He’s a Hunter
About a year and a half ago, I took a little puppy to my town’s vet office. He was so nervous he peed while simultaneously shaking and hiding between my legs.
I looked down at him and kept filling out his paper work. I shook my head and wondered to myself if I had taken him in too spontaneously. I can still, to this day, recall the conversation I had with the family vet.
“I don’t know, doctor, I’m not quite sure he’s got any hunting material in him – let alone good genes and a pedigree for it.I mean look at him…he’s a mutt!”
As I look over at Diesel right now, asleep next to his favorite bone, I feel a pang of deep regret for those very words that had passed my lips in that veterinary office.
I had gotten him as a 7 month old puppy, already weighing 60 pounds, and chewing everything in sight. My little brother had dropped him off earlier that day and I came home to a strange dog chewing off a piece of drywall in the kitchen. He proceeded to gulp down the rest of the drywall, knock over a few glasses, and pee on the couch before I could herd him into a corner. My girlfriend (who is now to be my wife) stared at me, then at the dog, then back at me.
“What…in the world? Whose dog is that??”
“Ah,I guess…he’s my dog now?”
That was Day Zero.
I’ve come to realize after these years, that he will never be able to compete with the gun dogs bred from hunting royalty, make blind retrieves at the length of a football field, nor grace the cover of Gun Dog mag.
What I do know, without a doubt, is that he will follow me through muck and marsh at 3 am, make the occasional retrieves, walk with me while I hunt for rabbits and squirrels, and most importantly – he will never cancel.
He’s reminded me that hunting is not about toting the latest gadgets nor shooting limits every day. It’s about the experiences and relationships that you unknowingly forge in the time that you spend doing so…
and for that – he is the best hunting dog I know.