I am sure many of you made it through college using CliffsNotes, so let me rekindle some old memories and give you the CliffsNotes of our summer at the 4R Ranch... it rained, then it rained some more, then it quit raining as abruptly as it started. The city of Hondo had to bring all the little children under 7 years of age into the High School Auditorium and explain to them that the particles of water falling from the sky were a normal occurrence called “rain”. Some were scared, having seen the effects of water on the Wicked Old Witch in The Wizard of Oz. They came around quickly and have now grown accustomed to the new phenomenon, and actually look forward to playing outside when it rains. In light of the fact we have not had rain in almost 60 days, the city of Hondo might want to start planning their next seminar for the little folks.
On Memorial Day we had an extensive flood here at the ranch. No casualties except for fences, massive amounts of debris to clean up, and last but not least, Scotty’s F150 pickup. We were landlocked at our house and Scotty was trying to get to the kennels in case we had to get our four legged kids to higher ground. He stalled out in a low water crossing and had to stay with some neighbors for the night. It turns out that F150s do not double as amphibious assault craft. After being completely submerged in water; it was completely totaled. The term “turn around, don’t drown”, never entered Scottys mind when it came to getting to the kennels. I have piled on enough for everyone, but feel free to pile on some more when you see him. It makes for a funny story now, but that was a long night for everyone. The Hondo, Medina and Bandera Creeks all got out of their banks and submerged every bridge in either direction for the night. Some might think that a bad thing, but we welcomed the flood. It beats choking on dust all to hell.
Needless to say, the flood put us behind on many planned projects. We were hoping to have several litters of cockers, but that has been put on hold until next summer. Right now we are feverishly prepping our courses for the upcoming season. I bought the boys a long pole-saw, and two 30” hedgers. Preston has his course looking like Central Park, and Scottys is nearly done. If I would of known how much easier it would make trimming the trees, I would have bought these implements years ago. I think Preston even sleeps with the pole-saw. Which brings me to another subject. We are looking for a young lady for Preston to court. And when I say young, pre-retirement age. If she speaks English, that is a plus. However, as long as she cannot beat him in a fistfight, no suggestions will go without consideration.
I have mentioned our old friend Yancey on many occasions in our newsletters. He was 14 years old and as broke down as a working dog could be. The hardest of hard decisions, as it pertains to old bird dogs was made just a few weeks ago. He did what he loved to do and gave everything he had on every hunt. Words cannot begin to do justice for the gratitude I owe that dog. He was the first dog I trained, and the memories of the time spent with him will last for as long as I continue to draw air through my lungs. In all reality, Yancey taught me much more than I ever did him. In the end, he went out rusted, weathered and worn out. I hope to be as lucky as he.
Like Yancey, each one of us will pass at some point in time. That time came for two of our 4R family members this year. I debated mentioning this to you, but not mentioning it would be a dishonor to them. Steve and John came to the 4R for all the right reasons; to enjoy time outdoors with family and friends. We are honored beyond expression to have shared memories with both these men, their family and friends. I know Steve and John will look down at us in the field at some point this season. When they do, I know they will smile when they see a pointer lock-up on a bird.
Adios for now, and we look forward to seeing you all this upcoming season.
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