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Training days

  • PHOTOS BY TAYLOR GARDINER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Bella stalks a quail. The German Shorthaired Pointer is owned by Tim Gardner
    PHOTOS BY TAYLOR GARDINER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Bella stalks a quail. The German Shorthaired Pointer is owned by Tim Gardner
Published February 13. 2013 05:03PM

It's said that bird dogs are born knowing how to hunt, and that we just have to teach them how to hunt for us. So we embark on the journey.

We watch the newborn puppies, eyes not open yet, just a few weeks old, and they are running and yipping in their sleep. What is the source of those dreams? We wonder, and then weeks later we hide a bobwhite quail in the field grasses. We bring the puppy into the area. It smells a bird for the first time, and points.

Our eyes meet, and the age-old connection between human and hunting dog begins again. The puppy lifts a paw, freezes in a point, somehow knowing. This was a moment in those old dreams. The humans smile. They had the same dream.

Later, there will be glorious days when it all comes together, when all the training takes hold and we share proud moments. Of course, the hunt never goes perfectly, for humans or dogs, but the exuberance of the dogs makes it impossible to dwell on those moments. Instead, they remind us what a simple sweet and happy thing it is to get the wind in your ears and just run.

The following photos were taken during a dog training day in Barnesville.

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