Sometimes it’s okay to spill


I promise to tell … sometimes

Fun, camaraderie, fellowship reward a sharing of “secret spots”

Most self-respecting hunters would rather give you their automatic teller machine’s PIN than put you in one of their secret spots. Here in the west where most of those spots are on public land, honey holes are as well-guarded as a bottle of 18-year-old single malt. Hey, it’s not selfish, it’s self-preservation.

Or is it? I recently learned a lesson that reminded me what goes around often does come around.

I’d invited a new friend to explore a patch of high desert that had intrigued me for 15 years. Some day, I’d stop at that old ranch and walk the wagon roads, see what was over that ridge. That some day was today, and David was willing to join me. I’d convinced him to rise before the sun with an offer to hunt one of my (shhhh!) secret, tried-and-true quail spots should the new place be a bust. Sure, taking him was a risk if you buy into the what’s-mine-is-mine philosophy of covert hoarders. I didn’t then and now have another reason not to.

The long drive was shortened by friendly banter – two former teachers now deep into dogs (which are better behaved than any school kid, we agreed). David was new to the region, seemed like the type to appreciate the magic spell it casts. Gracious and appreciative, he was shaping up into the ideal initiate to the confidential covert I had up my sleeve.

But before the first thermos of coffee was drained, David spilled his own bag of beans.

Did I know that spot, south of this place, but east of that other place? Yep, I did. Passed it regularly on my way to another classified hunting destination. Park, then walk east and south, he suggested. One of his favorite hunts since he was a teenager. Not many know about it, but now you do, he said. I made a mental note.

The dashboard thermometer read 12 degrees as shivering hands buckled a GPS collar on my four-year-old wirehair Manny. Fingertips already numbing, we joked about how short this hunt might be – we’d turn back when frostbite reached the second knuckle.

Manny didn’t seem to mind. Maybe your dog, too, is energized by cold. He bounded downhill, tongue out and smiling. He swapped ends then geared down to a skulk, nose to the ground. His scruffy muzzle tracked something delicious, weaving through humps of sage-covered lava, a methodical pace full of promise.

Two hundred yards ahead, buff colored specks against cobalt sky. Manny had found the route a chukar covey’s long march, but they were in no mood to wait for us. Within seconds another flock blossomed into the crisp desert air, still out of range.

All of a sudden, it wasn’t so cold anymore.

We followed the first bunch as it hooked around a point, typical chukar behavior. We hip-checked sagebrush and rolled ankles on lava rock in our haste, ending above a grassy flat denuded two years ago by fire. This was the covey’s landing place, and Manny was already on the job when we panted to a stop. Birds flushed in ones and twos. Flash points were all Manny could muster as he inhaled wisps of scent 50 or more yards downwind. Their “cree-cree” escape cry was a taunt.

Wild birds, uncooperative but exhilarating. Maybe they would behave better another time, in warmer weather. I was eager to show David my “happy place,” shot a compass bearing for the truck and trudged along a ridge in hopes of more accommodating valley quail 26 miles east.

A downhill glimpse stopped me mid-stride. It looked “quail-y” there: shoulder-high sage, bunchgrass, a few juniper trees and the final touch: folds in the landscape. A gully here, draw there, humps and bumps just screamed “birds.”

Warmer air rising from downslope convinced Manny, too. A short gallop over broken, lava-strewn ground and he was locked solid, quivering in anticipation. Humans moved to opposite sides of the young wirehair and a covey whirred into the brittle desert air. The one that jinked my way fell to a twisting, off-hand, lucky shot.

When Manny gently placed that bird in my outstretched hand, another surprise. In hand, the difference between valley quail and mountain quail is striking. The male valley’s (Callipepla californica) topknot drops forward, weighted by a feather “bubble.” This mountain quail (Oreortyx pictus) sported an upright feather plume. Even this color-blind, cross-dominant shooter saw other differences: mountain birds have chestnut-red breast feathers complementing bolder-striped breast plumage, and a red cheek. Valley quail display a scalloped look with their cream and black-striped breast, a black cheek in males, grey in females.

In a single shot, the morning became a Christmas gift – we knew there was something inside the bright, shiny wrapping, we just didn’t know what. The anticipation was palpable – a prospect of magical surprises ahead. Mountain birds will flock with their valley counterparts. They’ll also burble, chip and chat in habitat distinct from flatland quail, birds of a feather flocking together. Where there are quail there may be Hungarian partridge … or more chukar. We pursued, wondering what would fly next.

