Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

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Max2
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Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by Max2 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:48 am

After Max cross's the bridge I claim I will be done with bird dogs. Problem I see is that Max and this game are the love of my life. Getting older and having a dog is no longer an inexpensive hobby. My plan is to raise birds for fun and tell friends they can run their dogs on my birds . I am hopping that is where I can get the enjoyment needed. Has anyone every tried to be dog-less ? How did it work out ? I have bigger fish to fry then just the expense but it is a part of it. The main reason for post was to ask the question of have you ever said that's it no more dogs ? What did you end up doing ? How did it work out ?

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Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by Gooseman07 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:54 am

I haven't experienced dog less life, yet. But I was wondering where abouts you live. I've got two bird dogs right now.

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NEhomer
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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by NEhomer » Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:36 am

After I had to put my Brittany down last fall I said no dogs for a while.

....then I bought a setter puppy!

Guess I'm not much help but good luck to ya~

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by NC Quailhunter » Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:37 am

I was dog less for the last couple of years until I got the dog I have now. It was no fun. I went with friends and their dogs but it just wasn't the same. There was a luster missing, if that makes sense to anyone but me. I found that I was not enjoying what is very important to me. I got the dog I have this last summer and this season was a blast. We hunted hard and had a lot of fun that was missing. That is my experience in a nut shell.
Hope it helps.

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by DougB » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:30 am

House gets awful quiet without dog feet hitting the floor. Nice to have someone happy to see you come home. Two days after Gunther died, wife said we needed a pup. Sky did well this year, and next year will be a joy.(Wife picks the name, I pick and hunt the dog)

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by DonF » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:37 am

When I lost Skipper, I went 6 mos without a dog. Probably the worst 6 month's of my life!

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NEhomer
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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by NEhomer » Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:00 am

One of life's toughest moments is after you lose your pup and you drop a small piece of food on the floor. You have to pick it up instead of just tapping your toe :cry:

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by Gordon Guy » Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:38 am

I thought about it ..once...

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by greg jacobs » Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:00 am

I use to keep two. Split at 5 or 6 years. Always had at least one dog in its prime. When the old one passed over I would get a new pup. Then we moved and didn't see the hunting buddies much. The kids were playing sports including summers. Spent so much time in the gym and on the fields that my hunting decreased. The dogs got old and passed. Didn't replace them. The kids were in college still playing sports when the last shorthair passed over. I figured my bird hunting was over. The kids got out of college. Got jobs and shorthair pups. Well I was back hunting with the boys and really enjoying it. One of the boys lost his dog. Impaled on a sharp stick in the woods at two years old. Devistated all of us. Went to search all the litters of shorthairs around and found a nice litter. My boy just wasn't ready for a new pup. I ended up with one instead. We all enjoy hunting with each other and alone with only our dogs. I want a second but am waiting for now.

All things are back as they should be.
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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by setterpoint » Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:56 pm

cant imagine life without a dog. I have four bird dogs now they keep me on my feet and out of the recliner

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by Cicada » Thu Mar 19, 2015 1:48 pm

Image

Who would I fish with if I had no dog buddy's.

Grant

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by Sharon » Thu Mar 19, 2015 1:55 pm

I'll always have a dog but once my 2 setters are gone ( 9 and 14) , I won't have any more bird dogs. Just not well enough to train a young dog again and hoof the hills and valleys.

edit : I'm very sure I will feel a great loss in not having a bird dog.
Last edited by Sharon on Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by Max2 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:16 pm

Gooseman07 wrote:I haven't experienced dog less life, yet. But I was wondering where abouts you live. I've got two bird dogs right now.
Neither have I . I will soon be 56 yrs young and have also had a dog in my life since birth. My only down time was the year between my first gun dog and Max who will be 8 yrs old on the 28 th. I have had to deal with the loss many times but this is the first time ever that I have declared that this was it. I live in central NY and there are some birds to be found upon occasion :wink: Again my question really isn't the why but rather has someone tried and been happy to some degree ?

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by oldbeek » Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:49 pm

I went from GSP to a Brittanys at 50. They are easier to keep and travel with. First few were a little slower than my GSP"s. My new Brittany runs like an all age dog ( out of Peter Gun line) and I am 73. She keeps me young.

