send your tips along, anyway.