the 80% rule

It's far too early to think about getting another pup.  I feel guilty for even thinking about it, but I can't deny that having another dog here (as well as a very supportive family and friends) has really made this crappy situation and transition easier.

Emmie has taken some time to adjust, but I think she is somewhat coming into her own as an only dog.  There have been enough deep thoughts about her behavior, and subsequent questions emailed back and forth with a trainer/kennel owner I trust, that I think we are doing the right things to help her establish her new place in the 'pack'.

But the reality remains that, at some point, I will want to add another food dish to the kitchen floor. It's a lot easier to give attention to just one dog but one just seems too few.

I've known this day was coming, and have been somewhat preparing for it over the past year-while I haven't been expecting this specific situation, I was expecting to be looking in a couple of years. I've spoken with trainers and kennels that could supply my next pup. Surprisingly, the thing I keep going back to is that I am not sure which breed I might be interested in.

I'm not breed blind and at some point I would love to have a 'pointy' type dog. Call it my inability to completely reject what I've dubbed the "mythology" of upland hunting; still I just don't know I want to go through life without trying it. There is an aesthetic to a dog on point; a beautiful setter gracefully settling or a pointer with black nostrils quivering.  It's intense. Couple that with the fact that I carry enough TI in my leg to build a road bike groupo- and you can see why I might be aching after a jaunt through the brush; ergo, I'm initially looking in a different direction than flushing spaniels.

The reality? ...there are VERY FEW birds in GA outside of put-and-take preserve hunting.  And I'm just not keen on spending $100 for the privilege of having to kick the damn birds up from the grass. OK for training, but that's just not hunting.

So, the 80% rule comes in to play: what will I honestly be doing with the dog for 80% of the time? This means don't get a pointer if you primarily hunt diving ducks in the great lakes.  Some might call this the 'consumer reports' method of dog buying, but I disagree. Even then the 80% is not accurate b/c probably 95% of the time the dog will be living as a "pet" not a gundog.

The 80% is somewhat how I came to springers in the first place, and probably why I have a fascination with drillings.

There are lots of versatile breeds and although they're not included in the NAVHDA, a field bred springer really does hunt almost everything-it's just that it's a flushing dog and the hunting occurs within shotgun range so you have to keep up through really tough brush.

If past experience is any gauge, I can count on: Duck, Rabbit, Dove, Quail, and Woodcock being possible in the gamebag during the season. Roughshooting.  (honestly I think the combination of a drilling and putting large game in that gamebag would be the ultimate 'versatile' combo, but that doesn't jive well with the current game laws in GA)

The way it should be-
If a late start we might move through the uplands hoping to bust brush for some rabbit before we work our way to the creek. Once there we'll see if we can jump-shoot a duck or two around one of the larger bends. Then maybe we hang out on the flight pond and wait for doves to come in for water. Finally-on the way back to the car work through the hollows and draws to see if the woodcock flight is coming through. 
So what I need is a dog that can do all of that.