I have often heard the same response offered in response to someone telling a story about a good hunting dog. Although the answer may vary a bit in length and detail, the same message always seems to bubble to the surface: great dogs can never be replaced, or you just get one really amazing dog in your life.
I have no idea if the answer statements are factual or based on data, but after hearing them for most of my adult life, I can’t help but wonder. Not all of the old tales are true, but there are more than a few close enough to reality to make me pause and consider, especially in the realm of sports and outdoor lifestyle.
The reason I allowed my mind to wander on this subject of big dogs is my dog Boogie. Boogie is a working dog whose job it is to hunt, locate, and bark to announce to the world that he has found the target species. Being a tree dog (a dog that chases animals up a tree and barks when he does) is a hallmark of the type of dog that Boogie is. Other hunting dogs have other characteristics. For example, hunting dogs can shoot, point, or retrieve animals. Boogie, a mountain hunting dog and simply the best squirrel hunter I have ever had the privilege to walk in the woods with, has mastered the trade of using his eyes, ears and nose to locate squirrels.
It still amazes me to this day, after a long career hunting squirrels with dogs, that a dog can locate an animal by scent in a tree five or six stories tall. I love to hunt squirrels and have always done so since I was first introduced to it as a child. As an adult, my love of squirrel hunting is directly related to working dogs. Boogie and I had a lot of fun in the woods during our last 11 seasons together. He is just my friend.
Boogie is getting older and there’s nothing he can do about it except maybe pass on his traits. A long shot at best and a move that the risk-reward folks might consider too risky. In life and especially in my business affairs, I have always followed my instinct. So I did exactly that and am proud to announce that old dog, Boogie, is now a proud father of a mischievous, playful, bright-eyed boy named Blu.
I have no idea if the “you only have one good dog in your life” applies here or not, it’s too early to tell. What I am sure of is the fact that the old dog is enjoying himself with a puppy to play with, and the puppy is as happy as a lark.
For the next several months, especially once the leaves begin to peak and begin to slowly fall from the tree canopy, two little brown hunting dogs will be out on the farm, as well as in various public hunting areas throughout the great state of West. Virginia. I just can’t wait.
Squirrel season opened on September 10 and closes on February 28.