Bird dog owners come from all walks of life, ages, genders and activities. Being a bird hunter has it's special challenges that we all must meet and conquer. From the weekend hunter who just takes the family pet out to the old place to chase a few birds now and again to those who haul a trailer full to several states all season long and then continue to run their dogs in bird dog trials and tests year 'round, it's never easy. These pursuits can sometimes be a hazard to health, checkbook and family life, as well all know. So as a publice service to our readers I would like you to please take a moment and take The Checkcord's "You might be a a Bird-Dogger..." test to see how you and your dogs score. (Keep track of the points of all of your "Yes" answers to see where you stand)
You just might be a bird-dogger if....
- on any wall of your home there is affixed more than one tail feather of any bird species. (2 pts)
- there is a mounted bird of any game species displayed in your home that you did not shoot or buy yourself. (3 pts...5 pts if there is a switch to make it's eyes light up.)
- there is a whole, dead game bird of any species in your deep freeze right now! (2 pts)
- you have ever let your dog practice water retrieves in the swimming pool (2 pts...3 pts if your spouse knows about it...5 pts if it's the neighbor's pool...10 pts. if any of this involves the dead bird from the previous question.)
- you know right off the top of your head what time "Huntin' with Hank" comes on TV each week. (3 pts...4 pts if you have ever forced your dog to stay up and watch with you...7 pts if you have actually written the network regarding your ideas for a show starring the two of you.)
- you have ever paid more for a shotgun than you did for the vehicle you are currently driving. (5 pts..give yourself 6 pts if your blank pistol cost more than this shotgun.)
- you have ever traveled to hunt out of state and paid over $50.00 for a non-resident hunting license, having driven there in a car with license plates that expired more than 2 months prior. (5 pts...6 pts if this trip involved the car from the previous question.)
- the last time you bought your "significant other" any jewelry was during the Reagan administration but your dogs never go into the field with less than $350 worth of gear buckled around their necks. (5 pts)...- 5 pts if your spouse requires your to wear "the gear" around your neck when you leave the house together.
- any of your children have ever ridden anywhere while inside the dog box in your vehicle. (2 pts...1 additional pt for each dog that was in there with them at the time)
- you have snuck a bird dog into a hotel room in the last 12 months (4 pts...5 pts if the only hotels you stay in are in towns where you don't have to sneak them in.)
- yes, in fact, you do have a perfectly good reason why your 10 year-old child needs 3 shotguns. (5 pts...6 pts if one of those guns is in 28 gauge)
- you regard out-of-state licenses, chaps and boxes of copper-plated shotgun loads as the perfect holiday season gift...for your spouse. (4 pts)
- Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Days are significant to you mostly because all the "amateurs" are at home with their in-laws on those days. (3 pts...4 pts if you hunted out-of-state on any of those days last year...5 pts if any of your in-laws were along...6 pts if you were hunting on their ground.)
- you have trouble remembering the names of new acquaintences unless they have their dog with them at the time. (3 pts...give yourself 5 pts if you have this same problem with relatives...6 pts if it applies to any of your relatives from the previous question.)
- you have not seen your garage door remote control for more than a year but have successfully trained your dog to "hunt dead" for trainer transmitters lost in the field.
(5 pts....-5 pts if your spouse has had to train the dog to "hunt dead" for you)
- you can't remember your wedding anniversary, but you have the birth dates and AKC#'s of at least two of your dogs committed to memory. (3 pts)
- your hunting vest is at least 5 years old and your newest good suit is even older (2 pts. The ladies may substitute "dress" for the suit as long as you have not ever actually been hunting while wearing the dress. Gentlemen wishing to substitute "dress" for "suit", should please stop now. You are logged in to the wrong website...)
- at your house, all of the garbage goes in dog food bags and all of the dog food is in nice new trash cans. (2 pts)
- you can't remember the name of your child's current classroom teacher, BUT you have the number for your "bird lady" on speed dial on every phone you own. (5 pts)...(give yourself 6 pts on this one if you were smart enough to marry your "bird lady " or "bird guy")
- the amount you have paid for all of your "dress shoes" in the last 5 years does not add up to the amount you spent on the last pair of hunting boots you bought. (4 pts)
- you have already informed your children that any boyfriends or girlfriends they bring home for you to meet will be evaluated soley on the basis of the acreage of "bird huntin' ground" their family owns. (3 pts...give yourself 10 pts if you have already arranged a marriage for your 10 year-old with same)
- you have ever paid for memberships in dog clubs representing breeds you would never own yourself. (3 pts... 4 pts if that club was in another state. However, if the club was a German Wirehaired Pointer Club in any case...0 pts)
- you have ever had to raid the "dog first aid kit" for antibiotic salve to patch up a family member who got hurt at home because you haven't otherwise kept such an item on hand for at least 10 years. (3 pts...4 pts if the treatment also required you to use the needle and sutures from this dog first aid kit on said family member)
1-20 pts - mild bird-dogitis; go buy another puppy this instant!
20-30 pts - moderate acute bird-dogitis - the only know cures are a weekend hunting trip with the dog or a new shotgun. (Better do both just to be sure!)
30-40 pts - severe chronic bird-dogitis - Treatment with multiple non-resident licenses has been know to be successful. You and your dog must attent the Rick Smith 12-step program and watch re-runs of "Huntin' with Hank" for 24 hours straight, two times a month for the next year.
50+ pts - Terminal bird-dogitis- Hi Mark, see you on Saturday!