One of our favorite training grounds is St. Louis Ponds, south of Portland, Oregon. In addition to the ponds and the hundreds of acres available to practice field work, there are a few extra delights this time of year. In the back corner of the park, we came across an old pear tree full of ripe fruit. After a hot morning of retrieving birds and swimming, a piece of juicy ripe fruit is just what an Irish Water Spaniel wants.
May I have another please?
A balanced diet is what is best for an active field dog. So after pears, maybe it’s time for an August blackberry dessert.
Also in this far corner of the park is a pond that brings back fond memories. This is where Cooper revealed his passion for water, jumping, and retrieving. The masthead banner of the Cooper Project (see top of this page) is Cooper leaping into this pond. I made this image on July 4, 2008. Here is the uncropped version:
So here we were, 8 years and one month later, with our current IWS, Tooey and Carlin. From the very location where I shot the image of Cooper in 2008, I made this short slo-mo video of Tooey and Carlin making enthusiastic but less dramatic entries into the same pond, lowered several feet by the July and August heat.
Life is good.