Also, on a humorous note, I have a sneaking suspicion that a large percentage of my family are under the impression that Carson is off at some form of remedial obedience school and will return to us with the demeanor of an Scottish butler.
Personally, I'm expecting something else...
Thus far, the conversations with the trainer have been something like:
me: So, what do you think? Is he a hunting/meat-dog, is he a hunt test candidate, or is he maybe even a future field trial champion?
trainer: If he was my dog the answers would be "yes, yes, and yes".
One week later:
me: So you've had him for almost a month now-are you able to size him up yet?
trainer: I don't make predictions because so many things can go wrong and I don't like people coming back saying 'you said he'd make a such-and-such and he didn't'. But with this dog, if I don't run into any roadblocks, I think he could be real competitive in field trials.
me: coolMy family asked about Carson's progress and I shared the good reports. The general consensus was that my wife would have to be the dog handler if I was going to want him to compete....because that's what they always see when they watch dog shows – women handling the dogs around the ring. Like I said, I am expecting something else.
... mapping out the cost of field trials is a somewhat daunting task. There's food, travel, lodging, entry fees, additional training sessions, etc... I have a dog so I can hunt, that isn't gun-shy and loves birds. That's probably going to have to be enough, but if it's not I know I'd rather carry a NEF single-shot behind a good dog than have my dream gun (bar-in-wood round action) but a crappy dog.
A little shotgun porn: