Thanks for reaching out Doug...I appreciate it. I feel that God is working in me but I haven't had the moment of "liquid love" (as my neighbor describes it) yet. I heard Chuck Colson say one time that he was "more convinced of the existence of God than he is of his own existence". Chuck has experienced God in a very personal and real way. My neighbor has too. I'm jealous of that and want that experience to know that I know, that I know that I know. "Seek and you shall find." I'm seeking. "Knock and the door will be opened." I'm knocking. I am a believer and I do believe...but I want more than belief. I want to know Jesus in a very personal way and my frustration is that it just hasn't happened yet...really when I need him most. That is the essence of my struggle the past 3 years.
Doug I have been training dogs for over ten years now. I run them in UKC/HRC hunt tests during the summer and hunt the snot out of them in the winter. One of the biggest thing I see is people don't do anything with them during the summer and then take them out and expect them to hunt and know what to do. When they take them hunting they also tend to take all of their hunting buddies so when they all shoot that confuses/scares the dog because they don't understand that the loud noise means falling birds which means something good.
For starters I would throw some bumpers make sure the dog is still retreiving then have a friend take a shot gun make some primered poppers only they arn't as loud (just a primer and an empty hull nothing else in them) have them stand about 50 to 100 yards away when you throw the bumper have them shoot at bumper then let the dog retrieve as the dog improves bring the gunner in closer until they are right next to you and the dog. Once the are next to you throw the bumper and have gunner shoot the mark at the top of arc and follow it down to the ground then release the dog once the bumper hits the ground. Make sure you hold the dog teaching them to be steady at shot. Also this isn't a one day fix you need to work on this almost daily. Another thing that might help is bang a spoon and a pot togather when they are eating.