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Setter Tales


It's For The Birds!

A large, sealed container of wild bird seed has sat undisturbed on the front porch for approximately 2 years. For some reason known only to the strange mind of an English setter, it suddenly became an item of intense interest. I discovered the carnage of knawed and torn plastic container and several pounds of wild bird seed strewn across the front porch, stairs, lawn, and courtyard. I swept up what I could, but knew much of the seed had probably been consumed.

Yesterday, I came home to a second scene of horror in the form of approximately 8 piles of bird seed encrusted pooh littering the livingroom. Trying desperately to find the glass half full during the hour of clean up, I learned a few important lessons for the English setter owner.

1.) Nothing remains undisturbed forever.
2.) Bird seed is an remarkably efficient colon cleanser.
3.) Bird seed is an incredibly difficult substance to clean up either by hand or with a vacuum cleaner.
4.) Bird seed has the amazing ability to suppress foul odors.
5.) English setters are sociopaths.

Submitted by: Maryl Aldrich


Cruiser's New Toy or Be Careful Where You Store Your Possessions....

Nine plus years ago, I was diagnosed with cancer and after a series of surgeries it was decided that chemo was the next best step. I was told that the regimen prescribed would cause me to lose my hair in about 4 weeks. A couple of weeks after the first treatment, that possibility became a reality when my hair started coming out in clumps. It got to the point when one day my husband Chuck came home from work and asked me when we had gotten a new cat. But I digress.

I decided I wanted a wig and wanted to get it while I still had some hair for a color match. So off we went to a highly recommended wig shop in a nearby town and I ordered a very nice (and equally expensive) natural hair wig. It arrived about 2 weeks later and was quite realistic looking. However, I found I did not wear it as often as I expected as it was not necessary for visits to the clinic or short trips ( a scarf did just fine).

I came home one day after one of the short chemo treatments and let our English Setter crew out of their garage kennels. I honestly cannot remember how many ES we had at the time but they ranged in age from 12 years old down to a very playful 7 month old. That youngster was Cruiser. All the older dogs proceeded to settle down on the couch or with a bone but Cruiser wanted to play.

As was my habit after a treatment, I grabbed a book and a drink and lay on the couch to rest. Suddenly out of the corner of my eye, I see Cruiser frolicking madly between living room, family room and kitchen throwing a furry toy in the air, catching it and joyfully repeating the pattern,. "Isn't that nice," I thought. "Chuck bought Cruiser a new toy." But then something dawned on me. The "toy" had a suspicious resemblance to my new wig. I called Cruiser and as he came closer, my suspicions were confirmed. Now I had to figure out how to distract Cruiser, get the wig away from him without damaging it and keep the puppy happy. If you have ever tried to relieve a puppy of a prized possession, you understand where this could go. I somehow managed to corral the exuberant pup and rescue my locks. But as I recall, I never did see Cruiser playing with any other toy with such reckless abandon.

To this day Cruiser, as do many English Setters, retains the ability to "acquire" objects that are beyond their realm and use them for their own selfish purposes.

Submitted by: Joan Constantine


Always Wash Your Hands!

Ok, so here's a good one for you, one that setter lovers can appreciate.

Pistol and Yvaine (the terror twins) love to counter surf and grab anything and I mean anything they can including but not limited to sponges, towels, potholders, food, napkins, etc.

Apparently one of their favorites is money, I mean paper money. Well, Mike was away for a couple of days last week, came home Friday and left some bills on the counter. Later he notices Yvaine chewing something and starts trying to find out what. In comes Mom and grabs her, forces her mouth open (we all have done that) and proceeds to put her hand halfway down the dogs throat! Pulls out a wad of bills (one $5, one $10 and four $1's). Goes over to wash them and Mike says " hope the $20 is still on the counter?". I check and nope, no $20. Well, we are pretty tight for money around here and a $20 bill is a big deal soooo, the terror twins go into lockdown until a twenty is produced ( you all get the meaning here?). Again, remember that was Friday.

For two days they have made us pay for them not being allowed to run on the hill, barking, fighting, moving furniture, etc. Finally, about 3pm today, Sunday a $20 bill was produced. Bless my husband for checking all weekend and for being brave enough to pull it out! (we are desperate). I, put on rubber gloves and washed it in clorox water (the ink runs on money, did you know that?). Anyhow, within minutes they were allowed up on the hill!

We have a clean tweny that I can't wait to get rid of!

Moral of the story, dogs win, we lose AND, the big one, next time you handle money, remember to wash you hands afterwards, you never know where it has been.

Submitted by: Lois Gorman


So This Is Field Work?!

Let me tell you a story about 2 friends taking their English Setter kids to a field fun day. Now neither of these 2 friends had a CLUE about how to go about getting a setter ready to HUNT. Well, not exactly true. One friend had thought about training one of her dogs way back when, but decided NAAAAH..... The other went hunting with her dad and their German Shorthair, but that was with a dad trained dog all ready to go and push button for hunting.

So, the first friend took her little girl setter out to meet the field coach and to get instructions. The setter girl didn't really want to get too far from mom, but! LO and BEHOLD, she FOUND a bird. YAHOO! YEA EVA!

Now it's the other friend's turn. Out she goes with her boy, Demo. She is wearing slip on tennis shoes and sweat pants -- very typical hunting gear. Someone had to loan her an orange cap so she'd look the part. Oooooh, very professional. Now wait, no one told her she'd be knee deep in marsh water! YUCK. Who thought this was a good idea? Demo looks at her and says "what the..?" But they continue to trudge out to the flags on the field and head for the coach to hear his words of wisdom and encouragement. Demo is not impressed. He's looking longingly towards the van. They begin weaving back and forth on their way towards the elusive sniff and find exercise. And yes, Demo nearly steps on the cage holding the bird. Does that count?

The second friend is not quite as bright as the first friend. She has brought TWO dogs and now that she and Demo have returned to the parking area via the marsh water, she has to go out again with the other dog. Levi is even less enthused than Demo AND he's busy making friends with every Irish Setter he can find. Okay, the friend decides, we're here, we're wet, we're cold, let's go for it!

Once more into the muck! Levi balks at getting muddy but is eventually convinced the marsh water isn't acid. He begins his run by literally running in large circles, leaping and plunging to avoid any and all weeds. Not exactly an auspicious start. The coach is providing encouragement, waving his arms to try and get the friend to head towards the flag with Levi. About 30 feet out, Levi suddenly pulls his head up, tilts it to the side and goes into slow motion. About 20 feet out he abruptly stops and sets! Tail slightly up and quivering, but very still. The coach is now getting excited and tells the friend to come closer to the bird. Levi takes about 5-6 steps closer and is about 8-10 feet away from the bird - he stops again! The coach is bouncing up and down a bit now. He flushes the bird. Levi doesn't take his eyes off the bird who, apparently, was extremely tired from his long morning sitting in a cage. He flew about 20-25 feet away and landed. Levi turns and pulls at the collar. The coach says to let him go. Levi gets about 8 feet away from the bird and sets again! Now the friend is getting excited. This is pretty cool! The coach says for the friend to try and flush the bird and see if Levi will hold his stance. NOT A MOVE from the silly tri boy. The friend picks up the bird and tosses it into the air. This time the bird only makes it 10 feet. Luckily the coach says to turn Levi away and to end the exercise. LOTS AND LOTS of praise. The coach follows the friend and her pooch back out to the parking area, talking enthusiastically about genes and talent and the joys of hunting in general. The friend is REALLY jazzed about the whole thing....and cold.....and wet...and just a bit smelly from the marsh mud.

So this is field work? Hmmmm....

Submitted by: Denise Gilley

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