Depending on where you are in the world, you may have experienced some crisp, cool evenings and mornings lately. I have switched back to a hot cup of coffee the past few mornings, instead of my usual cuppa over crushed ice! Ahhh…. the smells are changing, the air is changing. Can you feel it? Maybe I am imagining it because i want it so badly! Are you so excited that you can barely sleep? Are you finished packing??
In less than 2 weeks, we’ll be heading to the Northwoods. The long awaited time of year is within reach and the anticipation is more than most bird-dog owners can handle—it’s more exciting than just about any other event you can think of, if you are anything like me, anyway.
This year also brings a twist, as along with heading to NWBC (NorthWoods Bird Camp) 2011, we will be spending much more time in the Northwoods in the years to come. In fact, I won’t have to leave the northwoods come mid-November! We’ve taken a huge step and have acquired a quaint little place there and will be making it a home. It’s all very exciting for me—a tiny bit of that dream come true!
There is much to do to make this all happen over the next few weeks and I am having my doubts that I can pull it off, but I will give it my all, you can count on that. The dogs are counting on me. I have to make it happen on time and I’d better get a move on.
The summer has been more than busy and I am really looking forward to heading north and getting the dogs settled in, and then hitting the woods every day of the coveted Ruffed Grouse season. I simply cannot wait.
The dogs know the time is near and most are starting to get very antsy. They are bursting with anticipation and I can’t walk out the door without them going crazy thinking it’s time to go.
But there is more than a lot to do before we can make the move. Work on the dog trailer that now needs to haul twice as many Llews as last year. Comfy accommodations for all of the remaining puppies are needed, gear needs checked out, collars and bells need ordered pronto, you know, all of the normal stuff all of the bird dog folks are getting together. Except we are moving a lot of dogs and kennels, too. Maybe we’ll pull this off in time—and maybe we won’t! We’ll see.
Everyone keeps asking the question, so i may as well address it here. The question is if I think this will affect business. My answer is that I honestly do not know. Maybe it will and maybe it won’t. The majority of our puppies fly to their new homes, so I don’t think our location should make any difference. But, I could be oh so wrong about that! Being back and forth between both locations should help to accommodate most folk’s needs and of course we will do all we can by meeting people whenever possible. The up north place will make it much easier for me to accommodate those that do want to make the trip to visit in person. It will be easier to work dogs for them, have visitors during the week, etc. In our location in PA, we are very limited in these aspects.
Here is how I see it, though: If a person wants a world-class bird dog, it shouldn’t matter all that much where it is located. When you want the best, you go wherever that is. You have it flown to you. It’s safe. It’s affordable. Maybe I am crazy, we all know I really am, but this move is for the dogs. It is to give all of our Llewellins better opportunities for hunting wild birds more often. It is so our Llewellins have the opportunities to become all they were bred and born to be. It is so more time can be spent with the dogs. It is a move toward a simpler, healthier way of life where the dogs can take center stage and thrive. It is so we are able to retain more pups from our breedings for our future program. It is so we can take on many more dogs for training on wild birds. This is all about the future of our Llewellins.
It will not be an easier life in many ways. It is a lot more work and sacrifice of many personal material things, as well as a time away from our children, our family, friends, and comforts but it allows for more time hunting and working the dogs in an area of the country offering more public hunting opportunities and a more stable wild-bird population. In this setting, the dogs will finally have their chance to shine, to be all they can be and be all this incredible breed of bird dog was meant to be. This will not, of course, change what they already are, nor can it change what they will be in the future (although, maybe it actually can change what will be passed from this generation to the next. After all, if a dog never gets to use those traits and instincts, are they eventually just lost? As in the breeds that have been bred for show and are now to the point they no longer have the hunting instincts of their ancestors?) I will simply get to give the dogs more opportunities to use those instincts, to hone them, to keep passing them on to the next generation of Llewellin Setters, so they will at least remain the amazing upland bird dog while I am still here.
Well, the summer has been very sparse in posts, news, and information, but it has been necessary in order to make all of this happen. Scott and I have been trying to work all of the overtime and extra jobs possible as well as to care for all of this summer’s litters! We’ve had some amazing puppies go on to fantastic families and I can’t wait to update you on all of them. The fall promises to be packed with great stuff and all of the news from camp, the new kennel, life in the northwoods (or life in the northwoods on a little farm), lots of hunting and training articles, photos, and more. The calendar will be released (and winners announced) and I will also catch up by posting all of the updates from this summer’s puppy’s owners.
Just a few more weeks (or even days)—are you ready? Where are you and your Llewellin heading this year?