Friday, October 23, 2009

Stress management for dogs..

Purina seems to have entered the Veterinary diet market, once the almost exclusive domain of Hill's Veterinary diets, in a huge way, producing specialized diets to help manage everything from overweight, to kidney function, to geriatric difficulties. I wasn't aware of this new departure until seeing an ad in "Field Trial Magazine" for a new supplement, apparently aimed toward the gundog market called FortiFlora.
This is a probiotic supplement for intestinal health in highly stressed dogs that I assume are prone to diahrrea. Whether it will be picked up on by the average gundog owner looking for any edge will be the subject of speculation, but I would not be surprised to see it be put to use whether medically called for or not.
I've had dogs get so excited the day of a hunt that they spend a fair amount of the morning trying to rid their bodies of loose stools.. In a dog that suffers this, maybe a product like this would be helpful.
In any case, it's always wise to be proactive and ahead of the curve when it comes to the health of our gundogs..
Is anything more important??

For those with an interest, and a few more questions, there is a list of FAQ here..

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Gordons are THIEVES!

Is this the face of a criminal??

Was enjoying a nice dinner a few nights ago. I made a big pot of chili, and my wife had bought a block of aged provalone to go along with it..
The cheese was on a cutting board on the table. My wife and I, and the dogs of course, all cheese lovers BTW, consumed about half the block. I was looking forward to a slice here and there as a snack for days to come, but it was not to be..
The cheese was inadvertentely left on the table after dinner.. I passed through the kitchen a couple of times, and noticed the cutting board empty, but I thought my wife had returned it to the refrigerator..
After a while, my wife asked if I had put the cheese away.. Since I sometimes have trouble with my ears, or selective hearing difficulties, I ignored the query until a few minutes when she asked if I had finished the cheese. I knew that didn't happen, so the search was on for the missing "half block" of nice aged provalone.. The piece I was looking so forward to savoring in bits and pieces over the next couple of days. It was becoming painfully obvious what happened to it!
Sandy, the English Setter, is far too much of a little lady to steal off the table... Holly, the Gordon, on the other hand, sees things in a completely different light! Like all her Gordon predecessors, she feels that any food left on the table must have been left for her personal enjoyment.. and subsequent consumption! The humans just forgot to offer it to her in person..
It must be a genetic thing, as all of our Gordons go back ultimatly to similar places on the family tree... Or, they all went to the same school!

Either way, the cheese I was so counting on ended up "in the belly of the beast!"

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Out on The Rock

I was pleasantly surprised to receive a comment the other day from my old friend Dan, a Newfoundlander and fellow Gordon lover. I always enjoyed Dan's pictures and accounts of his wild adventures, mostly solitary as I recall, on "The Rock," as he affectionately refers to his homeland of Newfoundland.
Dan has started his own blog called "Out on The Rock". The views and accounts of the exploits of Dan and his dogs is stunning, and gives an inside look at one of the world's truly wild places.
You're doing yourself an extreme disservice if you don't visit Dan's blog and witness for yourself what he has to offer.
I'm glad my old friend found us, and we'll once again be treated to his exploits and view from the wilds of Newfoundland..

Visit Dan's blog here, watch the videos and read the posts.. It's time well spent!

Dan's blog will sit at the top of the blogroll for a spell, until everyone is aware of it and visits to see what it's all about.. Congratulations to Dan on I blog I'll visit often!

Friday, October 16, 2009

If I were King...

and the changes I'd make!

Not in how I'd rule the serfs, but in how I'd produce the RBL-16 I've come to like pretty well..

There's not much I would change. The gun has been about as reliable as a Swiss watch with reloads and factories.. Now, where is that block of wood?? But there are some improvements I would make to make an already nice shotgun just a little bit nicer.
First and formost, I'd add a touch of scallop to the rear of the receiver where it meets the cheeks of the stock.. SKB did a nice job of this, but I'd reverse the pattern so as not to create a stock splitting steel wedge as SKB did.. Other makers have carried this off well also, such as the Upland Extra from Poli, pictured here, that I've always admired.. A little bit of enhancement in this area would have made an already pretty gun much more attractive.. but obviously, at a cost!
The fixed choke, 29 inch platform lump barrels are just perfect as-is.. Except, I would substitute a nickle silver or ivory front bead, and add a matching mid bead. Now, beads in an of themselves are completely superfluous on a shotgun, and completely unneccessary for a tool that fits, but tradition demands them, and they do look good..
Next, I would ditch some of the laser engraving.. A small amount of tasteful scroll is far preferable, in my humble opinion, to poorly rendered dogs or game scenes.. A Setter on point that looks like a dreaded "Pointing Lab" is the height of poor taste!

I guess it's no secret why these changes are not part of the RBL package. It's a production gun made to a price, and every little nicety adds to the cost. When you're trying to buld a gun for everyman, sometimes we need to cut corners.. But, not in my kingdom!

Enjoy the weekend!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

RBL's are TOUGH!

Had the RBL-16 out at a local range this past week. Met, and enjoyed the pleasure of shooting with a gentleman I've gotten to know fairly well over the past couple of years. Obviously a very experienced guy around guns and clay targets in general, and as we discussed on numerous previous outings, the proud owner of an early RBL Launch Edition.
He was shooting reloads, as was I... I don't have a gun in the cabinet that has not been fed a steady diet of reloads.. Shooting "factories" only to obtain usable hulls when none are available for scrounging!
Well, this gent had a round that wouldn't fully chamber, and consequently the RBL wouldn't close. No amount of opening and slamming shut would cause the gun to go into battery and latch shut! And numerous attempts were made! All I could do was stand behind and cringe at every attempt..
The gun was taken down with thoughts of a return trip to CSMC for repairs. I looked at the receiver and all appeared normal.. What else could cause the gun to keep from closing completely?? I picked up the barrels, looked under the ejectors and sure enough, a sliver of brass from a broken head on a AA-20, probably from a previous trip through an autoloader... Doubled over onto itself, no less as if a single thickness would not have been bad enough.. Upon removal and closer inspection, the two plies of brass looked as if they had been squeezed in a vise, obviously hammered with some force.
The gun was re-assembled and finished the round flawlessly!
I don't know how many other guns would have taken that abuse without damaging an ejector.. A testament to the toughness that Connecticut Shotgun has engineered into the design of the RBL..

The RBL design, in spite of all the polarizing reports by the all-knowing on the ubiquitous "innanet," earned my respect that day...

Friday, October 2, 2009

A hard winter in store??

According to reports, it could be, and that's good news in my book!
I like the cold... I like the snow. What I don't like is purchasing warmth in the form of foreign oil, but, at least for the time being, that's a necessary evil.
I've noticed the caterpillars are pretty hairy and the grey squirrels busy burying acorns... All signs I look for.
For a more scientific explanation, read here about the mild "El Nino" and it's effect on the weather here in the Northeast..

Pray for snow!