Monday, February 09, 2009

Equal Time

Last month I wrote a post about my youngest brother here. It seemed only fair to give my middle brother equal time.

My middle brother lives in north Texas, is an avid hunter and a conservationist. I know, it came as quite a shock to me that most responsible hunters care deeply about the environment and spend a fair amount of time and money on conservation.

He sent me an email a couple of days before my surgery:
Let me know if you would like me to bring you something to read or eat… otherwise you get deer chili and Field & Stream.
I responded that just him being there would be enough. Sure enough, shortly after I woke from anesthesia, he was at my bedside in the hospital.

I was tickled silly by his little gifts: He brought me several issues of Ducks Unlimited magazine with articles that he thought I might be interested in carefully marked with Post-It notes. AND, the pièce de résistance was a set of eight magnets, featuring photos of various cat butts. Yes, you read that right, the rear end of eight cats, looking straight at the anus. The nurses were hugely entertained by my magnets and, when I introduced him on subsequent visits, they invariably asked, "Is this the cat butt guy?"

Today's diversion as I recuperate was two video clips of him training his hunting dog Mocha to do blind retrieves. A blind retrieve is when the dog takes her cues from her master's hand signals rather than from a visual sighting of a duck.

No birds were harmed in the making of these videos. My brother has two training dummies. In the first video, he neglected to pick up the second dummy before sending Mocha after the first one. Here's the video.

And then there's the second video where the operator finally got his act together here. Notice that he uses a whistle to get her attention and doesn't permit her to just drop the dummy when she returns. She must learn to bring it to his hand.

My brother's hunting partner has a pointer that he was training at the same time P was training Mocha. Somehow, someway, Mocha, a labrador retriever, figured out how to point. The video in which she did it the first time without training is here. And notice that the second dog, an English Spaniel, "honors" the point. Other dogs are trained to hang back and not interfere with another hunter's dog or bird.

Men are wonderful, mysterious and totally entertaining creatures.

1 comment:

Stephen Parrish said...

Men are wonderful, mysterious and totally entertaining creatures.

Can I quote you? This could come in handy.