Sunday, April 17, 2011

Braco Italiano

No, it wasn't my weekend for fine Italian dining.  This weekend I joined my dear nephew Clay for a weekend with the dogs.  Lots of dogs.  Dogs I had never even heard of - one of which was the Braco Italiano.  I also got a chance to meet some Griffons, some Spinones, Pudelpointers, German Shorthair Pointers (which I sorta knew of), and of course Clay had his two Britney Spaniels with him. 

Overall it was a great weekend, but I wouldn't have predicted that on my arrival.  More rain (you know, the word that has become my middle name of late) in 24 hours than this little valley was used to getting on top of a good bit of rain over the previous week meant that we were parked in a big, sloppy, muddy field.  But Clay was a great companion so I really didn't mind.  He even removed my old accordian door on the shower (the coffin door as I fondly call it) and put up my new wide angle shower rod. 

We joined the other dog people up at the main cabin (yes up a hill through the woods in the pouring rain) and were greeted with huge pots of low country boil: shrimp, corn, potatoes, and sausage.  These folks really know how to welcome guests!  Clay had actually brought his tent and camp gear but since it was still raining at bed time he crashed on the couch in Seeker. 

Saturday morning greeted us with more rain, though lighter, along with gray skies that the sun tried but failed to break through.  I hid out in Seeker with a massive stack of homework notebooks to be graded.  But I was parked at an angle where I was able to watch one portion of the retriever tests and got to see some of the dogs in their field work.  Very fascinating. 

After the dog trials were over we cleaned up and drove to Tullahoma to see a friend's new herbal/earth products shop and do a little geocaching.  We also stopped at the static displays in front of Arnold Test Center before meeting up with the rest of the dog group at a small meat and three restaurant for the evening meal.  And although the rain had stopped Clay didn't make any move toward setting up his tent so I made up the couch for him.  He really was a good roommate and didn't complain about my snoring. 

Sunday came up sunny and rapidly warming.  The mud tracks around Seeker made me a little nervous as I considered driving out of this muddy field.  Spent the morning watching some more dogs in their field work.  It's not something I had ever thought of doing, but I can see that Clay really enjoys it and I loved seeing how well he does with his dogs and with helping set up the fields.  After lunch I drove right out of that muddy field and headed north on 41 toward home.  Hated to return to the city and noise and traffic after all the fun and beauty in the country.  Hope to get down to Georgia this summer and camp with Clay again, especially if we can kayak again.  Thanks Clay for taking me to the dogs!

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