Rescuing The Wild Goose
By The Ole Hedge Creeper
I went down to see my neighbor who is also the Pass It On Young Sports Secretary to the organisation, that is one of the organisations I head up, I told her of my dream over a mug of tea and proper farmhouse buttered toast, she just laughed at me and said I was going bonkers, now hurry up we have a lot of emails and paper work to get through and a Young Sports Rifle Range night to organise, I just could not get that dream out of my head, were my old dogs spirits telling me something, I felt something was waiting to happen, but I did not know what, by sheer accident or spiritual guidance, I have no Idea what, I was looking for a website for a client of mine, then I well just stumbled across Buddy’s Rural Rescue, I don't know why I clicked on the website, I was just drawn to it, blow me over it was for re homing working dogs, I found myself forgetting about everything else and writing an email via their contacts page, as the tale goes on its gets much spookier than this I telle, a lovely lady called Judy got back to me, she did not have anything in that was suitable for me, I have never rescued a dog before, I have always had bred my own, but I felt I could give a wonderful home to the right dog an older dog, a rescue dog, I did not want a puppy as my personal life would not fit a puppy and the time it needs, I did not want a dog, I wanted a bitch I was sure of that, I have only had 2 dogs in my life Billy and Bracken, both great dogs but boy did they make me pull my hair out, oh the stories I could tell you of that pair will have you in tears of laughter, a bitch was perfect for me, after many many telephone calls and an interview with Judy, she considered me to be suitable to have one of her rescued four legged angels, passing Judy’s very strict interview and what's expected from me to be able to give one of her angels a home is no easy thing to pass, as it turned out we had a great many mutual friends, many of whom had re homed some of Judy’s dogs themselves, with several more than once, I had no idea, one such friend gave me a wonderful character reference, I was truly humbled and honored by such a reference from a fine lady, a professional lady, a pillar of the community, who also has one of Judy’s four legged angels, if you think you could give a wonderful loving home to one of these awesome working dogs look for www.brarrescue.co.uk but be warned its no easy feat passing the interview.
It seemed like hours sat there just writing emails/method statements/Risk assessments etc, then my phone rang, it was Judy, a friend of hers had passed away leaving her dogs to her, one was a disabled dog, by this I mean he had disabilities, this had put Judy in a bit of a predicament, with the two new additions and the one needing so much help and care, Judy made the hard decision that she just could not keep Hooley (Goose) in her present position, Judy said I know you are adamant that you want a bitch and most definitely not a pup, but would you consider Hooley (Goose) on a two week trial, in a heart beat I said YES trying not to sound too excited, I don't know why it just felt right, was it this dream, was it spiritual, was it meant to be, or just coincidence, I don't know, but I felt it was the right choice, my very soul had a wave of emotion and excitement go through it, I had arranged for Judy to come over the following afternoon with Hooley (Goose) for this two week trial to start.
Judy arrived and Hooley (Goose) jumped straight in my arms, when Tilly met him it was like they had never been apart, Tilly recognized Judy immediately, lots of cuddles were given right there, we did the necessary paper work and the two week trial started, Judy asked could I call him something other than Hooley as that's the name of her old dog, of course I said, as it was I already had three names in mind, Bramble, Teal or Goose, I said all 3 and the boy trotted right over to me when I said Goose, so there you have it, Goose Chose his own name, Judy left with the dogs excitedly saying goodbye, right from that moment little Goose has not left my side, in fact he is sat right next to me right now as I type.
I have never had a cocker spaniel before or trained one, something I have learnt very fast, this breed is highly intelligent, they learn quickly so its easy to bugger them up too, no room for error with a cocker that's for sure, they are real characters, I can see why Judy called him Hooley short for Hooligan, he is a little scamp that's for sure, the bugger stole my lasagna, Mag’s pork chop, chewed holes in my slippers and is an escape artist, there is a lovely photo of both Goose and Tilly sat in the front of my land rover sunning themselves, lovely yes but they were supposed to be in the dog box in the boot not on my passenger seat eating my lunch, proud as punch of themselves too, I could not tell them off it was so funny, I took the photo and asked what exactly are you two up to then, I got a wag of the tail and a what us Dad, as Goose dropped me a crust of my lunch in my hand, almost as if to say you look hungry Boss, I will share my lunch with you, these two have brought such delight in to my life as well as Mag’s, since her husband and my dear friend and Masonic Brother died coming up for five years ago, she had a real lonely time, but Tilly has filled that gap for here, as Goose has for me since I lost Brook.
He has caught a rat and paid it no quarters in the grain mill, he came with me to pick up some grain, as I was chatting to the farmer, we heard a squeak and out he marched with it shaking it dead as a door nail, not something I have encouraged him to do, but he has had a couple now, if I take my eyes off him for a second, squirrels he has a real passion for marking them up a tree, I always take a shot gun with me when feeding etc, something my Pappy (Grandfather) taught me was listen to what your dog is saying when they speak to you, the same for horses, Goose can find a squirrel up a tree blind folded, again not something I have taught him but he just has it in him, I have shot several out of trees he has marked to say a sharp tooth was up there, they drop to my shot, he sits and waits for me to send him, then retrieves them straight to hand, again this is doing more than I want too soon, but none the less the boy loves it, I have let him retrieve a couple of pigeon on command, the same again he drops it right into my hand on command, I have cut the wings off a duck/pigeon and pheasant have put them on his dummies for retrieving, using my 1 in 10 method he is getting quite good at retrieving the left and right and the go back, so I am very pleased, like I say these Cocker's learn very quickly, I always have in my minds eye not to go too fast, but so far so good, on a job the other week I was shooting rabbits with my 22LR with Eley Subsonic ammo, I was also with another pest controller, his old spaniel was retrieving them from a ditch for us, he could not find one, so I let Goose out for a stretch of the legs and a pee, he marked the ditch on point, so I said go on then boy if you think you can find it, 20 seconds later he dropped the rabbit in my hand eye wiping the older dog, that's enough of that for now, lots of praise but now back in the truck you go, just last weekend I took him for a walk on a my wild bird shoot, we were just going for a walk with the gun really, a bit of training, just a stretch of the legs, he suddenly went on point near some short bramble, I sent him on, he flushed a Cock Pheasant. I shot it, he sat to shot as I had been training him, I sent him on the retrieve, that pheasant was nearly as big as him, he brought it back with a mouth as soft as velvet and dropped it right into my hand, I kept him to heal after that, only one retrieve keeps him interested, more would make him unsteady.
Before I finish off can I ask you all to keep your eye out for a 10 year old chocolate cocker called Bracken, its Judy’s own dog, it has gone missing, either stolen or there maybe fowl play here I think, if you go on to her face book page all the details are on there, but please keep your eye out Judy is heart broken, I have even been over searching with my thermal equipment to no avail.
Rescuing The Wild Goose
by The Ole Hedge Creeper