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  • January 31, 2011

    Just Suck That Hair Right Off Your Dog-5


    A few weeks ago I explored the idea of utilizing my dog Stoney’s shed hair to make a sweater (read the story here). But the more I thought about it, the more I found the idea to be…uh…creepy as hell. I mean, think about it: why would I want an item of clothing, or a blanket, made from my dear pet’s waste? What’s next? Making drink coasters from my kids’ sloughed off skin?
    “Nice drink coasters Gayne.  What are they, leather?”
    “Yeah, my daughter had a pretty bad sunburn last week.  Her skin just kept peeling off.”
    With the idea of “puppy sweaters” put to bed, I’ve moved on in my seemingly never-ending quest to deal with my Lab’s persistent shedding. My latest discovery involves a $70 vacuum tool aptly named the Dyson Groom. The Groom is basically a comb that attaches to the end of a vacuum hose.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • January 29, 2011

    Who Needs Booth Babes?-5



    Having attended SHOT Show in Vegas last week, I'm now at the Sportsmen's Show in Puyallup, Wash. This time, instead of cruising the floor in search of scantily clad women, I'm sitting in a booth helping to promote the outdoor activities found around my hometown. Kona is with me and let me tell you, a dog will attract just as much attention as a midriff-baring hottie.

    Having escaped our booth a few times, I hit the floor with Kona and checked out the guides and outfitters, as well as products being hawked by vendors. Most of the time I don't pay much attention to the wares, but I did find one item that piqued my interest. For a dog owner, the Miracle Door Mat might just be a must. Check out this video I shot of the mat in action.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • January 27, 2011

    Strange Death of a Setter-10




    Recently, a high school friend contacted me on Facebook about the death of her family's English setter. The symptoms came about suddenly, and within a day or so the little black and white bird dog, named Checkers, was dead.

    Here's her story of what happened to the family pet and what I was able to find out from veterinarian Ben Character, author of Sports Medicine for the Retriever: Caring for the Hunting Retriever.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • January 20, 2011

    SHOT Show: SportDog TEK 1.0-2



    SportDOG TEK 1.0:

    At this week's SHOT Show, SportDOG Brand of training gear and accessories upped the ante in the dog-training and tracking world. The company's new TEK 1.0 combines GPS-tracking capabilities and electrical stimulation into one rugged collar unit. And they did it at a lower price point than that of Garmin's Astro unit, the current industry leader.

    Now everyone from houndsmen to those that use big-running pointing breeds can keep track of their dogs AND make remote corrections from a single handheld unit.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • January 17, 2011

    How to (Not) Name Your Dog-25



    Tucker, Hoss and Kona:

    Naming your dog used to consist of playing off physical features, such as coat color, markings or body shape, or attributes such as speed or size. Another popular way to name a dog was in relation to the job it was tasked with, like some reference to hunting for sporting dog breeds.

    In the past it was never proper to name your dog with a human name, and that's a practice I sometimes wish still existed today.

    I named my son Tucker. I think it's a good name. It's strong, as a boy's name should be, and while it's not a too-far-out-1960s-like name, it also isn't run of the mill. It's an old name, derived from people that used to tailor cloth, and as such is, and has been, a popular last name.

    However, do you know how many people, upon hearing my son's name, have excitedly told me that their dog's name is Tucker? As if their dog and my son somehow co-exist equally on some plane of existence due to their names.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • January 14, 2011

    True Champions-3



    Bo's King Cole JH/Sgt. Cole, USMC :

    He might have only been a Junior Hunter in the competition arena here in the states, but in Afghanistan Sgt. Bo's King Cole JH, USMC became, and remains, a champion to the families of a Marine unit -- and a hero to all Americans.

    This post honors those dogs that have paid the ultimate price for human conflicts. While the majority of those dogs go unknown to most of us, here are the stories of two IED-sniffing canines--Cole and Bingo--that saved the lives of their human handlers.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • January 12, 2011

    One Last Hunt -12


    "More than he'd ever wanted anything in his life he wanted the dog to hear one more shot and feel the whirr of one more flush."
    -Gene Hill

    Riley and I shared our first real experience as duck hunters on a cold, windy day in North Dakota. Before dawn my dad had taken the two of us out to a point that jutted into a huge pothole, which was really more of a small lake.

    Soon the ducks began flying, and from behind us a small flock of buffleheads came cruising overhead at top speed. I stood up, picked out the lead bird fired off a quick shot. The fourth duck from the front flinched and then crash landed into the pothole about 60 yards out. Riley had jumped into the icy water at the shot and was already swimming through the chop as fast as she could after the little duck.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • January 10, 2011

    Poster-Sized Duck Stamps!-2



    For those of you that still have a balance on a Visa gift certificate you might have received over the holidays, or if you just want a really cool piece of art, you should check out Dog and Drake for inexpesive, yet high-quality, poster-sized duck stamps.

    Less than $50 gets you a 19.5-x-14-inch giclee print of your favorite duck stamp, and at the same time you'll be helping wetland conservation as 10 percent goes back into the duck stamp program, which, of course, purchases land for the National Refuge System.

    My favorite duck stamp is from 1959-60 and features King Buck, one of the greatest retrievers in history.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • January 10, 2011

    What to Do with Blue Hens-2



    Blue Hen Hot Wings:

    As a quick follow-up to my last post, I have to say that my favorite way to enjoy a blue hen, besides letting it marinade in apparent victory before slicing and dicing it on the gridiron late in the game, is exactly how the cooks at The Game in downtown Spokane, Wash., prepared it: ala hot wings with, appropriately enough, crumbled blue cheese.

    And now back to your regular scheduled programming of all things gun dogs...

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • January 5, 2011

    Cross-Country Cock Fight-12



    Dog blog EWU Logo:

    Forgive me, for this post has very little to do with gun dogs and much to do with college football and smack talking. This Friday my alma mater, the (Screaming, for I refuse to bow to political correctness) Eagles of Eastern Washington University (where OL's Patrick McManus coincidentally taught, albeit before my time), take on the University of Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens for the NCAA 2011 Division I Football Championship in Frisco, Texas.

    This is the Eagles' first trip to the championship game. The Fightin' Blue Hens have won six national championships and were runners-up in the 2007 title game.

    But, with as tenuous of a link I can draw between gun dogs, the outdoors and college football, where I come from, which proudly is eastern Washington, what kind of mascot is a blue hen, fightin' or not?

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