Spring can't get here quick enough. While this sentiment may not be out of the ordinary for those of us who live where the snow falls in the winter, I feel it profoundly this year. With the advent of spring, I tend to be consumed with planning turkey hunts and trout fishing trips. Turkey calls get chalked, and fly line dusted off and cleaned. Camo, and waders get inspected for tears, and the salt rigs too, get prepared. After all, before you know it the stripers will be running again. Striper season means the grill must get cleaned, too. Oh, hurry up spring!!
This spring, however, I've got one additional, and extremely exciting event to look forward to. In May I'll be meeting and bringing home my new puppy. Getting a new dog is always exciting, and I can't wait. When it was confirmed that Austin's sickness was indeed terminal I began making inquiries about up coming litters. I was fortunate enough to find a Springer breeding that not only made me excited, but in which I could get on the list. After several e-mails, and a phone call to the breeder, a deposit was sent, and the waiting began.
Adding to the excitement, is the training seminar my wife and I will be attending at the kennel the weekend we pick up the pup. David Lisett, of Buccleuch Gundog, Scotland will be working with spaniel owners, and demonstrating some of his training techniques. David is a 7 time championship winner in the UK and Ireland.
The excitement of getting the new pup is bitter sweet, however, the memory of Austin, and the feelings that came with losing him still fresh. I'm looking forward to starting this pup, but he's not here yet, and I do miss my pal terribly . I don't know what I'd give to have him greet me at the front door again, or to be able to sit in my chair with a book and a scotch while scratching his ears. Austin certainly was a dog I'd have been happy to have forever.
I'm certain that as I looked after Austin throughout his life, he has somehow looked out for me too, and that when puppy comes home Austin's presence will be felt, and in ways I don't, or can't understand, he'll be guiding this pup down the right path to make me happy. And in this way, Austin and all the dogs before him are still here with me, and always will be.