Manny, though, was focused, single-minded. All business. Birds in here. He drank in scent hanging heavily in the still air. His bearded muzzle next pointed straight downhill into a thicket of sage, a lone juniper tree at its apex. David and I approached from either side of the impenetrable brush.

The buzz of a mountain quail in flight is notably lower in pitch than its cousin. All I got was that audible clue, the bird peeling left toward David. His shot pierced the frosty air and the bird tumbled near the end of the grove. Manny raced for the retrieve, then slammed on the brakes, his eyes boring a hole in the base of a gnarled sagebrush trunk.

The wirehair trembled but remained staunch as I circled twice without eliciting a flush. It was worth a photo, if nothing else. As I kneeled to record Manny’s intensity, there was the delicate head plume. It was the only part of David’s first mountain quail unhidden under a tangled root, its final resting place.

Manny was soon poised at the base of another juniper, gazing up. A chestnut flash among the branches, and a bird rattled its way out the back door. Released with a tap on his head, Manny zigged left and zagged right in the tall sage. Then, he was gone.

Vanished. Quiet. Still. We held our breath, listening for clink of collar tag, panting dog or rustling brush. Anything that would assure us my dog was not hightailing it for the distant, busy highway. We tip-toed uphill and down a few dozen yards, squinting into the low sun hoping for a glimpse of tail, a hint of orange collar. I’ll bet you know the feeling. My heart is pounding just recalling that unnerving moment. Each second put Manny closer to the semi-trucks highballing west. Or so I thought.

I pulled out my GPS, finally exhaling when the screen showed Manny on point. We followed the arrow uphill 160 yards, approaching a rocky mound crowned with bonsai-like sage. Sight of my dog’s white-tipped tail set my mind at ease, and I circled farther uphill and found the rest of him, statuesque. His eyes followed my steps, paws still anchored to lava rock. The bird got a running start on the little slope and launched skyward, a blur against cloudless blue.

A sagebrush suffered the most damage, shotgun pellets deflected by leaves and branches. But hope springs eternal. Western quail will often plummet after topping a bush, then skitter into cover. Had I witnessed an evasive maneuver or the tumble of a dead bird?

Men and dog searched fruitlessly, combing the ground for feathers. My head convinced my heart it was a clean miss until Manny sidled up, eyes averted and tail slowly wagging. He seemed almost apologetic for taking so long to find the vividly-colored mountain quail. What a miracle dogs are! Invisible to our feeble eyes, quiet and still beyond reach of our pathetic hearing, alive or dead, birds await discovery by a canine nose dedicated to serving us. How can we ever reward them enough?

Quail ran, quail flushed. Whenever Manny pointed, there was a quail. The only question was would we get a shot, and if so, would we hit it? The answer for the rest of the morning was a resounding no. So with wistful over-the-shoulder glances we piled into the truck and hotfooted to my promised valley quail Shangri-La.

Parked and vests re-stocked, we followed meandering stream and racing dog and the birds flew. Breathtaking points, fluttering wings, and a few valley quail came to hand. The magic washed over us, entrancing David as it did me the first time I hunted this pocket paradise. That’s why I wanted to share it – as much for his reaction as the hunting.

Birds in the bag are scant evidence of this spot’s epic-ness; I seldom take more than a brace from this verdant rift in a lava flow hundreds of feet thick. Stark pinnacles, lush creekbed, golden leaves made every step an adventure. We shared an easy camaraderie.

A week later my dogs and I explored David’s boyhood haunt, a miles-long, gently sloping prairie ending in a sheer cliff. Pictographs were found, eagles flew, valley quail fell. A squadron of chukars escaped over the precipice. As I leaned over to watch their downward glide, I saw the road I’d driven so many times, intent on some other, “better” place. With a toast from my water bottle, I thanked David.

manny big nose

Okay, okay, four wirehairs and 25 years later I’ve learned there are innumerable ways to ruin dogs – just ask mine. But for today’s lesson, let’s focus on five that we can address in the short time between now and casing the guns at the end of opening weekend.

