Deep snow

This winter’s snowfall has already broken records, caused buildings and onion storage warehouses to collapse, and severely hampered firefighters at a potato warehouse fire. Our dogs have never experienced snow like this and while they love it, it’s also a struggle.

The neighbor's dog, Oso, joins the guys for a run in the snow

The neighbor’s dog, Oso, joins the guys for a run in the snow

I’ve been letting them run in the pasture and even a short run wears them out. Although Dakota requires a Rimadyl after these runs, it would hurt her more to be left inside. This winter has been tough on her and even though she sleeps in our bedroom, there’s times when we’ve had to put a heating pad on her dog bed.

Mia and Doc race along the path I cut with the snow blower

Mia and Doc race along the path I cut with the snow blower

Advertisements

Privacy warning

I’m going to deviate from my bird dog posts to warn everyone about a web site that may publish more of your personal information than you want anyone to know. The web site is www.familytreenow.com and anyone can conduct a search on you, and you’ll never be notified.

The following may not be a complete list, but here is the type of information that anyone can find on you:
Criminal records
Licenses
Complete address history
All phone numbers you’ve had
Birth records
Court records
Mug shots
Contact information
Sex offenses
Speeding tickets
Online activities
Felonies
Misdemeanors
Personal information
Related persons (including boy friends, girl friends, significant others, etc.)

You can opt out of this web site, but it’s not apparent and takes 48 hours to go into effect. All this information about you still exists and is still available, but not as easily obtainable. There are online instructions on how to opt out of this web site.

Rescue update

I thought I’d post an update on the Lab pup that I rescued a couple of weeks ago, after seeing her featured in the Humane Society segment of the local news. She’s been renamed Shae, and has come a long way from the terrified pup I found hiding under that cedar tree

Shae
Shae is about a year old and had a litter of puppies 3-4 months ago. As we suspected, she was probably abused but is recovering nicely. Shae has a great personality, is very friendly, and has quickly made friends with everyone who has worked with her.

Animal Control
During her stay at the animal shelter, Shae spent her days in the office socializing with people, and went home each night with the officer whom I released her to. After seven days without being claimed, Shae was sent to a no-kill animal shelter, which recently expanded and takes animals from the smaller surrounding communities.

Shae was “red tagged” as they call it, which means that before anything is done to her, the shelter needs approval from the officer who turned her in. A background check is also conducted on those wanting to adopt animals to make sure they go to good homes.

Dogs that are kenneled for long periods of time become “kennel crazy” and to alleviate this, officers or volunteers will foster them for several weeks before returning them to the shelter or humane society.

The Puppy’s Puppy
Two days after I turned Shae over to Animal Control, someone reported seeing a stray Black Lab pup and shepherd, together in roughly the same area where I found Shae. The dogs were picked up by Animal Control, and the owner of the shepherd claimed his dog but knew nothing about the Lab pup, who is about 3 months old. Shae seemed to recognize the pup so it’s very likely that he is from her litter.

Shae has had several people inquire about her so there is no doubt that she will soon be adopted.

Docs duck search

Since Doc didn’t get a fair chance to hunt on Friday, I took him again on Saturday. We first had to drop the rescued Lab off with the local Animal Control officer but I felt good about it: first, the officer has Labs and hunts with them so she knows the breed; second, they will keep her for a week and if not claimed, will send her to either a foster family or no-kill animal shelter.

A popular hunting spot on Saturdays

A popular hunting spot on Saturdays

The Rescued Lab

As we suspected, she is about a year old and has already had one litter of puppies. The poor girl is a mental wreck and terrified of everything so it’s our guess that she was either abused or traumatized by her ordeal. It was also possible that she was dumped rather than lost.

Doc is naturally camouflaged in the snow and grass

Doc is naturally camouflaged in the snow and grass

Waiting for Geese

Literally thousands of geese were in the air but not many coming over the bluffs where I set up. We waited for over an hour and I got one shot, but the goose was a little out of range. So as we did the day before, went down the river to hunt ducks.

Doc in the river

Doc in the river

The Porcupine

Doc gave me a real scare when I saw him with his nose about a foot from the butt-end of a porcupine. Thankfully I was able to call him away, and the porcupine waddled down the hill, comically tripping and rolling as he went.

The river is far more dangerous than it appears

The river is far more dangerous than it appears

We hunted the river and I missed two shots on ducks we flushed, then climbed out of the canyon only to find the duck blinds still occupied. Some flights were headed our way so I “Whoa’d” Doc and hunkered down so as not to be seen and maybe get a shot myself.

Doc retrieves the duck he found

Doc retrieves the duck he found

Doc’s Duck Search

A group of four ducks came overhead and the hunters in a nearby blind dropped two of them. After visiting with them for a few minutes, I asked if they had found both of the birds since they didn’t have a dog. The lady who had knocked down of the ducks was still out searching for it, so I offered Doc’s services.

We searched awhile and when she finally gave up looking for it, I took Doc much farther downwind than where she had marked it’ fall. It didn’t take Doc long before he caught the bird’s scent and worked his way up the scent cone for about 25 yards where he found the duck.

After a short chase through the sage brush, Doc caught it and made a perfect retrieve. I called the lady over and delivered her bird, and we left with a bunch of hunters duly impressed with Doc’s abilities.

Rescue mission

Doc and I went waterfowl hunting Friday, Dec. 30 and while we didn’t come home with any birds, we did come home with an extra dog.

Doc in his neoprene hunting vest

Doc in his neoprene hunting vest

Starting Out:

The temperature was well below zero when we left home but had warmed up to 6 degrees above zero but the time we arrived well after sunup. The wind chill was officially -8 degrees so I applied Musher’s Secret to Doc’s nose and paws, and dressed him in a neoprene vest.

Most of the flights had already left for the fields so I eventually decided to hunt along the river for diving ducks.

Doc responds to the cold by rolling in snow

Doc responds to the cold by rolling in snow

Down the River

I was stalking a flock of geese sitting on the shoreline when we passed a large Juniper – or cedar – tree. A dog began barking at us from under the tree and when nobody quieted her, I realized she was alone. My next thought was that she was a hound that had treed something.

The Lab under the tree where it spent a night or more in sub-zero temperatures

The Lab under the tree where it spent a night or more in sub-zero temperatures

The Rescue

When I realized that she was a bird dog, the hunting trip turned into a rescue. It took about half-an-hour of coaxing, during which time she kept up a continuous barking and snarling. To his credit, Doc sat patiently waiting. I tried various words and commands until I found what she responded to, then repeated it until I was able to gain enough trust to take her leash.

Doc and the rescue. She wouldn't leave my side the entire trip back to the truck.

Doc and the rescue. She wouldn’t leave my side the entire trip back to the truck.

By the time we returned to the truck, all of the other hunters had left for the day so I called the Sheriff’s department who put me in contact with Animal Control.

Another hunter contacted me thinking it was his dog, but unfortunately not, so there’s another lost Lab in the area.

Elvis and the rescue play. She snapped at Doc and Mia so we kept a close eye on her.

Elvis and the rescue play. She snapped at Doc and Mia so we kept a close eye on her.