Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Both Nellie and Bess love to practice in the field

At this time of year, I have a tendency to think, “Isn’t these beautiful late summer days great! Maybe we can still swim in the river for a few weeks. Maybe the garden will continue to produce.” I forget to factor in the impact of shorter days. Our afternoons have been warm -- to 90 and above – but only for a few hours, and without long hours of hot sun, the river grows colder and the garden quits producing.

Yes, days are shorter now and suddenly that shortening process seems more noticeable than it did when summer was at her peak.

Wishing for more action
No use to lament the change. At my house, we embrace it and celebrate not the end of summer but the beginning of autumn. It’s a great time to be an Idahoan. And -- it’s already begun – football and hunting. Personally, I don’t care about either one, but as Mike becomes occupied with his interests, I have more time for mine.

Even the dogs know what’s up. Young Bess can hardly contain herself knowing that it’s hunting season while “Old Pro” Nellie now takes it in stride.

What have we here?
This year Nellie will spend more time with me instead of hunting every hunt, a fact she already seems to accept with grace. She has never tolerated heat well, and those hunts on warm afternoons drag her down. She’s always needed a day of rest between hunts, but now she likes two – maybe even three. She’s wistful if she sees the pick-up or Ken’s 4-Runner leave without her, so I usually contrive that we’re out of the house and down the street before the hunters leave. That way it appears that we’re leaving Bess behind, giving Nellie a psychological advantage – if they think about it.

Fortunately Nellie and I have always had a good relationship that includes daily routine activity. We enjoy long walks where she just gets to poke along at her own pace.  And with that pesky Bess out of the house, Nellie gets the all the perks of being the house pet.

Waiting in the pick-up
Meanwhile, little Bess has turned into a fun-lovin’ bird-hunter’s companion. If she hears Mike take a gun from the cabinet, she’s there! If she sees a gun or his hunting bag in the pick-up, she hops in to wait – and wait and wait if necessary. She loves to be out with Mike and Ken, and quickly adapts to whatever she’s supposed to do.

When the hunters return, it’s a happy reunion all around. No one holds grudges. Everyone gets treats. KW

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