  1. Overtraining

Like a beer mug, there is a finite amount of knowledge you can pour into your dog’s head at any given time. When you overload your beer mug the casualty is your table, floor, and the tragedy of frosty, foamy goodness gone to waste. With your dog, it’s pushback, disobedience or shutdown … none of which get you closer to “fetch.”

A lengthy training session is fine, especially if you’re ramping up for the season’s debut. But you’d better mix it up, not dwelling on any one command too long. I’ve learned the hard way that two excellent renditions of a retrieve, “here” command, hard flush or solid point is about right. Get greedy and you’ll soon regret it.

  1. Lowered expectations

A bored dog is an unmotivated dog. You’ll know it when you give a command: tail down, walk instead of run, checking his text messages, etc. Worse, he backslides on skills you’re absolutely sure he knows. Time to raise the bar.

Fetching well from the training table? Go somewhere else. In fact, changing locations is often enough challenge – new sights, smells and distractions to help your pup bear down a bit and meet the task at hand. Put your retriever in a “blind” and throw in a few highballs to see if he’ll sit still. Spice things up with a carefully-managed dog or human spectator. Make that retrieve longer, throw something different than his usual bumper. Use whistle or hand signals without voice command … anything that takes it up a notch will force your dog to dig deeper into his memory bank, and I’ll bet he rises to the challenge.

  1. Forgetting that hunting is training

What happens opening morning might set the tone for the entire season. If the tailgate drops and your dog bolts for the far horizon, he’s pretty much showed you who’s boss. Reboot the agenda for the day – and the season – with a few drills before you whisper “hunt ‘em up.”

Start by training him to stay in his crate until you release him, then release him with a command. I might call him to me with a “here,” then heel him around the truck. A short retrieve of a thrown bumper, a “whoa” or “hup” will remind your dog that even in a new, exciting environment you still issue the paychecks.

While it’s harder than passing up the last piece of pizza, spend the first part of the hunt reinforcing hunting skills. Let a partner do the shooting while you steady your dog on point or help him “hup” to a sitting position. Hold your Lab’s collar until you command “back,” and insist on a retrieve to hand. A few passed-up shots may reward both of you all season.

  1. Not being in shape

It’s been said a fat dog is a sign you aren’t exercising enough. So true. Most tubby humans can regulate their in-field activity to match how out of shape they are, but dogs will run until they drop, and the consequences could be life-long if not fatal.

Heat is a dog-killer. Carefully accustom your dog to warmer weather, and watch him in the field for signs he’s overheated. Prolonged panting, seeking out shade, digging shallow holes to lie in, all are signs you should quit hunting and cool him down. The longer you’ve trained in warm weather, the longer he’ll hunt in it, but there is a limit. If your dog doesn’t die, heat stroke can damage him permanently.

If your dog is a tub of lard, he won’t hunt as long nor as intensely. A flabby dog will soon be waddling alongside you instead of reaching out for ringnecks. His recovery will take longer and you’ll lose hours – if not days – of valuable season.

Oh, the same goes for you.

  1. No bird contacts

Trainer George Hickox said it best: “No birds, no bird dog.” Think about #2, above: the most enticing training distraction for a bird dog is probably birds. If his first encounter is opening day, you probably can’t predict with certainty what will happen.

In a perfect world, you have a pen of game birds on your back forty, next to the carriage house where you store your fleet of vintage English sports cars. Back here in reality, you might keep a few pigeons (better than nothing). Maybe you can buy a few quail from a friend or game bird supplier. Perhaps there’s a nearby hunting preserve where you can pay for them to set birds at your direction.

What’s important is to stage-manage those bird contacts to ensure all goes right: aggressive flushes or staunch points. Steadiness on the flush, even with gun fire. Retrieves that are straight-out and back. A good friend to shoot, hold a check cord or boost the birds up is invaluable. Don’t forget to return the favor.

For some of us, the season starts next week. For all of us, it’s looming, and a dog that is ready will make every hour, every day, the entire season more fun and satisfying … for both of you.

“Whoa,” and I mean it

Buddy point Western WingsMy eyes have been opened so wide, I’m gonna need Visine. Of the many things I’ve been enlightened about during the dog training process, steadiness on birds is perhaps the most useful to me. Maybe it will also be of use to you.

We have a variety of methods for teaching staunchness. Barrel, table, half-hitch, collar, place board, winch, tow truck. All have merit, and are useful training tools. But they can’t be used in the field, let alone a hunt test or trial. Now what?

