Yet again, we set off to the North of Inverness for the last grouse hunt of the year. Up North is where pointer dogs really come in to their own because the area is vast and not a lot is being done to increase the grouse population. In fact I never saw a grit area anywhere. The dogs cover an area of about 150 meters on either side of us, so they will find grouse if there is any. There were a fair number of birds and at the end of the day, not a big impact is made upon their population because they are clever little birds. The journey is maybe not enormous, but every hour in the car counts and the dogs were very grateful to have their comfortable dog beds to spend their time on. Only one boy missed out on the nice dog beds as we had a bitch in season amongst us. My friend, Anne, took her dogs and one was in season. Although I have had an anti-testosterone implant put into Gollum, he is still a little bit interested in bitches. The anti testosterone release from the implant reduces the libido and the sperm count, but a mating might still result in a pregnant bitch, even if it only came to a couple of puppies. So Gollum had to sit on the back seat where there is only a seat protector, made from very plastic-like material. It is nice, though, to have him sitting on the back seat and I was glad that I had brushed his teeth the day before. He loves looking out the front and it must be amazing for a dog to see the world fly past to quickly.
We arrived at the estate, so Anne’s dogs had to go in the estate kennels while mine slept together in the back of my pickup on their warm dog beds. The kennels were nice and clean and they were all full of nice, fresh straw. This is fine, but after some time straw can get badly infested with flees and get rather smelly. Also, in a domestic environment straw tends to fly round the garden to great annoyance. It is ALWAYS preferable to have proper dog beds under your dogs whether they are kenneled or in the house.
The dogs worked INCREDIBLY hard for the whole of the Monday. The tenacity of the German Wirehaired Pointer is amazing. On long stretches you find nothing, so the dogs don’t get a rest while everyone admires the quarry, they only get a semi-rest by swapping over because only one runs at a time. The dogs have to jump in and out of peat-hags and they have to concentrate hard all the time. I was immensely proud of them for making absolutely no mistake the whole day, none of them. At about 6pm we got back to the lodge and I fed mine a small amount of kipple, a lot of raw chicken, raw liver, boiled carrots and tripe. They then went into the truck and slumped happily on their dog beds. They must have felt in heaven at that time. Wonderful.