I pulled the truck off the side of the dirt road in roughly the same spot I had marked on the map. Shrugging into my vest and slipping the shotgun from the case, I flipped the tailgate down, dropped the dog dish into the dirt and opened the nozzle on the blue water jug. As the water splashed into the metal dog dish, I hoisted Sunny onto the tailgate and secured her GPS collar and watched the screen on my handheld to make sure everything was working. Sunny jumped off the tailgate and slurped water before turning away from the truck into the tall yellow grass. I slammed the tailgate closed and hit the key fab to lock the truck before turning and walking into the grass myself.
I scanned ahead looking for the brown body of my dog and felt the familiar buzz of the GPS. I looked down and Sunny was on point, 20 yards from the truck. I snapped the shotgun closed and walked towards her. The ground erupted in front of me as 12 Mearns quail popcorn flushed straight away. I picked one of the last ones to get off the ground and dropped it from flight. Sunny was on it in a moment, rolling, mouthing and savoring the taste of fat male Mearns quail in her mouth. That alone was worth the drive to the border.