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German Shorthaired Pointer

Author: OriginalServices.com
Posted: April 10, 2010 @ 10:41 am GMT
Views: 802

Gunner was my Dad's best hunting dog. He always bragged about how Gunner could retrieve anything that he could shoot and how it didn't matter if it was fowl or fur, or whether it landed in the bush or in the water. Gunner was fearless, determined and rugged. He had more stamina than all of the other dogs put together. At least, that was dad's story.

Well, when we lost Dad I ended up with Gunner. I am nowhere near the hunter that my Dad was. Yes, I'm missing the skills, but truth is, I just don't have the passion for it that Dad did. I wondered how my shortcoming would affect Gunner and his need to work. I probably get out and hunt less than half as much as Dad did. Still, Gunner is ready and is as sharp as ever. His mental awareness in the field and his eagerness to succeed is as strong and focused as if he hunts every day. He never has failed to retrieve the game, ever. I see other dogs come back 'empty handed' but not Gunner.

Dad used to say that if Gunner couldn't find the bird or animal Dad had shot, then Gunner would go and find another one somehow, but he wouldn't come back until he had something to bring back. I thought Dad was just bragging on his dog. But last spring we were out and I thought I had, for sure, bagged a pheasant. I watched it fall in some very dense reeds bordering a thicket of berry bushes near the water's edge. Gunner took off to retrieve it but didn't return immediately. I began calling him after about 15 minutes; no Gunner. After nearly an hour with me calling him throughout, he did finally come, mouth full, cradling....a duck! I could see by the mud up to his knees that he had tried to find the pheasant I'd shot but never did. I don't know how he caught that duck, but he wasn't willing to come back empty handed!

Dad was right. Gunner wouldn't come back to me without a bird, some bird, any bird, even if he couldn't find my bird. How he got the duck I can only guess since there were no gunshot wounds and it was a recent kill. Gunner is truly an inspiration. His determination to succeed and to please has never waned.

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