With apologies to Thomas Wolfe and my blatant co-op of the title of his 1998 book A Man in Full. I begin the tale of Budakon's Cap'n Pablo. It is a pretty long and complicated name for a dog whose simple goal is to make a bird scram from his hide-out.
Cap'ns life began from a love tryst between his father, the gentle and laidback Buckwheat and some wild bitch from out west(West Little Rock). The result is one crazy sumbitch for sure. Cap'n is a bit larger than most of our past Boykins and has a challenging demeanor. As a puppy, I knew we had our hands full and needed professional help. We needed the Spaniel Whisperer himself, Tom Ness, to turn all that energy into a productive dog. Tom couldn't take Cappy at that time so I had a dilemma. Do we attempt to throttle him ourselves or go elsewhere. We have a very good trainer that we use our pointy dogs for and I talked Tommy into the challenge. He got more than he bargained for to say the least. He did a great job, but the motor was revved in a different RPM than a pointy dog and it soon became evident that the training wouldn't stick. One afternoon during a lunch break driving through the Texas Panhandle Cap'n ran WITH a Jack Rabbit at 22mph sustained for over a mile. All the tweeting on the funny little English whistle couldn't turn him. I finally out ran him in my FJ! After that episode, Cappy didn't get out without a little Thomas Edison attached. We needed plan C.
The Whisperer finally had an opening and relented to take the "little brown sombitch from hell" - the third of our boykins for him to train. Oh yeah, I cleaned up the description from him also a bit. After checking in with the Whisperer after a month after Cappy got there, I was told he might cut his ear off and use it for musky bait. We knew then Cappy was in for a long boot camp.
That was about three years ago. Today we have the final leg of the three legged stool of hunting dogs. In my early duck hunting career my lab Blue was as good as I have ever hunted with. We hunted everyday except Christmas whether it was for pleasure or to help eke out a living as a farmer. Blue got the job done with flair. Flair has become a trait with all my really great dogs. Next was a four year old female setter ( the direct daughter of Tekoa Mountain Sunrise) Carmen. I bought her off the internet for damn near nothing in Nebraska. I didn't know what I had. If it was out there she pointed it. Why the hell I didn't breed her and get puppies I will never know. She was absolutely brilliant. Now there is Cappy the flushing dog. Retriever, pointer, and flusher. And I ain't getting a greyhound as a courser or a coonhound for a trailer.
Cappy is as close to our original Boykin, Budokan his great, great, great grandfather, that we got in 1980. He has many of the same mannerisms and stamina as Budokan. I think it was a story in Gun Dog Magazine that captured us forever in the Boykin web. Budakan's registration number at the Boykin Spaniel Society is below one hundred, so we have seen a lot of the development of Boykins. Cappy's step brother Pierre retrieves better, but doesn't have the physical strength that Cappy does or quite the same motor. All said and done, our Boykins just keep getting better. Right now Cappy is in the best year of his hunting life. It is probably not as much fun to him as the first balls to the wall year, but damn he is good right now. He has flushed and retrieved Dusky Grouse, Shartptail, Grey Partridge, Bobwhite quail, and lots of pheasants this year. His one fault is that if he smells game he is going to yip a few times, but as Tom Ness says I won't need a bell to find him.
Every sportsman that appreciates dogs and hunting partners deserves at least one great dog. We have been fortunate enough to have three different types in forty years or so of hunting. Right now I think we'll enjoy the ride with Cappy. It isn't going to be boring. Cappy truly is a dog in full.
Oh yeah, if you have a spare seventy dollars hanging around go buy the complete Bob Dylan Basement Tapes on sale now for your own Christmas gift. You will not be disappointed.
A blog that I like to read has two interesting posts recently. I hate to beat the same horse, ah hell I don't really, but you just can't let these rat bastards take our public land. Stand up.
http://mouthfuloffeathers.com/ . We also had three really good beers this past week that were brewed in Hays, Kansas. One is an amber ale from LB's brewery and a couple of fantastic beers from Defiance Brewery. I was advised not to try the Horny Blonde offering though.
As always click on the pics to enlarge them.