Milo Yield: Bird dog gets late start, learns to love the sport she was bred for | TheFencePost.com

Milo Yield: Bird dog gets late start, learns to love the sport she was bred for

Few thing are sadder than saying your last farewells to a family member or a treasured human friend. However, a close sad second to me is saying last farewells to a faithful, loving, hardworking, loyal, trusting bird dog.

Yesterday was final parting time for "Liv," a liver and white roan French Brittany bird dog who was given to me when she was eight years old. Her prior owner never hunted her. She was a house dog kept as a pet to raise puppies. Those owners — and they were good owners — decided to give Liv to me when I promised that she'd finally have an opportunity to fulfill her true genetic reason for being — hunt lots and lots of quail.

Liv was a timid, little, slightly gun shy, dog, but absolutely loved to hunt. Although she was older then any bird dog I've ever trained, and I was skeptical that she'd ever hunt worth a hoot, it turned out that she wuz a natural.

She overcame her gunshyness the first time I took her hunting. I planted a pen-raised quail and, when she got her first good scent of quail, she froze on a strong point. I shot the bird and she ran as fast as she could and retrieved the bird right back to me. From that moment on, she never flinched at the sound of a shotgun firing and always retrieved enthusiastically.

Liv got to enjoy two full seasons of hunting with me and half of this year's season. But then, the cancer she's been harboring in her mammary system hit full bore. My veterinarian told me a year ago it would happen, so I wasn't surprised.

Finally, this week I decided Liv's suffering had to end. Now she's, I hope, enjoying that Last Big Hunt in the Sky.

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I recently bought a "baby" chain saw to trim the fruit and ornamental trees here at Damphewmore Acres. It weighs probably 10 pounds, as compared to the perfectly good 30-pound "man-sized" chain saw I also own. My ancient back complained a lot when I used the big saw, so I decided to buy a little one.

Well, that plan worked — kind of. The first time I used the "baby" saw it worked so well and felt so light in my hands that I just cut and cut. I got most of the work done, but the next morning my right arm was sore from wrist to shoulder. Proved to me that a 10-pound saw can wear out an old arm just like a 30-pound saw can wear out an old back.

•••

The string of 70-degree days we enjoyed last week woke the Flint Hills fish from their winter torpor. At least that's what my buddy Mocephus found out.

While I wuz fiddling around writing columns and getting my fishing reels ready for the season, Mocephus just grabbed a rod and went fishin'. His reward wuz a 6.5-pound bass and 17 nice big crappie.

I'm prepared for the next nice fishing day, which might be tomorrow.

•••

A mature, but vain, cowboy, who owned a feedlot, got himself in a terrible rodeo accident and a wayward rope cleaved off his right ear. Despite the best efforts of the local surgical team, the ear couldn't be reattached.

Since he was a mainstay in his local community, the cowboy was supersensitive about his lopsided appearance.

Since he had to hire and fire cowboys regularly at his feedlot, the impaired cowboy developed a sort of test that he included in his employment evaluation.

One day he had three applicants for one job and all three came through the interview process with flying colors. But then came the final test.

The mature cowboy told the first applicant to look him in the eye and said, "Tell me if you see anything unusual about me?"

The truthful young cowboy answered, "Well, sir, I couldn't help but notice you're missing one ear. I'll bet that hurt when you did it."

The mature cowboy got red in the face and said curtly, "You don't get the job!"

The second job applicant got the same test. Same answer. Same dismissal.

However, the third young cowboy, when asked about the mature cowboy's appearance, replied blandly, "Well, sir, I notice that you don't wear a Stetson hat and you wear contact lenses."

The feedlot owner was highly impressed. "You're quite astute and observant, young man. How did you know that I wear contact lenses?"

The job applicant grinned widely and said, "Well, sir, it's plain to me that wearing a Stetson and glasses is impossibile with only one ear."

I'll bet the job is still open.

•••

A retired farmer sat on the front porch with his 8-year-old granddaughter.

"Grandpa, what is couple sex?"

Surprised, slightly embarrassed Grandpa does his level best to explain this complicated question so an 8-year-old might understand it.

The little girl is wide-eyed, so Grandpa asks, "Why did you ask me that question?"

Granddaughter: "Because grandma told me that supper would be ready in a couple secs."

•••

Here's my wisdom for the week. Sometimes you accidently run into folks who change your life for the better. They're called bartenders.

Have a good 'un. ❖