First, think about the temptation, the challenge, the genetic motivators your dog has for breaking point. In the wild world, a point is a pause prior to the predator pouncing on prey – watch a coyote working a field for mice. We can stretch the length of that pause in our domesticated dog, but at some point we must overcome his instinct or he will pounce.

You know the process: first, a dog instinctively slams into a tail-stiffening point. That part, we all get. A whiff of bird scent or sight of a bird should take care of that unless your dog’s pedigree was a hand-lettered “you pick” sign. The key is what happens next.

As a judge for the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association, Bob Farris is asked to evaluate every portion of the point-flush-shot-fall-retrieve process. There are different goals for each, the most important being the separation of instinct (the moment a dog smells the bird and points) from cooperative obedience (when he’s commanded to hold that point).

Bob (and his loyal disciple, me) breaks the sequence into those components: 1) the reactive point … instinct; 2) staying staunch … obedience. That’s how they’re judged in a NAVHDA hunt test, because it’s a good way to ensure reliable performance in the field: a dog that’s steady to wing-shot-fall.

My dog Manny (and I’d bet, all less-than-finished dogs) needs training to stay on point until I want him to 1) see the bird drop, getting ready for the retrieve or 2) continue to hunt after my release, because I missed … again. When he enters a scent cone, Manny assumes an elegant point, leg up and forward a bit. But a few moments of staring at the source of enticing smell, a walking, flapping bird or – worse – a flushing bird, will test any dog’s resolve. It’s just natural to chase, so the key is making it clear he’s been ordered to stand still.

Manny is catching on. Now, if only his handler can. Calling on his hunting DNA, he’s learning that a whiff of bird equals point. But he’s also learning that once I’m in the picture giving the whoa command, instinct is out and obedience is in. Eventually, the verbal command will become a hand signal, then simply a “look.” But by then, he’ll understand that a human walking to the bird means the same thing as “whoa,” as doe a hand signal, the sound of a flush, boot scuffed on the ground, a gunshot or long whistle: do not move.

This applies to you upland retriever and spaniel guys too, if you want a truly “finished” dog. The only difference is the cue for “hup” or sit, or stand still. Because you expect your dog to move with alacrity toward a bird to elicit a thundering flush, you don’t have the luxury of a leisurely approach to a quivering pointer. But you can use the flush of the bird, your verbal command, classic stag-horn spaniel whistle, even the roar of your 12-gauge, as the “enforcer” of your hup command (as it were).

We love our dogs for their instinctive skills and how they share them with us on the hunt. Together, we form a team that is stronger than either individual. You know well there are plenty of times when the dog’s instincts are paramount. But at other times, obedience to, and cooperation with the handler must trump DNA.

Actions speak louder than words, and don't spook birds, either.

Actions speak louder than words, and don’t spook birds, either.

At its most fundamental level the idea is to shoot birds over your shorthair’s point or within gun range of your lunging Springer. Maybe it’s putting a sneak on feeding mallards or decoying honkers to your pit. But if you sound like the circus coming to town, you’ll seldom get a decent shot.

Game birds may not be as spooky as whitetails (though late-season sharptailed grouse might get close), but they are still very cognizant of predators and the sounds they make. Just ask yourself why so many game birds roost in the thick, crackly vegetation, or why pheasant hunters don’t slam truck doors. So it behooves we apex predators to “stuff a sock in it,” so to speak.

I’ve snuck within inches of birds by treading more carefully, ghosting my way through brush instead of bulldozing it. I try to make my footfalls more like an elk hunter than a linebacker. Light steps on scree minimize rattling, deliberate wading, delicate paddling … all get you closer to a killing shot.

Even rattling whistles or duck calls, sloshing water bottles, or a ringing cell phone will put the kybosh on a stealthy approach to pressured birds. Reaching for that coffee mug (let alone dropping it) in an aluminum boat can resemble a clanging fire alarm to pintails dabbling around the next bend.

I often go a step further, taking the jingle-jangles off the dog’s collar. One of those riveted identification plates starts to make even more sense in the grouse woods. I own a half-dozen e-collars with beepers and an assortment of bells, but many times I’ll go unplugged.

