I wrote this poem years ago for a good friend about his lab, Shad. She will always be the first great dog I had the pleasure to hunt over and since my beginnings with Pearl this poem has even more meaning. Hope you enjoy...
Your eyes strain to locate ‘em
It’s the disturbance of the air first
They descend from the sky with speed and agility
Their wings cupped
Heads, necks, and bodies
Forever angle changing.
They know where they want to be.
Without words two arise in unison from the blind.
The splash of success is followed by the splash of pursuit.
Upon command she jumps from blind to water.
She has marked her destination, (no need for a whistle here).
The wake funnels around her neck and over her back.
She navigates the autumn water that’s littered with
Red and Gold leaves
Caramel colored grasses
Bark less trees half in, half out.
She’s completed half the journey.
Her return trip, no less spectacular, is magnified by the radiant colors of a mature drake wood duck, softly held in protective jaws.
Reds, Greens, Whites, Purples all glisten ahead of the wake.
She arrives to the blind accomplished and poised.
Circles behind her owner right to left
Head and chin high
Here is her find…
She is chocolate in color with a perfect otter tail.
The product of a families love and countless hours training, home and afield.
Although small in stature I have yet to hunt behind a smarter lab.
A day in the blind is more than a hunt.
A time to reflect…to appreciate.
To sit shoulder to shoulder with friends
Canine or other.
Here is an old picture of Shad from those years ago.