An excerpt…Cotton, an eight-year-old English setter, jumped out of the truck, hit the ground, and ran in a circle. A bit short for a setter, she was taller than a beagle, but not by much. She slid to a stop to look at her master.
“Wait,” Mike Crawford told her. She waited. My dog, Liesl, blasted off through the sage and came back when I called . . . and kept on running. Liesl last hunted with another dog when she was only three months old. Maybe now the old dog would teach the young one some new tricks?
We heard chukar when we started away from the truck. Liesl cocked her head. Those sounded like birds, all right, but she was a quail and pheasant hunter and wasn’t quite sure. Stephen Wymer pushed shells into the magazine of his Weatherby, and I dropped two loads into the tubes of my side-by-side CZ Ringneck. Liesl quartered back and forth, while the older dog checked for scent and cast a look over her shoulder to make sure she wasn’t too far ahead. Twice I called Liesl back. Then the white dog’s tail began to flag.
Eight years ago, when he was looking for a female English setter, Mike Crawford heard about a breeder in Tennessee who had a dog out of the five-time champion Pennstar. There had been a litter, but only one pup was left. Crawford acted fast and a little white female was on her way to Oregon.
“She was kind of the runt of the litter,” Crawford said. “But the breeder didn’t tell us that.”
At six months, the puppy was a white, energetic but unruly bit of fluff and looked like a tuft of cotton. Crawford admitted he was disappointed when he saw her.
“She was so small,” he said. “But it has proved to be an advantage.” Crawford enlisted the help of trainer Gene Adams. They found the little setter had heart.
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