Well,today is the day that all of the guides begin working their dogs and running them into playing shape.Hunting dogs are just like human athletes.Conditioning is almost as important as training. During the hot summer months,our hunting dogs mostly just lay around in the kennel barking and eating free meals. They remind me a lot of our politicians in Washington. There is another interesting aspect of dog training at this time of the year.
Moss assigns each guide 10 dogs. Those dogs are then placed together in adjacent kennel runs so that each guide can load his dogs on his jeep from five adjoining runs. Many of these dogs have not been living together during the summer, and we have to carefully monitor their behavior as some of them just flat decide that they do not like their new room mates.Our vet bill normally runs about $1200 per month,but it always jumps up in September due to dog fights at the kennels. Before the week is out, we will have shifted dogs around like a chess match, and the “top dog” in each run will have established his dominance.Another thing that we have to watch closely with our dogs at this time of the year is “sexual assaults”. Again this reminds me a lot of some of the other athletes I read about. However, there is one big difference at Riverview with this problem. We simply take the offender to the vet and relieve him of his family jewels. Society could learn a lot by following this practice.If male dogs could talk to one another, I bet that we would not have to do this but once or twice before they all straightened up. I have often said that if I were a male dog, i would beg my owner not to sell me to Riverview.
For the next two weeks, we will run all of the dogs for about two hours each morning, and will move up to a half day of work in the third week.We will also be shooting some birds over them with the guides acting as hunters. All of our guides love this time of the year, and there is always a lot of kidding at the guide shack over how poorly some “professional hunting guides” can actually shoot.
Speaking of dogs, I just have to close this blog by saying that I sure was proud of my Georgia Bulldogs in their victory Saturday over a very good LSU football team. As we would say in Athens,” that Dawg will bite you”!