Today was very suited for a waterfowl hunting day, low clouds, a bit of wind, and then the sun broke out and the wind picked up, a good hunting day indeed. But instead of going hunting like I would normally have done, I had to do one of the hardest things a grown man sometimes needs to do in life. So shortly before 2:30pm CST today Casey received a dose of meds that stopped his heart but it also stopped his suffering from the effects of the Lyme disease that was devastating his body, and which finally effected his spirit the last couple of days.
He quit walking early Sun AM, I wanted to take him on one last hunt Sunday, but his back legs said no. Yesterday AM he could not stand. I knew it was "time", unfortunately my Mom was rushed to the ER because she had chest pains yesterday morning, turned out not to be a heart attack and she was back home last night, but it delayed a day in which I knew it was time. Last night he only ate 3 small pieces of steak fat, and would not touch the rest that I had prepared. He loved meat treats trimmings like beef, chicken or ham. Just another sure sign it was time. Well this AM Casey wimpered a bit as he was lieing down as I sat in my office, turned out he urinated, and he knew that was not allowed inside. And shortly there after he lost the ability to control his bladder as a little bit would come out every so often. He just looked at me with tired eyes, and I knew that he also knew that his end was near as he had lost his desire to live. His back 1/2 went completely limp by Noon. When I called the Vet this AM, soonest was 2pm, so we had to wait a bit longer. My Mom and sister got to say goodbye as they were really fond of him too as they saw him often.
So shortly before 2:30 Casey joined my Dad and GrandPa and the other dogs we have had over the years in the happy hunting grounds where the dogs get to retrieve to their hearts desire and the guys never have a bad day of hunting.
I buried his body this afternoon with the other 6 dogs at my folks place. He had his big ol' rawhide knot bone with him and his leash, along with his bones and toys that he enjoyed when at my Moms. There is a regular dog cemetary there, markers and all. I guess we honor our dogs more than some folks do, but what the heck, you might as well as we sure are fond of them and they have added so much to our lives. Seems like it is the right thing to do.
I got Casey in Dec 6th of 1994 when he was a little "butterscotch" bundle of joy. I remember Christmas that year, when Mom tried to put diapers on him as she feared he would pee on the new carpeting. What a laugh by everybody, and he knew he was the center of attention too, and thrived on it. Less than a year later he was the one that comforted me when my Dad finally died from heart ailments after a prolonged illness. Often he would put his head in my lap when I was down, and I would remember that life goes on.
His first "real" impressive retrieve was in ND in the end of Oct in 1995. A friend has body shot a Widgeon and it went down over a 1/3 of a mile away. We were on top of a hill so I had a good idea where it went down in the waist high CRP field, we walked down wind of where I thought the bird had went down. Every so often Casey would look at me like. Hey Boss, what are we doing in this thick stuff for? I just encouraged him to "Hunt 'em up!". A short time later his head snapped a hard right and his tail "got hot", and he looked at me and I encouraged him and off he went, nose low and then nose high on the scent, and after over 200' he found where the bird had hit in the tall grass, and I just encouraged him more, after 80+' of him on the trial he finally found that widgeon, but could not get him out of the grass, turned out he had a mouth full of thick grass and the live wigeon and he was playing tug of war with the grass, he finally turned to me with that bird and mouth full of grass and did his "Hey Boss, look what I found!" look, I told him to heal and he did so while doing the "I'm the hottest best damned dog there is" gait as he came to me. Folks, you just can not teach that to a dog, either they have "it" or they do not. You are lucky to have 1 dog in your lifetime that has "it", heck here I was blessed with a 2nd dog with "it".
The pic on my avatar is of when we were fishing, when he was younger he used to perch on top of the 10hp motor while I fished, lots of laughs by everybody and bets on how long before he fell off. Oh yes, he loved to fish too, and on more than one occasion he was caught stealing other fishermens catch thinking he was supposed to retrieve them back to me.
He hunted a lot in MN, ND, and MB, and even trips to SK and other states all in the pursuit of ducks and geese. Probably his best day was last spring, when I downed a pile of S&Bs in ND, many went body shot past the field we were in, into the cattails full of ice and water. He did over 12 blind retrieves, all the while I just coaxed him a bit as I noticed he was slowing down. I thought it was just old age, little did I know it was Lyme disease starting to show the suttle signs of its presence.
But he lived to be near me. Often he was in the back of my truck, and I have a kennel at work so daily rides were expected. If he was not in the truck the 1st ? most always asked was, "where's the dog?" being he was such a fixture being with me. Yup he was my buddy, and I was his buddy. It does not get any better than that for a guy and his dog.
So long good buddy, you were one special dog, and you will be missed, but not forgotten. So long old friend, until the day in the future that we meet again.
A few years back
The MN WF.C VFE hunt a few years back.
See his nose :mrgreen: --he loved the springtime adventures of installing/maintaining Woodie and Mallard nests.
In all his glory in MB 5 yrs ago.
A banded BWTeal that he retreived on the 2nd day of the season a few years ago.
And lastly, this past spring in ND on the day he did 12 blind retrieves.
The Audacity of Bull Crap.
"Typical: Gun-loving, bitter bible-thumping white person" Barack Obama.
Hey I resemble that comment!!! Those are FIGHTING WORDS!!!