Barbara Baird is a freelance writer in outdoor and travel markets. A former small-town newspaper editor and reporter, she constantly hunts for news headlines you need to read. Barbara also publishes Women’s Outdoor News online and pens columns for the National Wild Turkey Federation and Shooting Sports USA. Hailing from the Ozarks of Missouri, this avid hunter is now mentoring the second generation of hunters - her own little bevy of Realtree-wearing grandchildren.
The dog days of … March
March seems like the longest month of the year to me, for lots of reasons other than 31 days. It’s that time between the seasons. Trapping and hunting is kaput and we wait for turkeys to mate and squirrels to become fashionable (i.e., in season) again.
Along with St. Pat’s Day, March also touts bizarre holidays, such as National “Pig Day,” “If Pets Had Thumbs Day" and “Multiple Personality Day.”
Just recently, my pal JR Absher at HuntingClub.com mentioned that it had been 75 years this month since Jim the Wonder Dog died. If you don’t know the story about Jim, the Llewellyn English Setter from Marshall, Mo., it’s worth reading JR’s little bio about this dog that hunted with Sam Van Arsdale and retrieved thousands of birds at hunts across the country.
JR writes that Jim also could locate cars by make, color, license number and state of origin and identify several types of trees in the woods. Jim also predicted seven consecutive Kentucky Derby winners and appeared before a joint session of our state legislature to “show off” his amazing Morse Code and short hand abilities.
I realize two things from this little news ditty. First, that the legislature – made up of humans – hasn’t changed much. When it schedules time to be entertained by a dog, well, maybe they should just go home or arrange for that to occur elsewhere.
And, second, that some dogs are special.
We just took our dog, part-English Setter from the local pound, on her last walk into the woods last week. Lucy was no Jim. I am the only one who will write about her, but she made an indelible mark on our family’s hearts. She did pick blackberries, but never shared.
If you’re an outdoor lover, chances are you own a dog.
JR sent me this quote after the passing of our "won"derful dog: “A dog does not live as long as a man and this natural law is the fount of many tears. If boy and puppy might grow to manhood and doghood together, and together grow old, and so in due course die, full many a heartache might be avoided. But the world is not so ordered, and dogs will die and men will weep for them so long as there are dogs and men.” -Ben Ames Williams “Old Tantrybogus,” 1920
Thanks, JR. You’re one of those friends who reminds me of my favorite dog, and that’s one of the best compliments I think I could give to anyone.
How about you? Do you have a “wonder dog” in your life? Or have you had one? Want to tell us about that dog?