Spoken, rather than shouted, directions are heard plenty well by most dogs. When possible, use hand commands instead of a voice or whistle. Just like any other skill, retrievers can be taught to sit still and quit whining in a blind. It might take a bag full of treats and many weeks, but all of it pays off when wings cup and landing gear deploy.

Oh, and here’s another good reason: while I like Monday-morning quarterbacking yesterday’s game as much as the next guy, when my mouth is shut, my eyes seem to open wider. I see and enjoy more of the dog work, catch on quicker to his birdiness, savor the scenery … and to me, that’s almost as much fun as nice, close shots.

The (intensity of) media is the message.

The (intensity of) media is the message.

Your dog is constantly watching you, and learning from your movement, your tone of voice, what you put up with, and what you simply won’t tolerate … whether with him, other dogs, or your first-born kid.

Because he has a limited vocabulary, literally, your actions often speak louder than words. But even words have different meanings to your dog depending on how they are delivered. So why not use your ability to nuance training “language” to influence your dog.

I’m lucky in that I can watch myself on TV a lot (someone has to pump up the Nielsen ratings). I learned to be a teacher the same way – with video. It is a cruel but fair instructor, the small screen. But you don’t need a camera to reflect on your actions and the messages they convey. Just think before you act, adjust your pace, the magnitude of your movements, and your dog will get the message. He does that now, but it’s often to your detriment and you might not even know it.

For instance, move slower and you literally demonstrate to your dog that things are not as exciting (or distracting) as they seem. When you’re winding down an amped-up retrieving training session a short “heel” around the yard in slow motion could cool down your Lab and prepare him for a rest in his crate. A quivering shorthair gulping in pheasant scent while on point might be steadied by a calm, confident and low-key approach to the flush.

Conversely, getting your Springer pumped up for an assault on that blackberry thicket might require an energetic pep talk and gentle pat on his butt. An easily-distracted wirehair might maintain focus during a long retrieve with some loud and animated encouragement from his owner (don’t ask).

When words are the appropriate communication tool, a whisper is often better than a yell. It certainly brings down the adrenaline levels, calming the situation. Like people, dogs will often pay closer attention to you if you make it hard for them to hear what you’re saying. Drop the volume level and you might be pleasantly surprised at the results.

On the other hand, an icy water retrieve by a young Chessie could merit a boisterous shoreline cheerleading squad. Again, evaluate your desired result and pick the correct arrow out of your quiver.

Even physical praise has degrees. As I write this, I’m scratching my old guy’s neck following a quiet “here” command. It’s a slow, relaxing touch, light and low-key, but a reward nonetheless. He in turn, is lying down, expecting nothing but a chance to be near me as his payback for a small job well done – he showed up. A vigorous, two-hand rib tickle implies something else entirely, higher energy and more excitement. It might be just the ticket to jet-propel a long cast in chukar country by my five-year-old.

That five-year-old Manny simply cannot stand still when he first gets on the training table. I used to yank on his collar, yelling “whoa” at increasingly high volume. Now I speak calmly, slowly, sometimes from a sitting position, stroking his back until he settles – faster than he ever did when I engaged him in a battle of canine (half)wits. Then, we can get on to the important stuff.

So consider expanding your training communications repertoire, usually by dialing down your energy. You might see better results, sooner.

Your dog can’t say “huh?” or he often would, because when he disobeys it’s likely the owner’s fault, according to author and TV host Scott Linden. He’ll share his ideas with fans on the 3rd annual “Cabela’s Awesome Upland Road Trip … destination Kansas.”

Linden’s observed and tested his theories on the more than 250 dogs he’s hunted with on his TV show, Wingshooting USA. He says thinking about how dogs process information can elicit better cooperation and performance, in the field and at home.Last year's appearance at the Mitchell, SD Cabela's was also captured on Tom Brokaw's

Last year’s appearance at the Mitchell, SD Cabela’s was also captured on Tom Brokaw’s “Opening Day” TV special.

He – and his own hunting dogs – will be answering dog- and bird-hunting-related questions, meeting fans and signing books at stops between filming episodes of the show, which airs on NBC Sports, Pursuit Channel and eight other TV networks. The schedule includes:

Sept. 9-11 Produce show from Invitational Hunt Test, North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association, Ohio

Sept. 21 Meet & greet: Cabela’s, Billings MT 4-6 p.m.

Oct. 16-17 Meet & greet: Cabela’s, Mitchell, SD Pheasant Classic 10-3 Friday, 8-11 Sat.

