In the fall of 2011, my Dad, who lives in Rupert, Idaho, which is 120 miles away from my home town, gave me a German Shorthair pup, named “Brandy.” While Brandy had tremendous potential she was too high strung and too dang smart for her own good. She was too much for my aging parents and Dad decided he could not give her the attention that she needed.
Because my first dearly departed bird dog, Rooty, was a GSP, I decided to add her to my pack of Brittanys. Brandy just has that look of intelligence in her eyes, like other brag dogs I have observed over the years. But it did not take long for Brandy to drive my family crazy with her shenanigans. She whined while she was in her crate. When we let her out in the house, she repeatedly peed on the floor. When we put her outside, she would open the sliding glass door with her monstrous paws. She was just so highstrung. The last straw occurred when Brandy learned to jump our 6 foot backyard fence like it was nothing. Shortly thereafter, my wife gave me an ultimatum: “Either Brandy goes or I will!”
In April of 2012, we decided to find Brandy a new home so Kristin posted an add on Craigslist. We had numerous calls the first day. We decided to give her to a family in Pocatello, Idaho (50 miles away from Idaho Falls and about 75 miles from my parents in Rupert) that had another GSP. I truly thought that would be the last I’d see or hear of Brandy, which was bittersweet because I knew she had real potential to be a great bird dog. To illustrate this point, I want to share an entry from my journal on a Hun and Chukar hunt on December 24, 2012:
As I made my way across the steep ridge back toward the car, Brandy went on point: My pup’s first solid point! Sunny soon came around me and backed Brandy from uphill. It was truly a sight to behold. Brandy happened to be pointing downhill towards a chokecherry tree that would have blocked any shot so I walked uphill to get into better position for the flush. At that time, a deer bounced away about 75 yards downhill. I then wondered whether Brandy was just pointing the deer and relaxed some. BIG MISTAKE! It was at this precise moment that the biggest covey of Huns I have ever seen (i.e. 50+ birds) flushed and I missed the only shot I took. Notwithstanding, I was thrilled for the pup and felt bad for not connecting. She will be a great one if I am just patient.
Now fast forward to two weeks ago, a year after we gave Brandy away. I was working hard in my office and I got a call from my Mom.
“Andy, you’ll never guess who just showed up on my doorstep!”
From her tone, I suspected an ex-sister-in-law, but told her, “I don’t know.”
Mom, then replied, “Brandy!!!!”
“NO WAY!!!!” I retorted.
She confirmed it was true.
I called my wife and she promptly called the person we gave Brandy to a year ago. The man reported to Kristin that he got rid of Brandy after only one month and that he gave her to a guy in Black Rock Canyon, which is 90 miles from my parent’s home in Rupert. However, this guy did not know the name or contact information for Brandy’s new owner.
As we pieced together what happened, I was astounded. Brandy had traveled at least 90 miles on foot to my Parent’s home well over a year after her last being there. How she did this is beyond me. I have no clue how she could even get her bearings to make such a trip. Also, the major road to Rupert is an interstate and I’m not sure how Brandy survived the trip without a run-in with a vehicle. Very impressive! All I can guess is that Brandy picked the one place where she felt most loved, which was at my parent’s home by my Dad, and she set out for it. Like I said, she’s too smart for her own good!
But get this: Brandy is now well behaved and Mom and Dad are going to keep her! Who would have thunk? I’m telling you Brandy is super smart and will make a first-rate bird dog. I’m sure Dad will let me take her hunting every so often, but I’m sad not to be able to see what this genius is fully capable of in the field.