Misty, my hunting companion since 1998 passed away today and will be missed more than I care to imagine. Every morning since the end of last season we have been counting down to opening day. She has started her season early this year and has joined the many fine gentlemen and bird dogs I encountered through the years. It's going to be a very difficult season in the Pennsylvania mountains and fields without her.
I have been very lucky to have shared a passion with this fine friend. I have my faults but she was poetry in the field. She always looked past my weaknesses and followed up when I failed. I can say now that I fully understand those that say a man only has one great gun dog in his life. I still remember all of my other friends but none can compare to the one I lost today.
I just joined the 16 gauge society and I hope to meet up with some of you in the future. Please share that extra minute with your favorite hunting companion today in honor of Misty or that special gun dog in your life!
Sorry about your loss harduck, I lost my favorite hunting companion "Rusty" a great springer in the prime of his life due to a reckless bus driver! We chased many pheasants together, getting most but missing a few also.
I never could replace him, He knew more about pheasants than I did!
I am with my greatest bird dog I have ever owned. I don't know how I am going to handle her passing. I really feel for you. All I can hope for is that as the pain subsides your memories will grow fonder.
Joined: 21 Jul 2005
Location: Somerset County, NJ
My condolences on the loss of your friend.
My wife and I have been nursing one of my Setters back from a bout with Lyme Disease and Lepto-Spirosis. Back in June, I was almost at the point of having to put him down at 7 years of age, but he made a strong comeback over the past 8 weeks and the crisis has passed. I don't claim to be a religious man, but he's the only dog that I ever prayed for. Hopefully, he'll live a long life and I will not have to face the decision for a while. My only thoughts during his time of crisis were that I hope he'd be in the next world waiting for me when I got there. I hope Misty will be there waiting for you.
reminds all of us of those friends we have lost.
The sadden will pass but the ache still lingers.
Here is something to look forward for:
Copyied fron the Warren Ekstien website, author unknown...
THE RAINBOW BRIDGE
There is a bridge connecting Heaven and Earth. It is called the Rainbow Bridge because of its many colors.
Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge there is a land of meadows, hills and valleys with lush green grass. When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this place.
There is always food and water and warm spring weather. The old and frail animals are young again. Those who are maimed are made whole again. They play all day with each other.
There is only one thing missing. They are not with their special person who loved them on Earth.
So, each day they run and play until the day comes when, one suddenly stops playing and looks up! The nose twitches! The ears are up! The eyes are staring! And this one suddenly runs from the group!
You have been seen, and when you and your special friend meet, you take him or her in your arms and embrace,
Your face is kissed again and again and again, and you look once more into the eyes of your trusting pet.
Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together, never again to be separated...
Joined: 12 Mar 2005
Harduck, my words fall far short of my sympathies for you and yours. My old Heidi dog might have a year or two left if we are lucky. However, at 13+, her serious hunting days are over.
We still ramble the fields for short jaunts and play an easy game of frizbee now and then. She still loves to stalk and point gasshoppers and butterflies in the summer when birds are scarce as she has always done. I've always allowed her this and joined in her fun backing her and pretending to shoot them when they flush. It is our special time and a constant source of humor and delight for all my hunting friends who have witnessed the game. It has helped keep her spirit young and her hunting desire high. Mine too.
She is as loving, trusting, and affectionate as ever. Her docked tail is always up and revving. In her mind, nothing has changed. She is as young and eager as ever. Ready to hunt and to please.
It breaks my heart to have to limit her activities. However, I know it is for the best. Medication, diet, and supplements can only do so much. Her back legs and hips are shot, and she suffers way too much from any long strenous activity. So after each short session, we sit in the sun, her head in my lap. We wait. I will wait with her 'til hell freezes over if I have to. I owe her more than I can ever repay.
I eyes get moist and my voice catches everytime I view the future. They are that way now for you and I. If God and heaven exist and he is all knowing as claimed, then he had better make room for dogs there. If not, then I won't want any part of it, for that would be my hell and he knows it.
Harduck, find another four legged buddy. Love your dog as he or she loves you for as long as you both have. If there is no heaven, then at least you will have had the next best thing, cause here on earth, it don't get any better than that for our kind.
Thanks to all for your kind and thoughtful comments. Very few people understand how most of us feel about our bird dogs and how they feel about us. The bond that we form on those crisp fall and winter days is very special.
I shared my thougths with you because I knew you would understand, especially those of us who appreciate the value of a 16 gauge over the "modern" gauges. I've reflected upon the great times Misty and I have shared and am glad to say I wouldn't have changed anything. A fine way to live your life.
I can see many of you are as lucky as I am. Thanks again!
Midnight passed away on June 5, 2003. I had to have her put asleep after too many wonderful years together. My wife and kids will tell you that the toughest thing they ever witnessed was me wrapping her in a blanket, laying her beside me, and digging her grave, all the while with tears rolling down my face.
Weeks after her passing, I remember my parents visiting me. My dad stated that "youre hurting". All I could do was nod and say "bad". He told me that all the hurt could be avoided, but at the sacrifice of the memories. My mom handed me a copy of the "Rainbow Bridge". Thanks JRoth.
I will continue to live with the hurt and forever cherish the memories.
There is a special love between a man and his once in a lifetime gun dog. Several of us know this all too well.
Yes she was way too young. Cancer is a terrible disease for humans and for animals and this was my first experience with it. I have participated in some fundraisers in the past and now that I have experienced it's devistating impact first hand will become far more active in doing what I can do.
On a brighter note, I too own a Parker Trojan. Mine was produced in 1918 but unfortunately it is a 12. I would love to pick up a 16 and am always looking. I actually prefer the low grade guns because I prefer field guns to closet queens and will not put anything on the shelf. Until I find one I'll stick to using my 16 gauge Browning Citori and Sweet 16 in the field.
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