Today is Seamus’ birthday. I don’t think he knows it’s his birthday – or what a birthday is for that matter – but today is his day and there is no argument about his being king for the day …at least not between “She Who Must Be Obeyed” and me. For Seamus, it’s probably hard to tell the difference between today, yesterday and tomorrow, he has it pretty good, everyday.
We just got back from the cabin where I spent more time than usual letting him run along the shoreline of Lake Michigan and in the Jordan Valley following the river where he got into his hunting mode. Next month, we’ll be back with me carrying the old 20 gauge o/u, hoping for a clean shot at bonasa umbellus in cover that is now covered with heavy foliage.
The biggest change in his approach to finding grouse will be his pace. At 10 he’s slowed down some, but not enough to take away his enthusiasm for what he was bred for and looked forward to for the past nine seasons. Even his first year, at five months old, I took him to a hunt club and had pheasants planted to see what he’d do and found out he was a gamer; the research of breeders paid off.
But grouse season is still a month away and at his age conditioning is important. He doesn’t know what it is to quit, so it’s up to me to make sure he’s able to withstand the exhaustion he’s up against in the early season and know when to call him off when he doesn’t want to quit.
Having said all that, to day is his birthday and that means an extra piece of bacon for breakfast and a lot of tending to the rest of the day – something that happens when kids grow up and move away.
Happy birthday, Big Guy.