I don’t have time for that.

Too much lately… too, too much.

The dog is an asshole in the house. Tethered walks, no matter the distance, are no match for her unending gas tank. I’m tired… and simultaneously have a burning desire to spend some time with the wind and sun in my face and a dog zooming over uncovered ground.

It won’t happen any time soon, though. Nesting season looms and the endless suck of a paycheck will occupy my time until then. With any luck we’ll get out for a run after the group training day over the weekend, but that’s only mildly satisfying. Park at the same spot, run the dog over the same tired ground she’s run on several times a week each spring and summer. No mystery, no adventure. Same ol’ same ol’.

I’ve found myself lately really questioning what I take on, and what I don’t have time for anymore. I’m on the edge of getting to where I want… seems that way anyway. The slog to a lighter load is about 4 weeks away. Too far, but manageable.

I go to work, doing something I mildly enjoy, winding my gears just enough to not be mundane, something I’m mildly good at. Not great, but good enough. It’s anomaly in my generation to view work as a means to an end, or it feels that way.  Most don’t talk about anything but their new next best thing, how much they love it, and thinking about how they can show everyone on Instagram how awesome things are.

Maybe they are that awesome.

But if you gave me a choice between a sunny 25 degree morning with a slight breeze and a dog yawning in frustration at my side before release, or sitting in my office working on “the next best thing”… I’ll take the dog and the wandering, every time.

I’ll come back just long enough for the time and money to go back out again.

Enough.

Our last day ended with my brute of a wirehair curled up in the passenger seat, wrapped in my Woolrich licking a busted nail, worn raw at the quick, while I sat in the drivers seat, watching the sunset, and trying to come to terms with a season cut shorter than I’d like. Nine more months until we can do this again?

Over the last five years I developed a purposeful restlessness who’s worst enemy is sitting still. So I’ll spend the next month or 2 tying flies, writing, and hopefully running the dog in some productive cover, fully expecting the sideways glances as she casts by, “What gives, no gun?”

Maybe that’s one of the reasons we all love this so much. The nine months spent waiting, and dreaming, and preparing.

Some would say four months is plenty, perhaps most would. But for the handful of us who spend stolen minutes in the office plotting out new spots to check out and guarding our weekends as if we’re surrounded, figuring out creative ways to say no to the second cousins baby’s birthday and the wedding of a college buddy whom you haven’t spoken to in years, the end comes too soon. The fires still burning.

It burns in the dog, too. The crusted snow may have gotten the best of her today, but if given the option of a tomorrow before the gun her answer would be abundantly clear. And so it goes. We’ll rest up, heal up, and spend time mimicking the real thing for the next nine months while we work diligently to lower the flame to a manageable level.

She’s sprawled out on the couch now and is running in her sleep, and I choose to think she’s running toward the blaze of autumn, full out, poised for her best season yet.

Patience, I remind myself. Soon enough.

 

 

Stagnant

If pressed, I would argue that the next 6 weeks are the absolute worst in the 52 week calendar for the American bird hunter/dog person.

Heat, humidity, and time form the trifecta of terrible.

Heat and humidity make simple and enjoyable tasks just downright annoying, and the already annoying ones that much worse. It introduces an otherwise unacknowledged variable into anything done with the dogs. Ruining my happy places… not cool, madame weather.

And time… This is the crux of it for me. Already annoyed, the season opener is not close enough for excitement and not far enough away to put it at the back of my mind and pretend to forget it. I can see the finish line off in the distance, but looking at the road ahead there are still a few heat hazed hills to climb.

September will be here soon, the finish line for the race to October one downhill slope away.

But for now, pardon my irritability as I begrudgingly continue the sweaty slog towards fall. What else am I supposed to do?