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Thread: Remembering Willy

  1. #1
    Member Burke's Avatar
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    Default Remembering Willy

    Today is a very sad day, I had to say goodbye to one of my hunting buddies, Willy my Chesapeake. He had been battling cancer in his eye for some time...three years I think since we first discovered it.
    My wife and I had to make that tough decision, that we dog owners have to make at one time or another. We know its coming from day one, yet we spend our days enjoying, loving, training, hunting until he or she tells us it is time.

    Willy shared his 11 years and nine months with me, devoted and willing to please in any way he could. His final hunt was this past Sunday and even though it was pen raised chukar, he went out into the field with all he had. The last bird I missed and yet he searched till he was nearly exhausted and found it, delivered it to hand with wagging tail.
    (IMG_0292.jpgIMG_0279.jpgpictures attached)

    I remember his first hunt as vividly as yesterday. (I will make it short) It was December. Willy was about 11 months old, temperature was in the teens and the sky was clear, winter blue.
    We were walking to a blind on the Madison River and spotted some geese in an eddy. I said why not see how he does on a sneak and jump shoot. What I didnt know was that the ice was not thick enough to hold him. He busted on through the ice and climbed a six foot bank three times, delivered to hand and waited patiently each time to be resent and went without hesitation. We went on to sit the blind over decoys and shot four drake mallards all fetched like a seasoned pro. I confirmed right then what I already knew....I had a special friend.

    I miss him already....

  2. #2
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Sorry for you loss. Only a lover of dogs really knows what you're dealing with at this time. Sad.

  3. #3
    Member Burke's Avatar
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    PS

    For those of you wondering why send a dog into a dangerous, situation ie , cold, ice river etc, and I know there are a few of you, I understand your thoughts.....I might think the same thing.
    I had fished and scouted the area for hunting blind locations. I knew the depth of the water under the ice (even though I didnt know the strength of it) and there was absolutely no current to sweep him under the ice where the geese were roosting.

  4. #4
    Member Burke's Avatar
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    Thanks kingfisherktn

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    Member baitem907's Avatar
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    Burke,
    May you find peace with the thought of all the wings he's chasing now.
    The loss of a hunting buddy with such unconditional love is never easy.
    Hang in there
    Jess
    Bait Em 907
    Bear Bait & Moose Lure Company
    www.baitem907.com
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bait-E...56572604387163

  6. #6
    Member sameyer's Avatar
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    There may be something sadder than the loss of a hunting dog but I cannot think of what it might be at the moment. But the memories they give you are, in the end, worth the pain during these toughest of times. Very sorry for your loss.

  7. #7

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    So sorry for your loss, be strong friend.

  8. #8
    Member 3CBRS's Avatar
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    So sorry to hear about Willy, Burke. I know it's a tough decision & they don't live forever, but that never makes it any easier. What a wonderful dog. Treasure every memory & Willy will always be in your heart.

    Take care,
    Karen

  9. #9
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    Burke,

    Very sorry. I'll bet Willy was a darned good dog and friend. My condolences.

    Jim

  10. #10
    Member Mr. Grayling's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your loss. My 4 and a half year old black lab is curled up on his rug dreaming of flushing birds. I've never dealt with the loss of a dog but I will within the next decade for sure. Take care.
    "In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks." John Muir

  11. #11
    Member kylemac's Avatar
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    Truly sorry for your loss, Burke my condolences to you and your family.
    Regards,
    Kyle

  12. #12
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    Im so sorry, this is soo say

  13. #13
    Member Hoyt's Avatar
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    I also send my condolences. I'm glad to see that you two got to spend one last hunt together. I'm sure he loved as much as you did.
    Ryan

  14. #14
    Member skybust's Avatar
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    Sorry about your hunting partner Im sure he is chasing birds.

  15. #15

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    You can honor the memory of an exceptional companion by channeling all that pain into changing the life of a new(or new to you)dog.

    I can tell by the life of your previous dog, that any pup you have will be blessed with a long and happy life.

    I know it seems like moving on, it's not. You are simply teaching a new dog all the lessons you learned in those years with Willy.

    You are a good man.

  16. #16

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    Burke-
    I am sorry for your loss, my dogs are both and 11 and although they are both in wonderful shape right now, I am not looking forward to that day when we have to make a decision. They are not our pets they are like our children and we love them with all our hearts as I am sure you do as well...

  17. #17
    Member Burke's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the kind words and thoughts....
    Each time I read a response here or from friends via email I recall another memory.

    One friend reminded me of the time he took Willy to a retriever event because I had a schedule conflict. He wasnt keen on the idea because Chessies are "grouchy, one man dogs". He didnt think Willy would run for him. I was confident that Willy would do fine. With some cajoling my friend agreed. My friend returned with a second place ribbon and he had competed against some fine dogs. My friend said it changed his opinion regarding Chesapeakes....his comment recently was, "The "cranky one" was a real gentleman, performing the work like the professional that he was."

    Enjoy your canine friends

  18. #18
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    Burke, Sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved Chessie Willy. I don't really know what to say except that you can feel blessed to have had such a wonderful dog as a member of your family for so many years.


    Condolences to you and yours-Ron

  19. #19
    Member Mountain Man Jack's Avatar
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    Burke,
    I'm very sorry to hear about Willy. I'm sure at least you have wonderful memories with your dog that not many can say they've had.
    I also wanted to thank you again for the pointer training this last spring. I'm going to take Chet out this weekend and let him work some grouse hopefully.

    Jeff

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