Archive for the 'dogs' Category
Reason #11,334,789,617 why DOGS are the awesome
The dog of slain Petty Officer Jon Tumilson refused to leave his side during the Navy SEAL’s funeral earlier this week in Rockford, Iowa. The heartbreaking photo taken by his cousin, Lisa Pembleton, shows Tumilson’s dog Hawkeye lying by the casket.
Navy SEAL U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Jon T. Tumilson was among the 30 American troops killed August 6 when Taliban insurgents downed their Chinook helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade. At his funeral in Iowa, his dog Hawkeye paid his last respects, walking up to the casket, lying down in front of it, and heaving a sigh.
I got a few days of shooting birdies in before Christmas. We all started to get agitated at Trigg this one morning when he wouldn’t get out the watering tub. Turns out he was on point. Soon the other two joined in on the action.
Yeah, I know, it’s cliche and it’s been done but I like my dog and I like my fishing buddies dogs and I like my driftboat. So, much like that guy in the office who insists you look at photos of his kids because they’re obviously more interesting and attractive than all those other boring photos of other people’s kids, I am forcing you to look at photos of the dogs I love most in my favorite craft. Please jump in and contribute your own photos of dogs in driftboats, but do remember that they won’t be as cute as mine.
Lehua sitting in the best possible place to interfere with rowing.
Lehua and Cassie in their favorite slumbering spot.
Cassie proving that she’ll sleep anywhere
Bear all tuckered out from a day of drinking and fishing.
Certain seasons blur from one to the next in a lazy smear of shifting hues, tilting shadows and shrinking mercury. Others proclaim ordainment in a burst through the door and slide across the floor that startles sensibilities and pierces the soul. These latter times cannot be forgotten.
Like days through the years, most fish bleed into the next, but we’ll not forget the one we’ll never best; that dreadful, though much enshrined, fish of a lifetime. Nor the dazed and giddy evenings’ tallies in camp, when everyone’s using both hands, attempting recollection for the ledger, to recount their runs and hits and errors. Time when a collective stepping outside of the moment is only natural and forgiven for the sake of realizing this really may be about as good as it ever gets. Remember the fall of 2009, fellas?… Of course we do, we’re in it and we remember it, already.
The equinox passed somewhat short on notice, but the 24th was not to be ignored. Mugs followed me outside in the morning, lowered his head, leaned, wobbled, and collapsed on the porch. In twelve hours, and bereft of any certainty beyond suffering, I faced the decision every dog person dreads.
I watched the white push down the tube. I twirled a finger through the wispy scruff of his ear. I saw the final ebb of his breath, and then stillness.
He was eleven, same as his grandfather and great grandfather, family dogs growing up. I knew this going into it. All my dogs go to eleven.
We live and carry these days and their changes as treasure. They make living sweeter; not for the way we felt within them, but for the wonder they enchant us with now; at what’s yet to be fulfilled, at all else we’ve yet to savor, and at all that’s left to realize in order even to be lost.
So a collective Thank You and a collected farewell, destined but undesigned, in flesh but not in essence, to every thing beyond reprise.
And Mugs, you were the best damn anything I ever knew.
If you’re of the sentiment, as John Buchan was, that fishing is “a perpetual series of occasions for hope,” I’d highly recommend trying to finding birds out here:
You will walk farther than you think, and look back to see that you’ve put precious little landscape between you and where you started. You’ll find yourself putting up the same bird repeatedly as you make your way across the field, always flushing just out of range, or, not coincidentally, taking wing just as you’re distracted by a bull moose the size of a small mastodon on the far ridge. You’ll invariably find yourself making your way back to the truck against the wind, no matter which direction it was blowing when you started; the dense grass grabbing at your boots and slowing your progress. I can only compare it to wading upstream against a stiff current. For miles.
You’ll lose your dog and curse him with a level of creativity you never knew you possessed, only to crest a rise and find him locked down on a covey, doing exactly what he should be with exemplary style, and you’ll turn the stream of invective deservedly on yourself. After picking up one downed bird and stuffing it in your vest as the others continue over the horizon, you’ll offer part of your meatloaf sandwich and it dawns on you that he will never, ever hold any of your shortcomings against you; that he will continue tolerating hunting with you until you undoubtedly tire before he does.
This may indeed be another one of those pursuits that is an endless series of occasions for hope. But then again, it was that wry wit Ben Franklin that said, “He that lives on hope will die fasting.” So no matter how boundless your optimism may be, don’t bother venturing into this country, in pursuit of sharptails, without one of these:
And by all means, trust him.
