Saturday, June 8, 2013

Sometimes you have to blow your own horn.

Well, this summer isn't turning out the way I hoped. Riley busted his leg three weeks ago and I bunged my knee up on a turkey hunt. Last weekend I finished the job on my knee while getting fire wood and had it scoped on Tuesday. Not that big of a deal because my recovery is just a matter of five or six weeks and I should be humping the hills with Jake.
Riley is a different matter though. After enduring a major surgery and three weeks of mending, he busted a screw in his leg and the break is not healing properly. So he is back getting operated on right now and we are back to square one for recovery time. This time when he gets home he is going to be in very tight quarters for five weeks so we can prevent the chance of injuring the leg again. What a blessing to have Dr. Warner and staff on my team. Saturday night and operating because he felt waiting any longer may be detrimental to Riley's full recovery.
With all this going on, I have to admit to being a little short with a gentleman today. I was at a baseball game watching my grandson play. Riley was with me because I was scheduled to take him to the vet after the game. Another spectator, who I've visited with quite often about chukar hunting, came over and visited with me. Everything would have been fine except he mentioned how it seems like Riley and I are always breaking something. Knowing what Riley was about to go through again I took it personal and decided to blow our horn a little.
This guy hunts chukar maybe three or four times a year and the rest of his hunts are more on the flat land hunting quail. I have no problem with this and I actually appreciate it because it keeps one more dog and hunter off the hill where I might want to be. But he began comparing himself and his dog to me and my boys. By the time we were through discussing our hunts it became quite obvious that we hunted with a difference in intensity. His thirty or forty points with his GSP last year did not quite come close to Riley's 700 plus. His x number of birds retrieved did not come close to the x number of Riley's. In my opinion, the hardest job a chukar dog has is retrieving the birds on those steep and rocky slopes. I can't count the number of times I've seen my dog's chasing a cripple down a steep slope to have the bird slam on the breaks causing the dog to roll head over heal down the hill and than recover and resume the chase. I don't very often like to boast about how many birds me and the dog's get and how hard we work for them but today was a day for blowing my horn. With me hobbling around and Riley about to go into surgery again I felt it was necessary for some people to realize that our scars are battle scars that we were damn proud of and we earned. We could have healthy bodies and spend more time driving the roads looking for birds, but we'd rather keep doing it the way we do even if it means suffering a little. So, the next person should be real careful at classifying my dogs as being a little on the tender foot side. They earned the respect that I demand they get.


Fadgen's Adventures said...

Larry, sorry to hear about all that is going on with Riley, but Jake sure is a bright spot. Hopefully, Riley will make a full recovery and will be out there with you humping (or is it limping?) again this year. I hope to be moving around as well as you when I get a little older.


Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about Riley's complications and your knee problems. As far as the guy you saw at the baseball game... Consider the source. I'm like you if you talk bad about my dog thats crossing the line. You weren't close to the baseball bats were you? Rarely is anyone near me when I'm out hunting. No one knows the joy these dogs bring to our life.
Its a partnership that cannot be compared to another. I'm sure Jake will be quite the hunter. Take care and hope you and Riley heal well and soon. We love our dogs and they love us.

larry szurgot said...

Thanks guys. Well put Alan.