Bobbing across the white-capped waves, I was amazed at its lifelike realism. Had I known better, I'd of sworn a dead mallard drake was floating belly-up across the flooded field.
But the gaping hole in my wallet and the growing migraine in my temples made it painfully clear that I did, in fact, know better. I knew $30 better, in fact, as I watched the brand-spanking-new Dokken's DeadFowl training dummy silently inch further and further away from me. An "innovating training tool" ($25, plus tax) with an added "Power Throw Grip" (another $3, plus tax), that only moments earlier had been proudly retrieved to hand by my nearly one-year-old German wirehaired pointer, Remy.
A dummy that now was rapidly fading from eyesight as it torpedoed, unabated, across the waves, propelled by a 30-knot south wind.
I cursed the wind. I cursed my dumb self for throwing it just a little bit further than the last time. I cursed the dang geese that flew right over Remy's noggin as he pulsed through the water, distracting him from the critical water-retrieval task at hand.
Those geese were an adventure in and of themselves. Blasting my training whistle like a New York City traffic cop jacked on espresso, Remy blatantly ignored my commands as he chased the noisy, obnoxious waterfowl with single-minded determination. Their effortlessness at dodging the pursuing pooch only seemed to egg him on as he struggled to fight the growing waves breaking across his face.
Finally, maybe out of boredom, the pair-bond took flight and Remy, without quarry to corner, was forced to return to his red-faced master on land.
In the meantime, the new training dummy, on its third toss of its short lifespan, was quickly making its way to the flooded minimum maintenance road to the north.
"Come, Remy!" I yelled. "Get the bird. Find the bird!"
He found the bird, alright. Two, in fact, as the pair of geese that only moments earlier had left now returned for a flyover inspection. I gave up on the dog for a minute, instead focusing my attention on Dokken's DeadFowl.
Running full steam, I made it to the flooded road in time to see the foam duck replica slip over the road to the other side, thus beginning its maiden voyage across an entire section of floodwater.
I begged, I pleaded, I threw rocks into the water. Remy would have nothing to do with it as the geese, now on land, hissed and clucked at the annoying dog.
Sighing, I shrugged my shoulders, grabbed Remy by his collar, and headed for the truck.
Well, it was fun while it lasted, although I'm not sure if it was worth the $30.