Thursday, May 14, 2015

Guest Blogger: "Second Shot". Teaming rescued dogs and adaptive hunters for a second chance at bird hunting.

“Pop, pop!” went the 20 gauge in Riverside, Iowa on a cold, but sunny Saturday afternoon. Nellie and Zeus, my two energetic labs, ran to the middle of the field where the pheasant fell from the sky after Chris shot his first bird of the day; a silly grin plastered across his face. Second Shot was giving Chris a second shot at hunting and a day of outdoor therapy fun. Chris was Second Shot’s first client. Although it was a passion of his, Chris hadn’t been hunting in years. An accident, years prior, had left him in a wheelchair. We were trying out something new and unknown to us and to him, adaptive hunting. Second Shot, a non-profit developed to provide outdoor therapy for those who are disabled or who are struggling with an illness, is not something I had planned on being a part of. While growing up, my dad tried (on more than one occasion) to convince me to go on hunting trips with him or to earn my hunting safety. I now understand why. Hunting isn’t about hunting. It’s about being a part of a community. Second Shot is about creating opportunity for someone who otherwise couldn’t be a part of this community. Highland Hideaway welcomed all of us, hunters and volunteers alike, onto their property and into their hunting family months ago. What a wonderful family to be a part of! This community is something that I want to share with friends, family, and Second Shot clients past and future. I’m sure that many, as am I, are already looking forward to the hunting bird season to begin again. To wake up early (hopefully to coffee brewing and labs licking your face) and get outside as the sun is still rising. If you’re lucky you’ll see the mist lifting off of the grass. While packing up the truck with all of the necessities it is hard to tell who is more excited… you or the dogs. Driving, you hit the gravel road and it’s no competition any longer, the dogs are definitely more excited! For me, my contentment comes at the end of the day; when I get to see how happy our client is to have had this opportunity again. Something that we all take for granted.

From time to time, I intend to let a guest blogger post on my BLOG. Kelsey contacted me, out of the blue. I was a little skeptical, at first, but did my due diligence and discovered a unique niche they were filling. It's an interesting premise and they seem to make it work! I encourage you all to click the link above and read about this group!  Good hunting!