Over the weekend I finished the blaze orange coat for Her Royal Highness the Newfoundland. She was kind enough to model it.
She thinks it's lame to wear, and when it comes off after a walk, she rolls all over the floor like a giant goofball. She's our Goofundland. Now if she could continue to get over her extreme fear of sudden loud sounds, she just might be a decent hunter...
Na! Her temperament is just not right for that, but her brother the curmudgeonly spaniel - man did he miss his calling in life! He would have been an awesome bird dog. He loves to flush and has always paid attention to what's up in the air.
If only Katy wasn't afraid of guns, and if only I actually wanted to hunt birds, we'd have quite the pheasant hunting posse. Max would flush, I would shoot, and Katy would retrieve.
I'd probably be crap at shooting a moving target, but that's what practice is for. I'd still like to see if I could hit a clay pigeon. That's on the agenda for next year, and I'm going to finally use the rifle my dad gave me (just not for the clay pigeons). I could use some good old fashioned target practice. You can take the girl out of MT, but you can't take the MT out of the girl :)
I have mixed feelings about hunting. I have never had to kill the meat I eat. The only time I did was a fish I caught when I was like 12. It's not the same as shooting a bear. I couldn't do that for sport, and I wouldn't want to eat it or have it as a trophy. But, some do and if it weren't for hunters, far fewer people would care about conservation. Every hunter I've met is a bit of an environmentalist. It's one area where liberal "tree huggers" and right-wing republicans can find some common ground.
I saw on one of the national news shows today that a little kid shot his first bear. I think the images they showed of the little boy and his dad and the bear would be shocking to some viewers. It reminded me of how my family is a hunting family, but it's a dying tradition for us. I also think it's a dying tradition all over the country, in some places more than others - New England specifically. The large predators have vanished from the ecosystem along with hunters. Deer run rampant.
Alas, I will never really be a hunter - and neither will Miss Goofundland, but we could in principle, if we had to, hunt to stay alive. For now, we stay home and eat meat somebody else processed. She practices eviscerating her prey and I have fun watching her disembowel her sock toys. She pulled out the entrails of one I made today.
When I make sock monkeys or sock gorillas, I always have little pieces of sock left over. Today I sewed some fabric scraps into the sock scrap and gave it to Katy. I made that goof's day. Talk about a cheap toy. She doesn't care what it looks like - as long as it feels good in her jowls and squeaks! I need a squeaky toy insert supplier... you know just the gizmo that squeaks so I can insert them into these silly toys. She loves them. And I don't mind if the entrails get all over the floor. I just scoop them up, let them air dry and restuff a different sock. How pragmatic.
Her jacket - size XXXL measures about 36 inches long and 32 in girth. It cost $12 and about 2 hours in work. It's also completely reversible. It comes with a blaze orange "mouse."
She's already received a few adoring looks from her neighborhood fans. She will get a lot more accolades from people when she parades downtown. I would love to have some custom patches embroidered for her coat. *That* would be kick *ss!