Well my Christmas season got off on a bit of a down note. This morning my 15 year-old German Shorthair Pointer, Addie, could no longer stand or walk so I took her to be euthanized. I felt like a candy-ass getting all choked up as I dropped her off. Still, she’s been a loyal companion and faithful hunting partner for over a third of my life. It was sad to leave her with the vet but sadder seeing that once proud athlete reduced to a quivering lump on the floor.
Addie never really showed pain when she was hurt so I don’t know if she was suffering too badly or not. I think I let her go the right amount of time. She was too old to hunt this season but got to ride along and hang with the other dogs. I’ll really miss her in September when dove season rolls around. Then again when quail season opens. And one last time during duck season. Addie was truly versatile hunting dog. She put up with a load of shit from a first-time bird dog trainer/owner. She was a good dog.
Rather than wallowing in the present, I’ve been remembering some of the memorable trips we made together. Her first hunt when she saw another hunter shoot a bird about 300 yards away, jumped out of the bed of the pickup where we were riding, beat the hunter to the bird, brought the bird back then jumped over the bed rails back into the pickup to hand me the dove. Her first quail hunt, watching her slam to a halt on point and stay frozen like a statue until I shot and a bird fell. The time we kicked up a bedded-down deer, which she proceeded to chase down and tackle (I don’t think she ever forgave me for not shooting that doe…). Shivering together in a duck blind – me from the cold and her from anticipating the next shot. Watching her quarter away for twenty or thirty miles in a day until she could hardly stand to eat, then ready to go again in the morning.
Oh, and the time she supposedly snatched a brisket off the smoker and ate half of it. To this day I still believe it was my buddy Brock who got into the brisket and threw the rest on the ground to frame the dog, but the only witnesses were after the fact. The barn cats were supposedly fearless when it came to food too. Addie got a bum wrap. Brock called her “Brisket” the rest of her life. Me thinks he doth protest too much.
Damn I’m going to miss that bitch. I plan to start looking for another German Shorthair after the first of the year but I’ll never forget my first. So long Addie, you were a good girl.