Well, I wasn't sure if this should go in dog training or waterfowl hunting, but it occured while shooting ducks, so who knows.
I took my uncle from michigan, who has never hunted, out for a little waterfowl action tonight and managed to dump one teal. I had the old man and the pup along, and I decided to send the veteran out for the retrieve. Turns out the duck was still very much alive, and could flap it's wings just fast enough to keep out of reach of the lab. I took Roca(the puppy) and ran as fast as I could in waders to cut the duck off and try for another shot, but the teal was too close to Chance(old man), and it dove about 30 yards offshore right as I thought about shooting. I let Chance swim around in circles for the next few minutes just in case the teal came back up, but I was pretty sure it had dove, latched on to some weeds, died. Oh well right? I tried calling Chance back to me, but he decided to swim to a point on the bank some 20 yards away. I thought he was pulling his selective hearing trick, so I became a little more forceful and he reluctantly walked over. As the two dogs sat next to me at heal, I explained to my uncle what had happened, and that sometimes no matter how hard you try the duck just gets away. I turned away from the water and started back to the boat when the pup ran about 20 yards down the bank, and started rooting around. I figured she was up to no good and tried calling her. Roca wasn't having any of it, and just as I started walking over to give her a wack she straightened up and began sprinting back with a nice feathery surprise held tight in her jaws. The duck had swam over 30 yards underwater and holed itself up under a log.
Moral of the story gentleman is trust your dog! Both labs tried telling me something was up, but I didn't listen. Luckily, the teal was recovered, and my uncle got to see some hard hunting labs. Not a bad night..