Thanks to everyone :wink:, Nettie & I are truly blessed we had a great pup for 13 years as DrMike stated they give you all they have and ask for so little in return .
We are not sure at our age if we have the heart to lose many more!!
Gosh I love hunting over dogs. Lets see, like Dr. Mike I used to coon hunt back in College:
Blueticks, Redbones, Walkers, Black and Tans, and Curs. There is not a better sound on a still night than the long locate followed by the constant bark of being hot on the trail, then the chop of the tree.
Rabbits over Beagles was a Saturday afternoon favorite after the deer tags were filled. I had three beagles at one time. One was a lemon beagle and he was so good that we used to hunt with .22's. He would work that bunny in a huge circle and you could post up and shoot the bunny as it came slowly hopping back towards it's place of jumping.
And then there was Buck... I purchased him in the spring of 1998. His Daddy is/was Riks Risky Raider out of Cashmans Kennels. Raider is one of the most decorated pointing labs ever. Featured in numerous Federal ammo ads, US Open Pheasant Champ in 2001, and more awards than you can hold in the back of a truck. Buck was phenomenal. I trained him myself having just came off a long term relationship, I poured my heart and soul into him. Fully whistle and hand trained by 6 months of age and pointing birds at 8 months. He held point forever. I trained him to sit on the flush. He sat in the front of the duck boat for hours in freezing temps on Sandusky bay off Lake Erie as we decoyed ducks. Laid next to field blinds as we shot geese in September. Doves were no match for Buck. I was truly spoiled with him being my first bird dog. No other dog will ever compare.
You could have a steak sitting on the floor next to him and tell him to stay and he wouldn't move even if you left the house. He was just awesome.
I miss him dearly and at 9 years of age he developed bladder cancer and had to be put down. My wife was 8 months pregnant with our oldest and as the vet administered the fatal dose we were laying on the ground with Buck crying our hearts out. He sits on our mantel today.
Pretty much since I was old enough to handle a gun and dog myself. Rabbit dogs, coon dogs, squirrel dogs, and a few bird dogs. A lot of good ones, a lot of frustrating ones, and blessed with a few outstanding ones over the yrs. Down to just 2 now.
Again thank you all for the kind words . Our other lab is lost right now as she keeps looking around the house for her buddy, even when it is feeding time she leaves her food bowl and goes for a little look for Colt .
My youngest grandson came over yesterday and he said that he knows that Colt went to be with his Maxx and they are running and swimming together .
While I never had a "hunting dog", I had a dog that hunted...for herself!
As a kid, We had a few dogs, a black lab and a german shepard, of which neither lasted very long (one dwent missing and the other hit by a car). Then we got a Norwegian Elkhound, that we had for years.
She was a great dog, and went fishing with me whenever I went out alone, or when I used to hike to the other end of the small country village we lived in to get milk. She kept the bears away, as I was 8-10 at the time and not allowed to carry the rifle by myself yet. She attacked a bear and ran it off after it got too close to me on one of my milk runs when I was about 9. Elsa would obey either voice commands or hand signals. Great guard dog too. Always kept the bears, wolves or coyotes off the property and away from the livestock. She would only growl ift Hey were at the property line, but would chase them out as soon as they crossed the line. She was always catching mice and other rodents in the hayfield, and always brought home ground squirrels or ground hogs. The poor killdeer didn't have a chance with her either, as she would act like she was just passing them by as they performed their wounded wing trick, and then in a bound, she would have them! Saw her leap as far as 20' sideways to catch them! Took awhile to get her to understand that birds were off limits, but she learned to leave them alone, but there were a few birds that paid the price first. Her one other habit that did not earn her any reward was rolling in fresh bear scat to disguise her scent! This she did mostly when she was on bear watch while we were out berry picking. We would smell the bear and call her close, only to find it was her we were smelling, and then we would have to send her away! This always resulted in a stop at the closest river or lake on the way home so she could go swimming and get cleaned up.
I had a husky-akita cross a number of years ago, but always felt bad for having to keep a dog tied up in town.
Susan also had a elkhound as a kid, and loves the breed as well. Her last dog was an Anotolian Shepard cross, and was an excellent guard dog and good with the livestock.
We would like to get another dog, but are waiting until we are home more often than we are now. Either an elkhound or an akita.
My take getting a dog is a crap shoot. If you came from a large family you had the smart one, the troubled one, the goofy one,and yes the not so bright one. Dogs are no different in a litter as you never know what your going to get breeds matter but getting a great one is luck.
Being from Iowa caucuses here are two breeds I would buy GSP or Brittnay Spanial and I lean to GSP because of less work to keep clean with short hair.
I have also had the opportunity to hunt behind many breeds in the uplands, as a Pilot I have flown to IL,KS,NE,SD,MN to hunt birds with customers and hunt with Guides dogs of all breeds and I will tell you some were good and some were just dumb and some were just not very good.
I have also hunted with some farm dog muts that were better than some peoples pure bread dogs.
Good luck with your Dogs and Yes when I retire I plan on picking up another Dog.
Dogs are a gift from heaven.
Boy, I've known some mutts that were unbelievable hunters, depended who they were hunting for. Had a buddy in grade school. Best guess the dog was poodle, beagle, lab and pointer cross. If you shot a fence post or a tree at 100 yards that dog would find the bullet hole. Completely undisciplined however. The few times we took him pheasant hunting he found birds but ate the ones we shot.