Congrats. You made it to the second round.
Quail season closed today in Georgia. It’s a happy and sad day for many. Most of your bird guide/dog trainers will return to farming. They’re happy and ready for the change. Especially having witnessed a lifetime of misses, swearing at said misses, and profuse braggadocio over connecting on a slow bird with two or three shells. You know the type, they’re on many rivers as well. The dogs, on the other hand, must be very sad. Sure, they’ll get to practice and train throughout the off-season, but it’s just not the same as the real thing. October will be here before they know it. We all hope.
This popped into my inbox a while back, but due to slackitude, I just managed to post it now. From our reader Wade:
When I saw the first pic of the beagle on the yak by Danny F., it
reminded me of my beloved fishing dog, Old Dirty Beagle, who is now
Old Dead Beagle. It was just a flicker across my memory, though, and
I moved on. Then we see the Danny beagle again today on the blog and
we know it’s time for action.
This is no shit, friends–my beagle died several years ago under
mysterious circumstances while under the care of my ex-wife in an
“accident” while I was out of the country. My grief has re-awakened,
but at the same time I honor the memory of Old Dirty Beagle by
providing thusly a photo of said pooch on the water in her beagled
Perhaps this will kick off an entire gallery of beagles on the bow.
A fine new essay in WSJ:
The author on the trail with Daisy, left, and Abby
(Photo – Andrew Geiger for The Wall Street Journal)
Spring officially began last week. That is, if one goes by dates on a calendar and hours of daylight. Yesterday, it was seventy degrees outside, it actually felt like spring. Fuzzy little kitten paws were budding off the pussy willow tree down the block and my smarter (though genetically deficient) female cohort brought the kleenex and visine out of hibernation. The town’s snow reserves had dwindled to dirty little piles hidden in dark corners. Everywhere I went over the weekend, it was all sunshine and flyfishing. Rod racks re-appeared atop campershelled Toyotas. Trailered driftboats bounced down dry streets dusty with soiled snow residue. Fly shop owners, who seemed wild eyed and twitchy for the past five months offering half price sales and clearance items to woo customers returned to their slightly superior swagger. Friends began calling me again, a habit they had purged upon realizing that they could not exercise sufficient self-control to keep from telling me (the gimp) about the epic knee deep powder turns they had just cut. I got word from Missoula that the skwalas had popped. I made plans to fish a nice mellow spring creek with flat banks and road access on Thursday. I dreamt of snouts and dry flies.
This morning I awoke to a world blasted with seven inches of wet cocaine. The icy streets of town are once again empty, all the residents having caught the powder flu and vacated for higher elevations. This week’s fishing is not looking good with magical internet prognostications of snow and sub-freezing temps continuing. Besides, my fishing partner who can get me on the nice mellow spring creek will be skiing.
I love mountain town spring, it’s like watching a scene from “Over The Top” only Sly Stallone is spring and that big ogre dude with the handle bar mustache is winter. They go back and forth but you know who will eventually win. I love waking up on days off with no idea what type of recreation awaits until I look out the window- do I put on snow pants or waders? For years I’ve listened to non-skiers wish away the last vestiges of winter so that they could move on to summer. Now, for the first time, I have to count myself among their ranks but I’m not wishing away the snow. The robins are trickling in, green shoots are pushing up from subterranean bulbs and little black stones are starting to get all hot and bothered under their rocks, thinking about crawling to shore and getting busy but I’ll try to keep enjoying what the days throw at me. This morning that meant grabbing the shovel and laughing my ass off as the dog buried herself in a three foot mound of snow and wriggled on her back ecstatically.
Can be described in two words
Photo from NaturalFly
Best one for the above so far: baconbaconbaconbaconbaconbaconbaconbacon
We’re all stumped on this one
Who’s more likely to suffer an undignified and thoroughly goofy death at the bottom of a river with a chicken bone in his larynx – Buster’s pal Nofoolin, or Hammer’s dog Henry?
Consider: Henry is less than one year old.
From the North Carolina News Observer comes this great story:
“Dean Lamont is a professional fishing guide, plying the waters around Cape Lookout. Depending upon the season and local conditions, Lamont guides anglers to red drum, speckled trout, false albacore — whatever species presents the best opportunity.
He can add Labrador retriever to the list.
On Nov. 8, while guiding Tim Wilson of Raleigh and Shingo Mutoh of Durham, Lamont and his party caught (and later released) a yellow Lab more than a mile from the nearest dry land….”