Today is The Mominator's fifth birthday. Five years ago, I didn't know what a pointing dog was. We got a vizsla because we wanted an energetic dog that would run with my wife -- and because of their temperament. And just watching him slowly find his instincts in the wooded park behind our house (we lived in Maine at the time) was enough to prompt me to explore training him and me. I had shot a lot of target rifles in my high-school and university days, but never a shotgun. Here he is, not quite 3mos old!
I should acknowledge that we wouldn't be where we are without Momo's first girlfriend, the lovely Lida, who keeps our friends, Dudley and Susan, company up in western Maine. She encouraged him to leave our side and get out and explore the woods. We try to get them together every fall and somehow Lida not only knows who is in the truck when it pulls up, but mews like a kitten when she sees him. Here is a picture of Her Majesty from our trip to Rangeley last fall.
I should also acknowledge the continuing friendship of Paul Hermann -- a true gentleman of the grouse woods with his love of English setters and English shotguns. He was the first person I met whose eyes immediately lit up when I said I had a pointing dog and was trying to learn how to train him -- and the person who had already made contacts for me by the time we moved to New York City. I can also say with certainty that my own love of side-by-sides comes from shooting his 1926 Purdey at the local trap range in Maine -- although it may be some time before I can afford anything quite that nice.
I think about all the miles on our truck, the worn-out boots, the faint pong of quail in the garage, and the hundreds of friends we have made as a result of having The Mominator and, then, Mr. Enthusiasm. And I am struck by how similar (and arguably how much further) another vizsla, Zeke, took our friends, Michelle and Patrick, in his first five (too short) years.
Here's to you, Widdershins Momchil MH VC, the OV (the 'original vizsla'), happy birthday! And the wish and promise for many more adventures together.