I drove about a half hour just to run tonight. There is this big clearcut where I have been having some good chases lately. You have to walk a little ways to get back to it, but it is a big area with really good running and quite a few rabbits. The dogs had had a few days off, so I was ready to put it on them tonight.
As I pulled up, the rain really started hammering down. I glanced at my phone and saw that there were 20 mph winds. What perfect conditions (ha ha). I told myself, "suck it up," got out of the truck and pulled on my coat. I reached in the back for my collars but they weren't there. Shock collars, tracking collars, and tracker lights were all left sitting in the garage. Well #2&^%$!
I was aggravated and just figured the heck with it, I was there to run, so I was going to run. I dumped the dogs out and headed back the lane to the clearcut. It was raining so hard the dogs weren't sure they even wanted to hunt, but in a few minutes, Chip opened down over the hill and away they went.
I huddled up under my umbrella and gave Keith a call to let him know how much better I had it than those poor smucks up in Canada who were still dealing with snow. We talked a while and then my phone died. It was no big deal. The dogs were smokin and I was enjoying the running.
As usually happens when having good running in clearcut, the dogs kept making bigger and bigger circles, and kept easing farther away. I worked my way down an old logging road to keep them within hearing. As dark took over, I turned on my light to ease my way down. It flickered a bit and then threw out a little spot which look scared of the dark. Naturally, this happened at the same time that the dogs decided to explore the limits of the clearcut. They went deeper into the holler than I even knew existed.
OK, no problem--no shock collars, no tracking collars, no tracking lights, no flashlight, and no cell phone. What's the big deal? I was only a half mile from the truck, with dogs almost out of hearing. Just another night of running. Right???????
Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, what's a guy to do? I stood there like someone had planted me. Eventually, (I don't know how long--my phone was dead) the dogs half way circled around. I was considering who to call with a cell phone that was dead because if I walked all the way to the bottom to get the dogs it would take a week and $400 to get me back to the top (Have you ever heard of life flight).
The dogs were running so good even I was proud of them and that takes a lot. Then they shut up. BAM--close the door. The race ended. I started calling dogs and headed for the truck. About half way, I heard a whining behind me and Gypsy eased into sight. I sprinted the rest of the way up the hill--well really I walked a step and then breathed a step and called and called. And in no time the dogs were following me out.
A half hour later, I pulled into the driveway. There was no rain, no wind, and the dogs just wanted fed and put away. Just another night of running. But it was dark, and it was . . .
I ran Chip, Rambler, Gypsy, and Jed. It was 48 degrees with a lot of wind and rain.