For the last 6 weeks life has really been about a litter of 6 Brittany puppies but in the back of my mind there was another issue weighing heavy too. She sleeps most all day long, pants all night long, has little or no strength in her back legs as she often falls, is almost deaf, I’m sure due to the years of shotgun blasts above her and has had multiple accidents in the house which was absolutely unheard of until about a year ago. She also has multiple tumors a couple that have burst. By now you’ve no doubt guessed the dilemma – new lives with untold memories yet to make and an old timer who’s made more memories than I can remember. I also have the utmost respect for her knowing that a decision that’s mine to make will be more difficult than I have words to express! However, yes I’ve had to make them before too followed by tears flowing freely! As Fan Outdoors listeners you know about many of these adventures. But even with unlimited puppy excitement coupled with boundless energy I feel great excitement and tremendous sadness. It would be extremely easy to concentrate these thoughts on the pups alone as they wrestle and nap in front of me but my thoughts fall back to Tess, the miles we’ve traveled, the fields we’ve walked, birds flushed along with those found and retrieved (too many to remember individually) and of course the issues we’ve had, aka skunks! She found, flushed and retrieved the very first, and only prairie chicken I’ve ever seen much less shot on the National Grasslands of South Dakota. Together we canoed the Missouri River in Montana stopping on islands to roust and shoot pheasants, she’s tolerated me even when I’ve been much less than a good shot and shared my bed in a haunted hotel in Aberdeen. We’ve certainly had some grand adventures and she has been an important part of not only my life but the lives of my family too. Together we’ve said goodbye to her mother, Kate and sister Molly but even as we will also soon have to say goodbye our times together have added a great deal to my life and that is something treasured by me, Erik, Chad and Deb! Together we’ve welcomed Snap about 6 years ago and she too will feel a sadness because I’ve seen it before and am certain there’s a bond. The puppies know her only as a big Gold dog that hobbles by from time to time never having really met but that is as it must be.
It’s also kinda funny and a bit sad that with each new puppy that comes into our lives we know that at some point we will be saying goodbye although that part is initially never spoken aloud. As many of you know by now my life both personal and professional is about family and the outdoors with a major major part being my canine partners and until I leave this earth it will continue to be so.
So although this final decision has not yet been made it must be soon. I am procrastinating you know but more out of respect for my buddy than sadness or fear! But when that day arrives a new partner will join Snap and me as we continue to make memories afield until the last one is walked!
It’s been great, really it has and all I can say is “Thanks Tess you’re really one of the best I’ve had! Thanks too for tolerating me! You’ve been my shining star!”