Home safe from Galway and, yes, there was Guinness and there were oysters, and much else besides - the Galway fair is great for meeting up with old friends and customers.
Tomatoes are still ripening, bats are still flying, and Tom was mowing the lawn in the sunshine when I dashed over the hills for a walk with the gun yesterday afternoon.
Rico and I were immensely pleased with ourselves. On arrival I spotted three cock pheasants disappearing into a patch of bracken, and leaving Rico in the car, I flushed and shot two of them. I fetched Rico and putting him in, he retrieved both - the first pheasants he has seen. Then, working down a gorse-filled gulley, we flushed the third, which I dropped on the far side of the gulley. Rico was unsighted, so I called him in and sent him across where he worked through the cover and found the third cock. Three shots and three birds found and retrieved! Later we added a fat bunny to the bag - again Rico didn't see the result of the shot so I walked him on for a while before working him back along the hedge to find and pick the rabbit. He is dropping to shot, but I don't suppose he really makes the connection between the shot and the fact that there is game to retrieve. He hunts when told to do so, follows directions, and brings game to hand. I can't ask much more of a youngster, and if we can continue our season along these lines, then I have the makings of a really good gundog for the future.