Oct. 21-22 Produce Wingshooting USA episode at Ringneck Retreat, Hitchcock, SD

Oct. 24-25 Produce Wingshooting USA episode at Prairie Sky Ranch, Veblen, SD

Oct. 29  Meet & greet: Cabela’s, Rapid City, SD 4-6 p.m.

Nov. 18 Meet & greet: Cabela’s, Sidney, NE

Nov. 21 Goodland KS, Governor’s Ringneck Classic (also producing an episode)

Nov. 23 Produce Wingshooting USA episode at Carlson’s Choke Tubes, Atwood, KS

Dec. 8 Produce Wingshooting USA episode at Ruggs Ranch, Heppner, OR

Dec. 17 Meet & greet: Cabela’s, Reno, NV

Feb. 19-21 2016 Pheasant Fest, Kansas City, MO

“Communicating with our spouse is much easier. Listening rather than just hearing smoothes the way,” Linden said. With dogs who can’t say “What was that dear?,” body language, behavior, and attitude shows whether they understand their owner’s direction – or not.

On the other hand, er, paw, Linden says the dog’s owner can be more clear in his signals to the dog. That’s usually where – and by whom – the ball is dropped. From easily-confused command words, to conflicting hand signals, he says many dog problems are really “operator error.”

At Cabela’s appearances, the first question is often about the dog on the table with Linden. Bushy eyebrows and beards, and a friendly demeanor make Linden’s German Wirehaired Pointers ideal ambassadors for the sport of upland bird hunting.

The “Cabela’s Awesome Upland Road Trip … destination Kansas,” is Linden’s annual foray into hunting territory to make episodes of the program. Over the years, it’s become a chance for him and his dogs to meet fans who earlier provided input on everything from tires for the official vehicles to Cabela’s dog gear for his hunting partners. Road Trip vehicles are displayed at the stores so fans can see how their ideas have been used.

Available everywhere books are sold (including Cabela’s stores), Linden’s book “What the Dogs Taught Me” covers communication, how dogs think, and offers tips on hunting, shooting, dog training, an extensive glossary and Q&A section. You’d think he’d heard it all, but he says he’s constantly surprised at the variety of questions from fans. “I answer over a thousand every year on the Wingshooting USA Facebook page,” he said, “but there’s always a new one out there.

The most-watched upland bird hunting show in the U.S., Wingshooting USA is the official TV series of the National Shooting Sports Foundation and sponsored by Cabela’s. It is broadcast year-round on up to ten television networks.

As in life,

As in life, “timing is everything.”

(What say you? Here, I reprise my thoughts on the topic that wouldn’t die.) Just as important as what you feed is when you feed your hunting partner. There are simple mechanical reasons not to feed your dog the morning of a hunt. An empty G.I. tract doesn’t hold anything that could rattle around in there.

Try this experiment: Take off your sock (representing your dog’s stomach and intestinal track), drop your car keys (ersatz “dog food”) into it. Hold it horizontally, and the dog food will settle in the heel. Then jiggle it, swing it back and forth, whip it around a little like a dog on the hunt would. All that weight will make the sock swing, bounce up and down, possibly even twist. Veterinarians call it gastro volvulus and it is often fatal.

Your dog’s athletic performance is another concern. Purina studies have shown than a dog with food in its gut runs slower, is less agile, and has less stamina than one hunting on an empty stomach.

Another good reason: the gut is not using the body’s finite allotment of energy to digest food when it could be fueling active muscles that are chasing birds.

No guilt trips here, your dog’s metabolism is unlike yours. Sending your dog into the field without breakfast will have no ill effects. Unless he’s got other health problems, he won’t develop “low blood sugar,” because dogs get their version of instant energy from fat.

If you can’t resist giving Gunner something during the hunt, give him a high-fat content snack that won’t fill his belly. You can make your own, or simply offer him some of your salami sandwich (just the meat). There are plenty of commercial versions out there in tubes, droppers and blocks. The key is low volume, high fat to keep the belly as empty as possible.

You can’t go wrong offering water frequently – it keeps a dog cool as well as hydrated. Make life simple on both of you by carrying a bota (wine skin) or the modern equivalent. Teach your dog to drink from it just like you, so there is no need to drag a bowl or sacrifice your hat as a substitute.


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