Tuesday, April 20, 2010

On Dogs

Gerry says, in comments:
I've never much liked fuzzy little yappy dogs on ribbons. No animosity, mind you, just not much attraction, feeling more drawn to larger "Heinz 57" type mutts in the 30-50 lb range
I understand the feeling. I've never been drawn to little yappy dogs, either. Luckily, this one doesn't yap much. When he vocalizes, there's a problem.

I've been blessed with some good dogs over the years and none of them have been papered dogs. One good example was a dog named Buck. Buck was a beagle that I got as a pup from the pound. He had good conformation and sparkling eyes. I was in Kentucky at the time and wanted to put him in with the pack my wife's family kept. I asked the lady not to neuter him and she didn't. Buck became a first-rate jump dog and we killed something like 200 rabbits over him.

At that time, all the beagles in Central Louisiana were kin, having been interbred for many years. Bringing Buck in from Kentucky added new genes to the line and he produced some outstanding pups.

Another dog that was a really good dog was a blonde mutt we called Duke. My oldest son found him on the side of the road near our home. He was a drop-off and was plenty distressed when we found him. Duke lived with us for many years. He was a smallish dog, about 20 lbs, but he loved to tree squirrels and he hated possums with a passion. I think that Duke was a reprobate at heart. He loved to roll in road-kill, then come jump up in your lap. Or, he'd drag something home that he found and leave it on the front porch. Normally, the stuff he dragged home would give a buzzard the dry-heaves, but Duke was proud of his find.

Last, but not least was a cur dog named Cuz. Cuz came to us late in his life. A friend of mine had to make a job-related move and asked me to look after Cuz. I whistled him up, put him the truck and brought him home. I showed him his food bowl and he was happy. Cuz adopted the family readily. Shortly before we got Cuz, he was bitten my a water moccasion in his left eye. The eye filed with blood and turned red. When a light would hit that eye, it gleamed bright, bright red.

Catahoula Curs are big working dogs. I estimate that Cuz weighed about 70 lbs, all muscle and sinew. He was a good watch dog and when he growled, everybody paid attention. However, he was good with kids and never met a kid he didn't like.

If Cuz had one bad habit, it was his gas. When Cuz broke wind, he'd drive a vulture off of a gut wagon.

Cuz and Duke lived with us at the same time and the two developed a Mutt and Jeff routine. Cuz as a big ole dog and Duke was much smaller. Cuz would trail along after Duke when Duke was chasing possums at night. When I went out in the pasture with a flashlight to see what Duke was raising hell at, I could always see that red eye before I could see either of the dogs themselves.

I tell my wife that our current little dog will do, until a good dog comes along.


Melissa said...

Enjoyed the dog stories but you left Bullet out! That dog is legendary...

Paul said...

We just adopted a neighborhood stray fox terrier... she seems a really nice dog.