Toby will have been with me for 15 years in February. He is very old, his hips are crippled with arthritis, and he doesn't hear very well. But I remember brighter days when he ran along the breaks of the Grande Ronde River and deftly pointed and handled chukars, Huns, and blue grouse.
Toby has been retired for five seasons now. His pedigree is patchwork of great dogs and dogs you never heard of, but he has a nose, intelligence and a great love of hunting. I wish I could keep him forever, but he is near his end. But it is because of him that I have other setters - younger dogs that I hope will be as good, and that will carry his memory for me long after he is gone.