Remi, Carol and me ... it happens
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Thread: Remi, Carol and me ... it happens

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    Cappy_TX's Avatar
    Cappy_TX is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRemi, Carol and me ... it happens

    Yep, conditions were ideal; overcast, windy, a front on the way ... almost exactly what the duck hunter hopes for. We arrived at the north property 20 minutes before legal shooting time. The ATV was offloaded from the trailer and the three of us made the 1/2 mile run in the dark to the two blinds we had chosen for this morning's hunt.

    I dropped Carol off at her spot, made sure she was all settled in and then Remi and I drove the remaining 100 yards to our blind. Remi and the gear was placed into the blind and I then drove the 100 yards away where the ATV is parked in brush out of sight.

    I made it back to the blind just in time to uncase a gun, pour some coffee and get ready for what I hoped would be a productive hunt for Carol and Remi both. We waited patiently, anticipating the whistle of wings overhead at any moments. We continued waiting and watching. By now poor Remi was beginning to whimper impatiently. Then she began shaking as she stared intently into the north sky looking at something that I couldn't see. Alas, only a few blackbirds ... "No Ducks, Rem".

    And so it went for the remaining 90 minutes until we finally called it a morning ...



    However, the quality of a hunt is measured not by ducks taken. Rather, it is the pleasure of the company, the time shared together and the memories that will remain for a long time to come. At least that's my view. Remi, on the other hand, says "BALONEY ... I WANT DUCKS!"
    Remi and Rusty aren't my whole life. They're trying to fill the hole in my heart left by Cappy's passing.

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    DefaultRe: Remi, Carol and me ... it happens

    I know what you mean, a day afield with a Lab is never wasted.

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    Paddysmom's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: Remi, Carol and me ... it happens

    For a hunter, I would think there is joy and pleasure in the mere preparation for a hunt, catch or no catch.

    Seamus and Flynn

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    Labs4life is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Remi, Carol and me ... it happens

    You said it all Cappy_TX. I don't duck hunt anymore,but more than once I spent a lazy day along a stream, a line in the water and a beloved lab at my side. I really never cared if the fish were biting, it was nice to spend time with a friend.
    The Constitution is suppose to guarantee everyone the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but the Constitution does not guarantee everyone equal outcomes.
    Some people are more talented, educated, thieving and dishonest than others.

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    Cappy_TX's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: Remi, Carol and me ... it happens

    Quote Originally Posted by Paddysmom
    For a hunter, I would think there is joy and pleasure in the mere preparation for a hunt, catch or no catch.
    Nance, it actually starts the night before. I back the ATV into the garage and pre-load all of Carol's and my gear for the next morning's hunt. Depending on the weather forecast, I then arrange the clothing that I'll be wearing on a hunting clothes rack that's in the garage during season. The right mid calf wool socks are draped over the boots I'll be wearing. I make sure the guns are all cleaned, safety on and placed into their respective cases. Carol's and my 5-gal camo painted empty paint buckets with swivel-seat tops are checked for supplies including hand warmers, dawg first aid kit, extra gloves, a box of ammo, our duck and goose calls and other stuffs (including a roll of TP in a ziplock bag).

    All this time the two dawgs are sitting in the garage watching both carefully and hopefully to see if they can garner a clue which of them will be going with in the morning. The first few times I went through this routine I couldn't figure out how they seemed to know who was going and who was staying home. Then it dawned on me ... they have two different patterns in their respective neoprene dawg vests. If I took Remi's vest down from the rack and laid it in the ATV, Cappy would seem to be very agitated that evening afterwards and would whine and prance when I got up the next morning. The opposite was almost always true with Remi if I got Cappy's vest out the night before. So once I suspected that might be the cause, I don't get it out until the next morning and that seemed to end the anxiety attacks. Smart these durn Labs, huh?

    In the morning both dawgs are fed, put out in the back run to take care of business and I then load the ATV onto the trailer that's backed up onto the driveway. Meanwhile, Carol has the dubious distinction of allowing the dawg that's going with us to come out into the garage while the other has to stay in the house and let out it's pathetic protestations. I put the neoprene vest on the dawg going with, add their e-collar and have them come out to load up in the back seat of the F-150 for the ride to the property 5 miles away. I swear to you, as soon as I get back into the truck to pull away, I get plenty kisses from the dawg on board, which I'm sure means ... "oh boy, I'm going, it's my turn, yippeee, thanks Dad!"
    Remi and Rusty aren't my whole life. They're trying to fill the hole in my heart left by Cappy's passing.

