At one time in my younger days I hunted upland birds without a dog, and consequently went about life largely unfulfilled. Part of this may have been due to the fact that my father, in response to vehement requests for a sporting breed, obtained a beagle/fox terrier mix. In the field this dog's primary talent was turning into a linear motion blur and racing off until he was concealed by the curvature of the Earth.
One can only speculate as to why Dad chose to deprive his posterity of gun dogs, when he himself was raised with a brace of Brittany Spaniels. My theory is that it had something to do with excessive intake of maple nut ice cream - a bastardized confection he purchased with reckless abandon during my childhood. Essentially the frozen dairy equivalent of fruitcake, maple nut should ideally be re-gifted during the holiday season and never consumed. Yet eat it my father did, and in so doing caused irreparable damage to the petulla oblongata, or pet-selecting portion of the brain.
Regardless, I soon reached an age when I could apply the guillotine choke when parental objections were raised and immediately set about the procurement of a proper canine companion. Dogs in the field have since become the element of upland hunting I enjoy the most.
It was great to be out on a sunny, Fall day. Thanks to the pups a few wily phez found their way into the vests along with a limit of chukars. It doesn't get much better than putting boot to cover with a 4-legged friend leading the way and a well-balanced over/under in hand. 11-11-11 worked out nicely.