At the moment there is again demand for the dogs. This time of year is grouse counting time. In March-April the grouse pair up as husbands and wives and start looking seriously for a nesting place. On the big Scottish moors they decide which little bit will be their territory to defend and this is where they will make their nest (well, “nest”….. because a grouse nest is really not much more than an indentation in the moss under some heather). The pairs sit quite close together, so when you sweep across the moor, you will see two birds fly up each time. The grouse moor estates like to know how many breeding pairs that live on the moor and this is when they ask us, pointer owners to get our dogs off the dog beds and get them out on the heather. The dogs LOVE this. This is what life is all about for a German Wirehaired Pointer. We cast the dogs off, preferably in to the wind and they quarter back and forth across the wind with their noses up hoping to get the scent of sitting birds. You can see when the dog hits a few molecules of bird scent as they are almost towed by their noses after the scent. As they decide that it seems to be real and not just old residual scent, they start moving into the scent, holding their heads up high till they think they are definitely standing right down-wind from the bird. Wow, how far can they get from being interested in lying at home on their dog beds in front of the fire? THIS is a dog’s life. As you go up to the pointing dog and ask it to flush, a good pointer should spring forward and get the birds in the air without grabbing any of them. We then count the pairs as we move forward, pair by pair.
So far I have been out three days and the dogs are needing their dog beds every night as they are not as fit as they used to be in August – September. We had two days last week and Gaia’s weakest point was clearly her nipples. She ran for just a few hours, but her nipples were bright red and swollen. Next time we went out I gave her a lovely little Gaffa-tape-bra to protect her nipples. It obviously fell off, but lasted a few hours and did the job as she is not lying on her luxury dog beds licking her undercarriage all evening now.
We had a great couple of days and went out again today. The weather forecast was absolutely great and we set off in bright sunshine. However, the snow started gently at first and then really filled in.
We kept going, but it was becoming really difficult to see now and in the end we had to turn round and go home. I nearly got lost in the snow storm as I couldn’t see the landscape and suddenly got really disorientated. Thanks to radios, I was found and we started the descent. The dogs continued to work as they were not the least interested in returning to their car dog beds and we got some funny point on the way