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    3TailsWaggin's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: Remi, Carol and me ... it happens

    Sounds like a wonderful morning just enjoying nature. To me, that's what life is all about anyway, doing the things that we love doing with our dogs.

    I'm sure it wasn't Remi's best day But at least you shared it together ;D

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    DefaultRe: Remi, Carol and me ... it happens

    Just curious........why do you only take one of them?

    Frances

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    DefaultRe: Remi, Carol and me ... it happens

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam I Am
    Just curious........why do you only take one of them? Frances
    Fair enough question and it deserves an honest answer.

    Remi is far and away the most difficult gun dawg I've owned of nine in my 65 years. She is so "high spirited" that she's borderline out of control with me, and even worse when with Carol. Ironically, she's one of if not the most well behaved, loving and compliant dawgs in the home I've had. When outdoors with me she's also fine, either by herself or with Cappy. But when it comes to hunting-training or actual hunting ... she's absolutely 1 degree below berserk. I have genuinely come to the conclusion that Remi has an Adrenalin or dopamine (brain chemical) release that excites her beyond her ability to control her emotions and behavior. There is nothing that I can do including positive methods, electronic corrections and even out and out stern physical reprimands to stop her misbehavior.

    In two years of driving myself nuts swearing that I would not give up on this, my last Labrador, she has driven me to the brink of converting her to a couch potato. But I refuse to allow her to fail. I've sought help from her breeder who owned the sire and bitch, knows the offspring from all three of the litters that they whelped together and NO other pup has displayed Remi's behavioral characteristics. People who have known me for 40 years as a dawg owner/trainer are stumped. Those that watch me handle Cappy and Remi both are equally at a loss as to what has gone wrong but more importantly, what can be done to correct it.

    I've had gun dawg knowledgeable vets recommend sedatives or at least benadryl a few hours before hunting or training to slow Remi down. I've tried that without success. Either it's had no effect whatsoever or Remi was so groggy that I deem her unfit to safely hunt. The several professional trainer and a number of Hunt Test and Field Trial Judges who've been to our home and have watched my handling and training methods, end up shaking their head in disbelief when they see that the highest possible stimulation through her e-collar has absolutely no effect on Remi whatsoever if she decides to break and blow-off a recall whistle or command, or otherwise refuse compliance with a known command.

    As a result (and I should add she's made GREAT progress in the past 3 months that has raised my belief that there's still a chance for her) I have chosen to train and hunt the dawgs separately, with very few exceptions, since last September.

    Remi is so ultra competitive and result oriented that she cannot stand to see Cappy have his turn with bumpers or live birds. Substantial physical correction with Remi (I won't elaborate) has virtually ended all improper conduct in that regard with the exception of whining or yiking and even hyper-ventilating ... which typifies her internal excitement level. That has been reduced by 75% but still at an unacceptable level. Cappy, on the other hand, wants all retrieves too but will accept a NO or QUIET command when a guest dawg is training or hunting with us. So to be fair to Cappy as much as Remi, they hunt separately.

    Clearly that's not what I had hoped for when she joined our family. She has the remainder of this season and then the next 9 months thereafter to come under complete control. We are hoping that three years of patience and stick-to-it-eve-ness will win out. If not, then this will have been Remi's last hunting season. Cappy will be 8 years old next week. God bless his heart he's been the highlight of my gun dawg owning lifetime. It's just not fair to him to reduce any remaining hunt time God will grant him if Remi can't be converted to acceptable field behavior.

    The sadest part of all is that Remi actually has marking and tracking skills superior to Cappy's and I think everyone here who've read my many past posts about Cappy will realize just how good I think his are. Her general running, swimming and other field essentials are excellent. In addition, if I was capable of administering an IQ test to both dawgs, no doubt Remi would produce the higher score. She's smarter than a whip. I apologize for the very long reply to a short question. You can tell it's a very heavy hearted situation for me. I want to end by repeating that Remi is an absolute jewel as a family member and we all love her to death.
    Remi and Rusty aren't my whole life. They're trying to fill the hole in my heart left by Cappy's passing.

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