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by RyanDoolittle » Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:55 pm

Ive always said give up the dog and ill be giving up the gun. Its nice to shoot birds over the dogs but having them gets me out and I love seeing them run.

My father and I have had this conversation over the past year as he is 50 with a 4 year old setter. He says this is his last dog and will just shoot over mine. However I believe 1 of 2 things is going to happen, 1 he will shoot over my dogs, or 2 He will hang up his gun for good. Unfortunately I believe it will be option 2. Having 2 dogs myself and being raised with a dog that always hunted for me I hate not having one of my dogs on the ground when hunting. I cant see him liking it much either.

When the time comes I will advise him to do the same thing I am about to tell you. Find a nice started dog, a field trial wash out if you dont want to go through a puppy.

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by nikegundog » Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:10 pm

When my lab was near the end of his life, my wife and I had a discussion and made the decision to go without a dog for a while, nothing to tie us down and we could go on extended vacations without any worries. I made it a month and a half.

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by Max2 » Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:22 am

nikegundog wrote:When my lab was near the end of his life, my wife and I had a discussion and made the decision to go without a dog for a while, nothing to tie us down and we could go on extended vacations without any worries. I made it a month and a half.
A very similar situation is what had me come up with this question. I ran into a friends wife the other day and she informed me they were considering a new pup. For the last 5yrs of their dogs life they were always saying "after she's gone no more" for the reasons you have listed. I myself have my own reasons for saying no more dogs. This is why I asked can it be done. I certainly would not hang up my gun as I love the uplands to much. I will say it would not be near the fun it could be with the pup. My question has been answered by each and everyone of you. This activity that has caught us by the scruff of our necks is an addiction :D

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by DonF » Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:19 am

The uplands without a dog is just outside!

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by RoostersMom » Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:06 am

Dogless?

Well, I truly believe (and live it) that you can do great things by fostering birddogs. Short term or long term commitment, only available for 2 months a year? A foster dog would welcome that time. Only have 3 weeks? To a birddog in an overcrowded rescue or shelter, this could be the time they need to save their life. You don't need to commit to keeping a dog for months at a time, sometimes you're only needed as the last-ditch effort.

Two examples:

Jack (who has now found his forever home guiding on a preserve and being loved by a family) - got him at 10 months old and kept him 4 months before I found him his perfect home with a previous co-worker. He's now steady to wing and hunts 6 days of the week during season and lives with a 10-year old boy and his family.

Lizzy, Boone, Chubbs, Scooter, and many, many others - I only kept them to prevent the needle because the shelter was overcrowded. Most I kept an average of 3 weeks while the shelter adopted out others and were able to rotate these guys back in there. Sometimes it's for something as little as kennel cough - the shelter is so full that any coughing dog is immediately put down - well, I can handle treating KC for a few weeks while the dog recovers and is "healthy" enough to be adopted.

Just saying here that you don't have to go totally cold-turkey on the dog deal, you can foster, save a life (well, technically, you're saving two lives - the foster you've taken in and the pup at the shelter that takes the foster's open space in the kennel), and not have a long-term commitment. I often will foster and tell them I'm only available for the month of June (or whatever). :D

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by Sharon » Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:01 pm

Now that's a thought. I'm going to remember that. Thanks.

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by GSP4ME » Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:15 pm

I'd be more likely to live a life apart from people than live a life not shared with at least one dog. Being new to this whole upland hunting thing, I can't say for sure that i'll always have a bird dog - though i must admit it has its hooks in me. But i cant imagine a time when I'm just done with dogs. Sure as one passes i may give it some time before I'm ready to open my heart back up, knowing the eventual heartbreak i'll feel when the years pass much too quickly for yet another best friend. But for me, a life without a dog, is no life at all. I love them and understand them better than any person I've ever met. Dogs kept me safe in a tumultuous childhood where i often sought companionship and shelter in dog house filled with cedar. They kept me alive as a depressed teen when not much about life seemed worth it but leaving them behind was never an option. They kept me going when a human relationship would fall apart. They helped me find the woman of my dreams. They kept her safe when i had to be away. And they keep me ever mindful that things are never quite as bad as they seem. Hardest days of my life have been losing those best friends. Best days of my life have been spent with them. Cant imagine that will ever change.
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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by ezzy333 » Fri Mar 20, 2015 3:05 pm

When you look at the bigger picture I think you will see there are two kinds of people, those who have a dog and those that don't. It has little to do with hunting even though that is our preferred activity with one. But after open heart surgery, I went for a year without one after having one from day one. I could handle that but missed it. What really told me I wanted another one is I no longer went hunting as the main purpose of going was enjoying the amazing things the dogs could do. But at seventy it seemed like the time to do it.

