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October Marks One Bird Dog’s Renaissance

Last December, I caught myself in a melancholy state of existence. On one of my last hunts of the year, my soon-to-be two-year-old Yellow Lab, “Beau,” came hobbling back from the field with a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament. Two months later, I found myself biting the proverbial shotshell while forking over a tiny plastic card that – when swiped – was supposed to make everything better again.

Not to count all of my chicks before they hatch, it appears as though through the miracles of modern medicine and credit cards, Beau is officially back and ready to find some birds.

Beau shows she still has game during a recent training session at Spring Creek Kennels in Missouri.

For the past month she’s been getting her hunting legs back underneath her at our good friend’s kennel in Missouri. And from all of the reports I’ve received, she hasn’t shown any hiccup in her bird-seeking giddy-up and that’s all a wary dog owner wants to hear.

It’s hard to imagine a pup who was donning a plastic cone eight short months ago is now covering acres of grassland while also enthusiastically climbing in-and-out of duck boats – a testament to a little bit of luck, a whole lot of prey drive, and bird dogs’ resiliency in general.  Never count them out.

She did all the work (even without all of the publicity other athletes are getting for recovering from that same injury in the same amount of time), and all she wants in return is a pat on the head and feathers in her mouth. I’m ok with that.  Lucky for her, Minnesota’s pheasant opener is only a few days away.

While I’m more than looking forward to my third year following Beau’s yellow wagging tail, I’m not okay with having lingering fears of hunting with her or any other dogs moving forward. Thankfully, there are ways of insuring we don’t have to hunt in a cloud of anticipated dread. Now if only I would have been less macho and a little more measured in my decisions a year ago…

If anyone is questioning jumping on the pet insurance bandwagon, you’re sure to find me at the reigns.  PurinaCare® Pet Health Insurance is a new national partner of Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever and any PF/QF members can receive a 10 percent discount on their new pet policies. Add to this the peace of mind you’ll have while hunting and it seems like a good deal to me. But as they say, hindsight is 20/20.

Whether on land or water, Beau will be ready to put her injury well behind her.

The Over/Under blog is written by Andrew Vavra, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Marketing Specialist. 

3 Responses to “October Marks One Bird Dog’s Renaissance”

  1. Nick says:

    Andrew, Mark G’s bro in SD here…glad your pup is back in the saddle. Looking forward to you guys coming to SD for another great hunt this year. Crops are short, on account of low rain, but we are hoping for a big hatch…so we’ll see. My Boykin, Boomer, is ready for his 3rd season and looks forward to running after the birds with Beau in a month!

  2. Andrew says:

    Hey Nick! Nice to hear from you, I’m more than excited to get back to SoDak and put up/knock down a few birds this fall. It’ll be fun seeing Boomer, Beau and Timber all hitting it hard together, between the three of them we’ll find no shortage of Roosters. I just hope I can shoot straight!

  3. Nick Sykora says:

    Andrew, glad to see Beau is doing great. We had to make the hard decision to put our lab, Milo, down a month ago because of tears in both ACLs. We are getting a new pup next week and one of the first things my wife and I are doing is purchasing pet insurance. Wish I had purchased it for Milo, but as you said “hindsight is 20/20.”


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