I know I keep on, but my boy is forever improving.
Fern & I set off with Olli today in glorious sunshine and looking forward to the day ahead. Only 2 more weeks before the season ends now, it never seems long enough.
The 1st drive was a short walk down the country lane before heading up a bank into the cover. Olli was off the lead and although bursting with excitement, he walked to heel between me and the bank beautifully. So handsome and so mature now I was brimming with pride. He had 2 lovely retrieves on this 1st drive and then we were asked by the gun Captain to go around the track and look for a wounded bird. Olli has only just started to really understand working away from me, if he doesn't see a bird fall so I was unsure that he would find it. I needn't have been. I sent him up over a bank in the woods, asking him to "find it" and constantly encouraging him as he worked side to side, nose to the ground. Suddenly he shot through a gap, skidded down the bank and picked up the wounded hen pheasant. I was thrilled.
The rest of the day he worked so well, so hard and I realised how much he was now a real 100% gun dog. Never breaking from me unless I asked him, not a bark or sound came from him as he watched the skies, looking at me briefly now & then for reassurance, he has come of age.
He finished the day with a really hard bird to find, up a steep hill through some brambles, which a Labrador had been unable to scent. He was tired but accomplished.
I could never describe that feeling that I seem to have every week with Olli. Total admiration for him, and actually a little bit of self pride as I trained him totally myself and as he is my 1st effort. I think I've done pretty well. He is not even 2 years old yet but there will never be a more loving, loyal talented spaniel for me. He is 1 in a million.
He has had huge cuddles now we are home, and is dreaming about his day, curled up on the sofa with the other 5 dogs. Where would we be without our dogs.