So I sit here now at almost 82, having both hips replaced, and two rather recent back surgeries and a dead nerve in my left leg which makes it hard to do a lot of walking and an 11 year old pup, and have those same thoughts. Knowing most of my hunting days are over but still having the desire to have one curled up at my feet, I just am not sure. I spend most of my time now working with kids, some my grandkids and some just kids who need some help, the dogs, my pigeons, and the rabbits of yester year are important tools to head kids in the right direction.

Yep, I can get along without one, but I don't want to, so as long as I want to do it for myself and can make myself do it for others I hope I have one by my side for a few years yet. And in the mean time I can help a couple of younger guys with their training businesses, and help a lot of kids to see how much the ownership, responsibility, and loving an animal as well as the great outdoors can mean in their lives I hope I won't ask that question again. I'll do it as long as I can and thank God for the chance and experience.

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by NEhomer » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:45 pm

What a terrific thread this turned out to be.

Remember that old saying that beer is proof that God loves us? Nope, it's dogs.

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by Max2 » Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:02 pm

For the record I do realize when we get them that they are not here forever. I am not a hard "bleep" and I do cry like a baby when I have to put them down & not ashamed to say it. If I ever got another dog I would love for it to be a pup. The whole package is just so much fun . Though for the next one wouldn't rule out a rescue or started dog . I do realize the computer twist may have changed the way some may have read into my question . It was simple cut & dry. Could you walk away ? Meaning = you said to yourself "that's it after this dog no more " but...... not long after saying this you were back at it . I love dogs and working with dogs but know one day it has to end.
Last edited by Max2 on Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by Sharon » Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:17 pm

Max2 wrote:For the record I do realize when we get them that they are not here forever. I am not a hard "bleep" and I do cry like a baby when I have to put them down & not ashamed to say it. If I ever got another dog I would love for it to be a pup. The whole package is just so much fun . Though for the next one wouldn't rule out a rescue or started dog . I do realize the computer twist may have changed the way some may have read into my question . It was simple cut & dry. Could you walk away ?
So you want a yes or no answer? The answer is " No."

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by BigJake » Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:24 pm

When I put my pointer down, I never thought I would get another dog. He was the best bird dog, and not only that he was so well mannered and just a true joy to be around. He truly was my best dog, I went a year after I lost him and finally couldn't take it anymore, so I got a puppy over 2 years ago and have another one coming in June. Jake will always be special to me, but my life is not the same without a dog in my world. I'm 51 and that was the first time in my life I have been without a dog. When it is my time to go, there will be a dog lying by my side. If I no longer can walk the trails to hunt, I will get one of those Trax chairs to get me out there. There are not many things finer than to watch a young pup you trained, go on point, and watch that dog do what it truly lives for. Just like a good dog, I feel a lot of our own natural instinct is to be a hunter, we are just not satisfied doing anything else.

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by ThreeBritts » Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:09 pm

I actually had the same line of thought as yourself with my two Britts. Once they were gone, that would be it for me.

After loving two dogs probably more than a fella should, or at least admit to in mixed company(and by "mixed" I mean, non-dog lovers), I just wondered if I could love another animal as much as I do them. And then of course, do I really want to put myself yet again, through the gut wrenching heartache that we all know we will face in the end??

And so there I was in Kansas a year or two ago with my older girl at 11 and the younger one at 7 watching them just hunt their hearts out for me, blood coming from their scabbed-up noses and eyes from over a week of running through the Prairie grass and Plum thickets. That is when it really hit me. Do I really want to give this up?

