I have a chocolate Lab, Fox, and I trained him to retrieve with the thought we might go bird hunting, but during the last two years of bird seasons the birds have been scarce. The early season this year was hot and, there being no invitations, we stayed home where it was cool, but on the last afternoon of the second season this year, a friend called and invited us over to shoot doves. The house came alive as I tried to find all my gear. When the camo came out and Fox smelled gun oil he was beside himself with excitement and so was I what with this being the first hunt this year. Finally prepared, Fox and I struck out for the dove field.
In the blind at last, I awaited the birds as Fox trembled with excitement. Suddenly the next hunter over shouted “bird”, but as I whirled on my swivel bucket I lost my balance and fell into the blind. It collapsed and Fox and I were completely ensnared.
After disentangling both of us and righting the bucket seat, we did not have to wait long. A perfect double winged overhead, but as I tried to stand up my gun barrel snagged the blind’s netting and down it went again.
I looked at Fox and he rolled his eyes as if to say “good grief”.
Ready once again, two more feathered missiles blazed over. I tried to focus through my trifocals and just as I was ready to shoot, my glasses slid down my nose. By the time I pushed them up and focalized, the birds had disappeared. Fox lay down and went to sleep.
Two more birds lit just in front of me and I whispered to Fox, “Get ready to retrieve, boy.” I slid the barrel over the netting, stood up and pulled the trigger, but the only sound was the firing pin hitting an empty chamber. I had not put a shell into the breech. The birds flew away. Fox began to snore.
I sometimes lose my temper when I get frustrated and I had a few choice words to say about the whole situation. Fox awakened and started to slink toward the truck, obviously thinking
I was mad at him. I had to apologize to him before he would come back.
Finally a flock came over and everything worked. I stood and fired three times but the birds kept going. Another flock, another three shots, then another and another, the results were always the same. Fox gave me a look of total disgust and barked at me.