“Pottering” is an old-time word describing someone messing about with their plants, re-potting, and other garden-shed er, potting shed-related tasks. It was not all work; as Merry Olde England (where the hobby reached its apex) was chock-a-block with humdrum chores that morphed into hobbies (poor buggers – where else would pinning insects into picture frames be ‘fun?”)
My pottering was in the right place (our garden shed) but had nothing to do with plants – unless “planted birds” qualifies. That humble structure has been transformed into my dog-training headquarters. And with Manny’s date with a NAVHDA Utility Test looming, it was time to get my gear together, ready for an intense spring and summer.
Don’t you have your own version? Varying with the season, it might be reloading, or gun cleaning. It could be poring over catalogs or helping in your club booth at a sportsmen’s show. It might be exactly what I was doing – messing with gear that might - or at least you think it might – help your dog excel next season in the field or at a test or trial.
The seemingly mundane task was full of bright spots, starting with Manny’s peaceably sharing the yard with his mentor Buddy without one whit of dominance behavior or aggressive posturing. (Many of you know that’s been an issue since the pup got huskier than his great-uncle.)
The balky #2 bird launcher needed nothing but a new battery. A little gun oil on moving parts, and both were poised to help teach steady to wing-shot-fall. A few test launches on both dogs proved their functionality. New tie-outs installed along the fence near the training table. Bumpers and dummies arrayed on the shelf that formerly harbored terracotta and trowels. My go-to steadiness tool, the balsa-wood windup airplane, flew straight and true after a quick adjustment to the tail.
The Garmin Astro 320 is now handy instead of buried under hunting gear, my Tri-Tronics collar chargers are plugged in constantly and in a place where I’ll actually use them daily.
I found the training shotgun, sling and blank ammo, and they too performed to expectation with a couple pops for the doggies … who stood straight and true alongside each other … which might have been the best part of the whole day.