Even aside from the hunting aspect, all the other benefits of them owning us. Just how much would I miss them staring at the cupboard where the treats are? Or watching a dog smart enough to push the kitchen chair over by the window so she can get up on it and watch for invading Squirrels? Or always ordering a steak with a bone in it so I can take a "doggy bag" home for the girls. Heck...just them greeting you when you get home as if you were the best thing ever on two legs. And of course the crazy things they do when they are dreaming. :)

These things I don't think I want to live without and trumps any future pain that is involved.

I think it was someone silly like Dr. Seuss who said, "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened". And that's where I'm at now, and you can tell by my handle on this forum I got #3. She's young and green and needs my help. But, I need her even more.

Another saying is, "A friend is a present you give yourself." What better friend than a dog......

I'm sorry I didn't answer your question. With a little luck, I will never know the answer.

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by doco » Sat Mar 21, 2015 6:26 am

When I lost my first shorthair, I didn't want another either. No mess, no cleaning poop, no rushing home, etc. It was kind of nice. 3 years later I bought another. Now 8 years later I'm up to 6 GSP's and trialing. IF and when you get another, you forget the pain from losing the last one. I did not think that was possible, but it is. My love is training and working the dogs. If I don't shoot another bird, so well. If I don't make another trial, so be it. I want to be outside working bird dogs until the box closes. If you have grounds and birds, you're two thirds of the way there. If you need time, take it. But, if you love bird dogs and the outside, get another when you're ready. I would rather go birdless than dogless anyday!

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by doco » Sat Mar 21, 2015 6:51 am

Sorry NEhomer,

God must love me a little more. He gave me have both at the same time.


Image

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by NEhomer » Sat Mar 21, 2015 7:04 am

Lol!

...oh I have both as well but if I had to choose :mrgreen:

Man, if you had a brace of dogs on the other side of that vehicle, you wouldn't need to start it up!

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by doco » Sat Mar 21, 2015 7:18 am

WE do! We road 12 @ time. GSP's & Setters! 12 beers that is, it's a 4 seater! Weather and time permitting, 8-10miles/day, 1-3 days/week, 52 weeks/yr! :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by gonehuntin' » Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:21 am

I'll be 70 this year and my dog is 10. Hopefully, I'll get another 4-5 years out of her. That'll be enough for me. I had a pup ordered for this spring and cancelled it. I don't want to die and have a dog left behind that I don't know what will happen to. I'm going to spend my time fly fishing and remembering the great ones I've had. October and November will be tough on me; not sure how I'll handle that. 60 years of having bird dogs is a long time.

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by x Bred Pointer » Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:16 pm

Gonehuntin, I just know you from your on-line persona but you'd be the last person I thought I would hear that from. I can't see me ever being without some kind of bird dog.

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by ThreeBritts » Sat Mar 21, 2015 4:39 pm

gonehuntin' wrote:I'll be 70 this year and my dog is 10. Hopefully, I'll get another 4-5 years out of her. That'll be enough for me. I had a pup ordered for this spring and cancelled it. I don't want to die and have a dog left behind that I don't know what will happen to. I'm going to spend my time fly fishing and remembering the great ones I've had. October and November will be tough on me; not sure how I'll handle that. 60 years of having bird dogs is a long time.
I'll bet you a fifth of Bourbon you make it past 85.............

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by NEhomer » Sat Mar 21, 2015 4:58 pm

When my mom passed in '04 we inherited her 2yr old yorkie. Never would have bought a york but he's been a sweet little guy and he remains a reminder of her. So that's another spin on the whole thing even if a dog does outlast someone. It can't be too hard to find a good home for a beautiful, trained and obedient bird dog where the new owner will appreciate you and think of you from time to time when he hunts with it.

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by ckirsch » Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:36 pm

I find myself trying to decide if it's time to get out of the bird dog game. I put down my seven-year-old pointer today after he apparently picked up a nasty infection from a bad barb wire cut a week ago. Vet tried high doses of antibiotics and IV, but to no avail. Ended his suffering this morning. He was born to find birds, but his biggest priority was to please the boss. I'll have a heck of a time replacing him.

Trying to decide if I should start over again, but am thinking I should take a break for a while. We'll see how long that lasts.

