Cody’s introduction to water and shotguns

I think it was Gene Hill who said, “If there are no Labrador retrievers in heaven, I don’t want to go”. Or maybe it was Faith Hill. Anyway, I agree.

 Raising and training a Lab pup is an exasperating but rewarding job. You can almost see the wheels turning in their heads as they absorb everything you teach them.

 I’ve trained five Labs and my long-time friend Gary Custer of Lee’s Summit, MO has trained many more. Now eight months old and ready for water, Gary’s male Lab Cody is ready to take on new challenges.

Gary and I recently introduced this gangly black ball of energy to water and shotguns. All legs, feet and wagging tail, Cody started doing what he was born and bred to do and thoroughly enjoyed himself in the process. He’s no Ester Williams right now but style will come when he gets those big webbed feet under control.

While I fired a shotgun in the air forty yards in front of him as Gary threw a training dummy Cody learned the big boom means something fun is coming. Gradually moving closer we soon had the pup sitting at his owner’s side while Gary fired the shotgun and I tossed the dummy.

If Gary can scare up a pigeon or duck sometime this summer Cody will learn what feathers are all about. That’s when the real fun begins.

No doubt about it, this pup will be ready for duck season come November.


Published by BruceCochran

Bruce Cochran graduated from Oklahoma University in 1960 with a B.A. in design. He worked as a humor writer/illustrator for Hallmark Cards from 1960 – 1962 and has freelanced as a writer, cartoonist and illustrator since then. Cochran drew daily sports cartoon for USA Today from 1983 – 1991. He has 10 humor/cartoon books published by Willow Creek Press and his work appears regularly in Wyoming Wildlife, Outdoor News, On Wisconsin Outdoors, Pheasants Forever Journal, Wildfowl, Gundog, Ducks Unlimited magazine, Delta Waterfowl and other publications. He also writes and illustrates a regular humor column for Wyoming Wildlife News. Bruce won first place in the magazine humor category of OWAA’s EIC contest in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2009, and 2010. Life Sponsor: Ducks Unlimited. Life member: NRA. Member: Pheasants Forever, Trout Unlimited, OWAA and Outdoor Writers of Kansas.