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Fly Fishing, Grouse Hunting and Fine Bird Dogs Spoken Here!

The Field Cut



It’s time. Seamus needs his yearly field-cut. This morning, in a weak moment, I called the kennel and made an appointment for Seamus to get groomed. It wasn’t a planned thing to do, it was spur-of-the-moment …and it made points with “She Who Must Be Obeyed” – a good thing to make happen occasionally.

Seamus is almost nine years old and I can see that he’s slowing down a bit. Not that he doesn’t hunt as well as he used to, in fact, he’s better, but like me, he shows the strain of exertion. So maybe a haircut will help keep him cool as the days get warmer. A haircut doesn’t do it for me, but I draw the line on giving him “two fingers of bourbon.”

Every night – most every night – Seamus goes for a walk and by the time he bets back from the mile walk, he’s panting and ready for his frozen yogurt treat. When he finishes, he’s not panting anymore. (Sometimes I think he cons me with the panting thing until he gets the treat.)

Lately I’ve been considering getting a new pup … not to replace Seamus, but to add new blood to our grouse hunting this fall. If I could get a pup Seamus sired, so much the better. I know Seamus would be willing to do his part, “She Who Must Be Obeyed” is the obstacle. Better work on making a few more points.

But back to the present: Seamus is almost ready to be picked up from his spa treatment and it’s hard to tell who’s more anxious, me to get him or Seamus to come home. Either way, the ride to get him will be longer than the ride home. And, it’s going to be a noisy ride – smelly too; he always smells like a French whore when they bring him out. Groomers think they have to make a dog look and smell like he just came from a spa; a hunting dog prefers to roll in things that mask his scent not drown it in perfume …and he can do without the ribbon tied into a bow attached to his collar too, I’m surprised they don’t paint his nails. But, more points with “She Who Must Be Obeyed.”

There is a period of adjustment that has to be observed when he gets home with the new haircut. I’m not sure why; maybe he thinks it was a punishment of some kind for something he doesn’t remember doing, but he keeps to himself for a while, laying in a corner in the living room where he can keep an eye on me. He’ll just lie there, never moving his head, only his eyes move to keep an eye on me. After a day or two he’s back to normal, pushing himself next to my chair, forcing his nose first then his head under my hand until I scratch his ears. It takes a few days longer to get rid of the perfume. The bow went away a on the ride home.

The final transition is taking him for a walk to see how embarrassed he is when meeting up with his buds. Sounds dumb I know, but you’d be surprised at the hierarchy there is amongst dogs in the neighborhood. Seamus is as independent as they come, but I swear a dog can get embarrassed.

Finally, he’s back …I better shake out my boots just in case he got even.


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