September 24, 2012

Memory Lane Monday - October...

This time of year is always bittersweet for me. The weather starts to cool off in Florida, and my mind wanders to days spent in the field with our retrievers when we still lived in Wisconsin. I decided to share two particularly fun weekends with you.

For two years in a row, 1988 and 1989, Handsome and I packed up our Golden retriever, Liljegren's MacDuff (aka Duffer) and headed to Cainsville, Missouri for their First (and Second) Annual Pheasant Championship.

When we walked onto the grounds the first year, I carried the cased guns and Handsome held Duff's lead. As we headed to the registration area, I could hear comments from some of the folks saying, "Isn't that great that he gets that little lady to carry his guns for him?" Handsome and I chuckled because they didn't realize I was part of the two gun/one dog team. There were no other women shooting in the competition that year (or the next).

The rules were simple. Two guns, one dog, thirty minutes, six shells per gun. Points for every pheasant shot, points for birds delivered to hand, points for shells not used and points for minutes left under thirty.

The weather was nice. Not hot, but not chilly either. Perfect for a leisurely walk through the field with a talented - and wise - Golden. Duffer never failed.

I shot the first bird he put up, and from there our team brought in four birds, had shells left over and of course, Duff delivered every single bird to hand. We took Third Place our first year...and the spectators were duly impressed.

When we showed up the second year, they all remembered us. Duff was a year older and wise to the program. He almost didn't need us, except he can't shoot. (No thumbs! lol) In 1989, we finished "in the money" with a Second Place win, and let Duff hold the winnings for this photograph.

We had also purchased our first camper for this trip. We had remembered the tiny hotels in the area the first year and decided we'd bring our own accommodations. We paid $5.00 for each night of our stay - with full hook-ups. Ahh, yes. Those were the good old days!

I can't help but get a little tearful when I think back on those days in the field with our beloved retrievers. To watch their tails wag when they found scent and followed a bird trail; their delight at bringing back a shot bird...and that special look they gave us if we missed. It was almost as if they would say, "All that work, and you missed? Really?"
1997 - l-r: Bee, Samantha Rose, Kyra Morgan (in back) Bryn, Bannor and MacDuff.
I can remember the smells of Autumn; the colors of the trees; the rustle of the cover as we moved through it; the smell of fresh pheasant cooking in the pot for dinner. I miss Wisconsin the most this time of year...every year. And, I miss our hunting dogs - each and every one of them - Old Morgan, Bryn, MacDuff, Bee, Major, Samantha Rose, Bannor, Kyra, Morgan and Kes.
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Thanks for joining me for another Memory Lane Monday. If you have a story to share, please write about it on your blog and then link back here. The link will stay open for one week.

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Patty said...

Lovely story. I can remember going with my parents on some kind of beagle run hunting thing. We were rally young and I think it was difficult for my father to enjoy it because of us, but we had fun. I think he went by himself after that. They took us camping all the time and even brought us across country twice! With five kids in a car and a camper! My parents were brave/saints. Good times and found memories.!

Minimiss said...

Lovely photos and great memories. Check out the hair - you almost match your canine companions!!

Michelle May said...

Had to chuckle about "little lady carrying his guns." Too funny! She rides a Harley too and has the most fabulous boots! Ok...just had to get that out. hee,hee,hee
Love all the sweet dogs that have shared your life. Good memories indeed.

Sewing In CT said...

What a sweet story. Thank you for sharing that!

Createology said...

You always amaze me with your talents. What a handsome trio each year. Great memories for certain. Thank you for sharing your stories. Fall into Autumn Bliss...

downsize said...

Such beautiful and well loved dogs.

laurajane said...

Great post,and such lovely memories.I really am going to put a memory lane on my blog.
Laura xx

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