Another dog post? Well, what did you expect?
My Emma is a big bitch— she stands 26" at the withers and weighs 65 pounds in hunting trim, as she is right now. She presents the image of a dog ready for anything and indeed she is. (More than a few males have tried to bully her and failed, sometimes with comic results. She will not be put upon and if she could talk would probably say "I can take care of myself!")
She's a pleasure to hunt with. She works close, is attentive to where I am and to voice, whistle, and hand signals. She also just about completely ignores other hunters and dogs when she's working, even when she knows them. Her points are stylish and rock-solid.
She has some faults, of course. She is a poor retriever, probably the result of working as a pup with dogs that did retrieve well and didn't give her much of a chance at that job. I also confess to being a lazy trainer on that score and letting her slide. She'll also sometimes strike a beautiful point on a spot where birds were but are no longer in residence. Other than those, she's a good worker and a pleasure to be afield with.
If you like dogs and enjoy hunting with one, you bond with them. It's a strange and powerful phenomenon that can't really be understood unless you experience it yourself. It's primal I suppose. Emma and I have bonded and I consider myself enriched by it. I don't think she cares: she just wants to hunt.
We're both looking forward to some good hunting together later this fall.