Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Where there's no sense, there's no feeling

I finally got a chance to go beating again on Saturday. I help out as a beater at a couple of the local pheasant shoots; a good day's beating is about as much fun as you can have in the countryside with your trousers on!

The season started over a month ago now and I have already been to one shoot. Unfortunately though I have been unable to take Lyra with me due to her suffering from 'lady dog problems'. Luckily for both of us this is all over and done with now. So we eagerly headed off to Ram Alley for a spot of pheasant chasing.

As this was Lyra's first outing of the season, I was a little nervous about how she would perform, would there be any signs of canine resentment for being left behind on the previous shoots? Would the lack of training during those summer months I had spent away from home show at all?

The first drive put all my fears to rest. I had to work Lyra through a patch of maize. This sort of cover crop can cause problems - dogs get very excited chasing through the cover looking for game (it probably feels like one of those jungle chase scenes in Predator to the dog) and the lack of visual contact can mean you loose control relatively easily. But she did really well - even retrieving a bird that had been overlooked by the pickers up :-)

And so all through the day we went from good to better until we got home. Only then was it clear that my, by now dog tired, hound was finding it hard to settle down on the carpet. On closer inspection we realized that, although her paws and muzzle seemed completely immune to nettle rash, the inside of her ears were not. All inside both ear flaps she was read raw with nettle rash!

Clearly she was having so much fun during the day that she hadn't noticed that her ears were glowing. I think I can understand though. Lyra is a working dog, and she is driven to work in the same way that many of the truly good developers I know are driven to code. Imagine a world where coding was only permitted September-January and you could only get access to a really useful computer 2 or 3 days a week at best. This is what it is probably like for Lyra (shudder). If this were the case, I don't think you would stop coding if you got a paper cut on a couple of fingers...

Given the way the winter is going there will be nettles in the woods for a few weeks yet and there's no way I can leave the dog behind. So, now I'm surfing the net for nettle rash cures for Weimaraners...

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