Joy comes to my home!!! (warning: long - lots of pics)

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Birddogman
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Joy comes to my home!!! (warning: long - lots of pics)
4 months ago

Joy, my 8 week old Brittany puppy (named to honor all the joy sweet Maggie brought to my life)arrived at the Philadelphia airport Tuesday evening after a flight from Wyoming, where she comes from big-country horse field-trial stock. I had many trepidations about flying a puppy, but there were no problems or delays and she arrived happy, healthy and not even a little bit scared. The worst part of the whole thing was the long drive back out of the city to get to our rural home.

Our first day together started at 4:00 AM when I get up to provide care for my wife. Joy waited patiently in her bed in my home office/library/gunroom:

At first light, we headed out on to our trails up on the mountain for Joy to get to know some of the places where she will spend a great deal of time. Until her inoculations are complete, I can’t take her to areas where there might be other dogs due to the risk of parvoviris, so she will stay on our land for a few weeks. She was amazingly unintimidated for a four pound puppy. Here, she paused at the entrance to one of our little meadows. Very small pup – very big world:

Every single thing was intensely interesting!! Here Joy attacked an offending twig:

Retrieving a tiny stick I tossed – a good sign for such a young pup to want to return things to hand:

Here, working her first field with Chase:

At one point, Chase locked up on a point (probably a tweety bird or a rabbit or some such) and just for fun, I stopped walking and "backed" his point. Rather to my amazement, Joy froze to stone stillness and backed his point, too. It looks like it won't be too difficult to teach her proper backing afield - but there is much excitement when real upland birds are afoot and dogs sometime forget their training, so we'll see. Nonetheless, this was way cool on one of her first outings!

Within the limitations imposed by the parvo risk, I try to expose a pup as early as possible to the various things that will be part of his or her life. One thing a bird dog does is spend a good bit of time traveling in all sorts of vehicles – everything from motorhomes to ATV’s. So, we took a ride in my “shooting brake” (an old Jeep) to do some errands. She looked up to her big brother to make sure this was all OK.

Joy is by far the most cuddly, loving puppy I have ever had in a long lifetime – even more needing of being held than dear Maggie was as a pup. It’s amazing to think that in a few months, this soft little creature will grow into that wonderful dichotomy that is a bird dog – a warm, gentle, loving, attentive and devoted pet at home; and a hard-as-nails, run all day, stone killer in the field.

Some joy was very badly needed around here and it appears that Ms. Joy has brought joy to my home.  Hope you enjoyed meeting Ms. Joy! Much more later.

Thanks for looking!

Greg, Chase and Joy

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