With Laddie entered in a Master next weekend, I thought it would be prudent to work on his steadiness this weekend. Tomorrow being Mother's Day, I was unable to arrange for a shooter, so our only shot, so to speak, was today.
The logistics were complex. Besides making arrangements with the shooter, I needed three assistants (two to throw dead birds for the triples and one to run Lumi while Laddie honored), four flyers (for two triples, two dogs), and a venue with land and water at a location acceptable to my shooter. I also needed to arrange to pick up Lumi at my daughter's house, where Lumi lives now.
Lumi was half an hour south of me. The venue was two hours south of me. The birds were three and a half hours south of me. Not all in a straight line, but you get the idea.
To get to the venue with the birds at 2pm as arranged, I had to leave the house with the helpers at 9am. Since I can usually knock a good bit of time off GPS estimates on Interstates, 930 actually seemed reasonable, but to play it safe, I left at 830.
I'll leave it as an exercise to compute the costs, including gas and wear on the van, but that would be completely incorrect. It turns out that a combination of multi-vehicle collisions en route and heavy traffic added four hours to the trip, and we didn't arrive at the venue with the birds till after 5.
The shooter had a date so he wasn't willing to wait past 430, but he was angry -- or as he said, very disappointed -- because he said it cost him both the fee I would have paid and another that he canceled in an attempt to accommodate me.
Of course I will send him a check to cover his losses.
We still ran triples (both water), but that meant paying the helpers more, since they ended up being out much longer than I had originally planned on.
Without a shooter, the dogs saw no flyers, so no steadiness work for Laddie, the while point of the arrangements lost. But I have no place to keep ducks, so I gave them to the owner of the training property. I also paid for two dogs training.
Plus breakfast and dinner for the helpers.
Today cost hundreds of dollars, and much more if you consider the fact that I couldn't work and bill for my consulting gig.
Did I mention we didn't get to work on steadiness?