Stat was a magician at escaping her dog coop. She wouldn't run off, though. I'd find her sitting just outside the door, pleading to join the rest of the family. Some friends were puppy sitting Dezzie the other day and panicked when they discovered she'd broken out of their fenced yard. They found Dezzie just down the street, sitting on our porch and hoping a familiar face would open the door.

Well, she did. Stat gave birth to a crowd of 14, requiring bottle feeding and weeks of hands on attention. Her kids could scent a pheasant feather in a haystack, retrieve most every downed bird and didn't take it to heart if a shooter was having a very bad day.

Dezzie arrived just the other day, a bundle of fur with a liver and ticked coat and surprisingly long legs and large paws. Coming in the door, the pup's nose was immediately in the air, sorting a strange batch of scents in her new home. She was ready for mischief. After all, she was a spanking new puppy, teething to beat the band and hungry from dawn to dusk.

Dezzie, a German wirehaired pointer puppy, takes a break in the field to chew on a woody stalk, soothing a mouth filled with needle sharp baby teeth. D'Arcy Egan, The Plain Dealer

At the tender age of four months, Dezzie isn't a duplicate of Stat. My wife, Laura, found Dezzie at the Vom Hutbach Kennel in Troy, Ohio., whose dogs have a strong German background and are labeled as Verein Deutsch Drahthaar or "True German Wirehair." Dezzie is a bolder pup with a more versatile coat soft fur underneath for warmth and a wiry outer coat to ward off briar and bramble and webbed feet for swimming. Dezzie isn't shy about terrorizing Bluebelle or Gabby, the house cat, trying to finagle a dog treat or fit into every lap. She bosses around her big sister, who weighs three times as much.

A great deal of training and field time are a must if a pup is to learn to mind its manners and follow commands. Impatience isn't an option, perhaps a reason why this old time dog trainer seems to be much better at handling a pup these days. I'm not yelling as much, or so quick to sternly chastise a little girl for making a correctable mistake.

Dezzie romps in the field, stretching her long legs as she searches for tantalizing scents. D'Arcy Egan, The Plain Dealer

CLEVELAND, Ohio A new bird dog pup can make you feel young, and a little old, all at the same time.

It had been a long time since a hunting pup roamed the house. Bluebelle, the black Labrador retriever, sports a grey muzzle. She'll be nine years old this summer, but still is energetic in retrieving a jumbo Canada goose or swimming a quarter mile to corral a wounded duck. Pheasant and dove hunting are a hobby. Waterfowl hunting is old Blue's full time job, and she takes her retrieving chores quite seriously.

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There had been something missing for a couple of decades, though. I started out in the bird dog game with pointers, an English setter bought as a pup and a well trained German shorthaired pointer shipped in by a brother who was moving out of the country. Paddy, the setter, taught me the basics of bird hunting. Sue, the shorthair, made me realize how smartly a well trained dog could perform in the field.

Puppies are cute, cuddly and often frustrating. They'll want to snuggle and lick your face, then eat expensive sunglasses or chew on favorite hunting boots. But Dezzie will soon be an adult. If I've done my job, I'll have the promise of a talented partner bred to hunt with the drive to find and point game birds and a desire to be a team player.

A German shorthaired pointer puppy, Dezzie uses her scenting ability to sort out her big new world, stopping on occasion to identify the critter her nose says is hiding under the next clump Men Canada Goose Ontario Parka Black Outlet Australia of brush. D'Arcy Egan, The Plain Dealer

A young bird dog helps an old sportsman find new passion for the hunting game

This winter, I wanted a return to those days of following a pointer as the dog scoured pheasant and quail fields or cruised the grouse woods. A pointer who would also retrieve ducks and geese when waterfowl hunting seasons arrived. I'd owned my first German wirehaired pointer about a quarter century ago. Stat was a timid little girl with a talented nose, hunting smarts and a burning desire to please. She was a fuzzy faced wonder in these parts, where few bird hunters had seen the breed in action. A few friends wanted one of her pups if she ever had a litter.

Dezzie has been testing this old hunter's legs lately as she continues to pick up speed and expand her range in the training fields. Because of a young pup, I've finally been provoked into getting into shape long before the fall hunting seasons arrive. I don't want to disappoint my new hunting buddy.