Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Goodbye and (maybe) hello

Last week I had to put one of my older setters down. A simple bowel obstruction, upon closer examination, led to a sarcoma on the spleen and a unhealthy looking node on a testicle. Rather than put him through a bowel resection, spleen removal and castration with a very dubious prognosis for short term survival, I elected to let him go. This is not easy. Every time I do this it seems that the grief is compounded by the dogs that went before. Benny was a really sweet little maniac. So desperate for birds that I could never trust him completely, and eventually quit hunting him. He was my wife's pet and favorite.

So next week I am making a trek to North Dakota to the summer camp of a well known trainer to evaluate three young puppies. I expect that I will come home with one, if they are like the others I have seen from this breeding. I will have a young dog to develop, and I am excited about the prospect of taking the youngster on my fall bird safari. 

On the way home from North Dakota, I will stop in Circle, Montana to ride braces at the Montana Open Shooting Dog Championship and meet both old friends and some people that I have only known previously through phone conversations and exchanges of e-mail. 

Pictures of puppies, dogs, and field trial to follow.


Silk Line River Horse said...

You are so right on when you say the loss of each dog is compounded by those before them. I'm really sorry about your loss. I had to put two of my dogs down this year, eight and ten years of age. Both developed different kinds of cancer. Both were quite unexpected and had spread into other parts of their bodies. The tough part, only three months apart. Their loss has left quite a hole in my heart.

I bought a new puppy this Spring as I'm generally never without paws around the house. He's been great and has helped me through the loss of my other dogs. Every time I look at him I think of my two veterans and reflect back on all the wonderful seasons we had together.

Craig Peters Rising Sun, MD 443-206-1091 said...

That stinks Mike! I shutter thinking of those days that inevitably come. Have a good time in ND-MT. Tell Ted to make a wild cast over hill and dale and pin a clutch of chickens for Benny.

Karen Thomason/Gordon Setter Crossing said...

Cancer is a wicked disease. I too just lost my beloved Gordon Setter, "Happy". It was horrible and heartbreaking. Sorry for your loss.

Andrew Campbell said...

Mike: sorry to hear of your loss. I'm glad that you'll be able to remember him in the company of other good dog folks.

all best

Mark Coleman said...

I've always felt that when you lose a dog it's because another one somewhere needs a good home. Can't wait to see pics of the pup.

Jon Uhart said...

Damn Mike, that's tough. Last fall a good friend lost his prized pointer to a bowel obstruction. I'll have a drink tonight for Benny, you and your wife.

Mike Spies said...

Thank you all for your kind words of sympathy. Every dog owner goes through this, and I think they all feel the sense of loss, and wonder what they might have done differently.

Dale Hernden said...

So sorry to hear about Benny. Irregardless of age, its always hard to lose one that you've loved.

How's Ted doing? Is he still with Mo?

Have fun with the pups

Dale Hernden said...

Sorry, I meant Tommy.