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by birddog1968 » Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:46 pm

So sorry to hear that Craig. Thoughts are with you and your family.

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by Max2 » Sun Mar 22, 2015 6:02 am

CKirsch sorry for your loss.


doco wrote:When I lost my first shorthair, I didn't want another either. No mess, no cleaning poop, no rushing home, etc. It was kind of nice. 3 years later I bought another. Now 8 years later I'm up to 6 GSP's and trialing. IF and when you get another, you forget the pain from losing the last one. I did not think that was possible, but it is. My love is training and working the dogs. If I don't shoot another bird, so well. If I don't make another trial, so be it. I want to be outside working bird dogs until the box closes. If you have grounds and birds, you're two thirds of the way there. If you need time, take it. But, if you love bird dogs and the outside, get another when you're ready. I would rather go birdless than dogless anyday!
You have great outlook .

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by ThreeBritts » Mon Mar 23, 2015 7:27 pm

So sorry to hear that Mr. Kirsch.

So darned hard to lose them when they get old let alone in their prime.

Again, so sorry

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by ckirsch » Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:05 pm

Thanks, all of you, for the kind words. I've had to put plenty of dogs down over the years, but this one really got to me, to the point that I'm not sure I really want to sign up to go through it all again with another dog. I'm hoping that wears off pretty quickly, and I'll get my enthusiasm back. My youngest daughter is ten and wants to run a dog in tests, so that provides some motivation. Just worried that I'll be hard to satisfy with the next pup, given how well the last one performed, and what a great companion he was.

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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by NEhomer » Tue Mar 24, 2015 3:41 am

Really sorry to hear of your loss. It just seems so bizarre that an infection could take the dog down so quickly.

Hopefully, your daughter helps you to keep perspective and also hopefully, you'll post pics of your new pup here when you're ready.

My heart goes out to you bud~

ckirsch
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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by ckirsch » Tue Mar 24, 2015 9:13 am

The only thing the vet was positive about was liver failure. He suspected an infection as the dog ran through a fence a week earlier and sliced his chest open about six inches long. I didn't notice the cut right away, and he ran around for another three hours, swimming in stock dams, etc, where he could have picked up some type of bacteria. When I did discover the cut after getting home that night, it was just the outer layer of skin that had been cut, so it didn't appear to be that serious. It was late on a Saturday night, so my daughter, who is an RN, helped me clean and disinfect the wound thoroughly before we stitched him up. (Laid the dog on his back on the tailgate of my truck, told him "whoa", and he never moved for the fifteen minutes we worked on him.) Seemed a little sluggish on Sunday, so the vet started him on an antibiotic Monday morning just in case. He started shaking a day later and went off his food. X-rays and blood tests didn't show anything other than the liver problems. The sutured area was not infected - they drew fluid from it to check and nothing showed up. I suppose it could also have been cancer, but whatever the reason, the vet told me that given the liver situation, he was not optimistic that we'd get the dog to rebound, and he was swollen up almost beyond recognition, so I did what I felt was the right thing and put him out of his misery.

Seems like it's usually the good ones that go early.

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NEhomer
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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by NEhomer » Tue Mar 24, 2015 3:20 pm

Well that's rough.

I lost my first Britt at 5yrs due to some unknown brain disease. We donated her remains to Tuft's University to study. Again, a whole lotta suck.

Good luck as you move forward.

Ouzel
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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by Ouzel » Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:57 pm

Ckirch, that's a really sad story. Having a daughter interested in dogs will probably help you get another.

This thread got me to thinking about how we miss our dogs, but I think they may miss us even more. A number of years ago when my dad died of pancreatic cancer his favorite dog was up on the bed next to him pretty much continually. After Dad died my mom kept Buck, and about five years later she brought down a bunch of Dad's hunting clothes from the attic to launder them and threw them in a pile on the floor. Buck got on those clothes and cried and wouldn't get off.

ThreeBritts
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Re: Bird Dog's anyone ever try to get out of this game ?

Post by ThreeBritts » Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:33 pm

And there are still people who believe dogs don't have feelings, that we project our human feelings onto the dogs.

Yeah, ok. 5 years later and the dog just makes this up by chance.

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