Big and Little Thudd

Tony gets Little Thuddy ready to go while Big Thudd gets a few shots of his boy.

Little Thuddy showing off some of the things he’s learned a Camp Bly.

Today Tony had Big Thudd up to see if Little Thuddy was making any progress.  What he saw was a puppy that was being forced to handle like a gun dog.  We all know that Little Thuddy can and will run as big as we’ll let him – he’s done it in the past and he’ll do it again in future.  What he has to learn now is, as Tony puts it, how to have a clock in his head where at reasonable intervals he’s looking up his handler.  The clock is starting to tick but is still keeping time rather irregularly.  Progress is definitely being made but it will still take time.  I was telling Thudd about Lady (Elhew Liebotshcaner dam of Wild Apple Jack et al) who had been allowed to run off as a puppy and once I got my hands on her it took over a year to get her where she was staying with me and could be trusted to range out on her own.
Tony has been doing a lot of yard work with the Thuddster as well and heeled and whoa’d the pup as he walked him to the breakaway of his run.  If  Little Thuddy will pay attention then, when he knows he is about to be cut loose you know Tony is making progress with him.  During LT’s run today we flushed two grouse that he was not involved with. 
LJ and Frankie were up next and both dogs stopped a couple of times but no birds were produced.  In our third brace we took Abbie and Jack into one of our regular fall covers to see what was around.   In the end we moved three woodcock and around eight grouse.  Two of the woodcock were nesting hens that had not completed their clutches yet as they each had three eggs under them.  The Big Thudd was lugging his Nikon around and was able to get pictures of the nests.  As we were driving out of the woods a grouse posed nicely on my side of the road and I grabbed the Nikon and inched forward shooting pictures all the way until Tony yelled for me to stop as he wanted to throw Abbie out on the bird.  Both the bird and I waited until Tony Yelled at us again – the bird flushed and sailed a long ways.  Tony, Marie, and Thudd are coming over later.  I’ll try to get the nest and grouse pictures then and add another post tonight.  The total for the morning was 11 grouse and 3 woodcock.  Two of which Abbie found and flash pointed on her own.
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