I found this old photo of my Bert today with a duster. He would’ve been 5 or 6 years old at the time. It was his very first retrieve! Yes a Labrador RETRIEVER who for the first 5 or so years liked neither retrieving or water...faint.
I originally had high hopes for him as a gundog. However, following a private Gundog Training session with a top Trainer when he was a youngster where we got our money back after 5 mins, followed by another session with an equally top Trainer whereby we were nicely sent home and told he will make a nice couch potato or foot stool, I gave up on him.
Years passed by. Bert enjoyed watching soaps on TV from his sofa with preferably a burger and beer. Not a lot happened in his life. He could not spend more time being horizontal. Then one day I dusted the house, which probably tells you lots about my housecleaning habits or lack of them, and he went mad for the duster. Suddenly it was all about retrieving a duster. If he had learnt how to correctly use one in the house too, then I dare say his gundog career would not have taken off at this point.
Soon after the duster miracle, I took him on the local Shoot. The last Shoot he went on was quite frankly embarrassing and I had resolved that I was NEVER subjecting myself to such humiliation again. He fell asleep by a Gun whilst pheasants fell from the sky, SNORING loudly. Other people’s dogs were busy doing their job. Mine snored through the whole of the day at someone else’s feet. Everyone heard him snore.... oh the shame! Anyway I risked it, and at the local Shoot he seemed to associate feathered things from the sky with fluffy dusters and all of a sudden a light went on in his head. We never looked back.
Today he is an old boy in double figures but still manages to do a day’s Beating. He knows our local Shoot so well that he stands in line on his own. He sits and waits for the call to start and plods thoughtfully through the undergrowth, waiting on his own accord on the Rides where we stop. He belongs to no one on that Shoot. He his is own man and does a good job. If a pheasant should land nearby he will pick it up and bring it back, soft mouthed, to the nearest person in the Beating Line. Should it land in water, well don’t mind if I do. I am indeed very proud of my chocolate gundog.
Whilst we don't stock fluffy dusters, we do have a good range of fur and feather products in the Store, which are very popular with all dogs, including the reluctant retriever!