My 4 year old BLF injured her left forefoot last friday retrieving a pheasant. The bird was dropped behind a fallen log and into cover, my dog took the hazard and cover as she has been trained to do, it would've been a great retrieve. Unfortunately the cover behind the log was not stable and gave way resulting in a moderate to severe sprain.
The silver lining to the injury is two fold.
1. The injury should only take my BLF out of action for two weeks, so although not good it could've been much worse.
2. And the real silver lining, for the next two weeks our two old chocolate female gets to be the only dog in the field. I've known for some time that I should leave the BLF at home for at least a trip or two and take only the 2 year old but I lacked the personal discipline to do so, I just couldn't go into the field without MY DOG. Last Saturday was the first day we hunted the 2 year old by herself, what a joy! The young dog had a never seen confidence, she found 3 coveys of quail and recovered all birds that we downed. She hunted for 4 hunters, quartering perfectly never leaving a bush unchecked.
At the end of the day, the pup was happy , my son was proud, and everyone in the hunting party congratulated and thanked my son for bringing his dog. Now for the next two weeks the pup will be the only dog in the duck blind and I'm planning on at least 2 to 3 more upland hunts. I am certain that this new level of confidence will flow into Dixie's training.
I guess everything happens for a reason.