Hello, hello, everybuddy! So todays we have a very special guest poster. It’s my Cuzzin Bridger! Now, this postie is by special request from severals of my furends but mainly my BFF Puddles Duddles Puddin in the Sky. (Don’t tell her I said this, but I thinks she has a crush on my Cuzin Bridger.)
Anyways, here he is! I hopes you enjoy his story!
Thanks, little cousin Mayzie. I mean, really, folks. Isn’t she the cutest? Uh, Mayzie, don’t forget that we agreed on 10 dozen peanut butter cookies and 6 ribeye steaks as payment. Just send them to the house when we’re done here, okay?
Now, let’s see. What did I want to tell you about? Oh yes.
I don’t mean to brag but, well, the fact is I’m a hunting dog. I come from a long line of hunting dogs that trace their ancestry back many years to the old country – Iowa. They have corn in Iowa, you know. I like corn.
But even farther back than that, the land of my sires was Italy. Generations of grand Spinones have trod the fields, flushing birds and retrieving them for their grateful owners. Rugged dogs, these. Dogs who live for the hunt, who revel in spending hours out in the brush with their masters so that at the end of the day, these men could point with pride at the duck or pheasant on their dinner table and say, “Yes, twas I and my dog who provided this meal.”
I, however, am not one of those dogs. No, instead I was adopted by a woman who, for all her good qualities, seems to have been born without the natural instinct to hunt. I have worked for many years to hone the instinct that I am sure must lay dormant somewhere deep inside. I have taken her on many hikes, pointing out birds hither and yon. I have loaded her into boats and directed her towards the best water foul. And yet never, not once, has she taken a weapon with her to take down these feathered beast that I work so hard to find for her so that she, too, could point to our dinner table with pride.
I have turned this over in my head many times, wondering what I had done wrong. I lost sleep and skipped meals over this conundrum. Okay, not really but I truly was concerned. I tried in vain to convince myself that it was all right if she didn’t want to hunt. All humans have their own talents. Perhaps – distressing as it was – hunting wasn’t one of hers and if I had to, I could live with this shortcoming.
And then I hit upon an idea I thought might work.
One day I suggested that we gather up a friend of hers and go for a walk in a nearby park. It was a lovely day and we strolled along greeting people and other dogs along the way. We finally came to the pond that sat in the middle of the park that was practically teeming with fat, juicy ducks. And it was at this point that I put my plan into effect. Gathering myself together, I managed to make myself look horror-stricken and shouted out, “Oh my! Is that a SQUIRREL?” When my mother turned to look at what she probably imagined to be an evil and rabid tree rat, I launched myself in a rather graceful and determined manner into the pond and began to swim. Toward the ducks.
To say the ducks were surprised is an understatement. You could tell that they were confused by this sudden turn of events and began swimming rather leisurely away. But when it dawned on them what a most athletic dog I am, their little feet started paddling in a more frenzied manner.
At some point, I managed to sneak a look at my mother who was jumping up and down on the bank in a manner I can only describe as wildly enthusiastic. I couldn’t hear exactly what she was saying over my splashing, but I am certain it was along the lines of, “Look, everyone! Look at my mighty hunting dog! I love you, Bridger, and I’m so proud of you.” And look they did! Small children pointed and adults stood with their mouths agape, envious of my innate abilities.
Within a matter of seconds, I managed to snag one of the ducks in my jaws and started to make my way back to shore while my adoring audience watched in awe. Proudly I climbed out of the water, shook myself off, and deposited one stunned yet unharmed duck at my mother’s feet. “And that,” I proclaimed, “is how you hunt.”
My mother, overcome with pride, could hardly put two coherent words together and only sputtered something like, “Bridger, you some duck.” I interpreted this to mean she wanted me to bring her another one and promptly dove back into the water to fulfill her command – overjoyed that at last we would be able to point with pride at our dinner table tonight.
But the next thing I knew, her friend had hold of my collar and was dragging me unceremoniously out of the water. I implored my mother for help but she seemed transfixed by the memory of my awesome feat of hunting prowess and was unable to intervene on my behalf. “Ah, well,” I thought, “at least we’ll have one duck for dinner.” It wasn’t until we arrived home that I realized with horror that the duck that I had worked so hard to get had been left behind in our hasty retreat out of the park and back into the car.
Unfortunately, this story does not have the happy ending I’m sure you were all hoping for. My mother, despite my best attempts to train her, still has not gotten the hang of hunting. And so instead I keep her content by giving her little things to do to keep her mind active – like mulling over the reasons why I just ate that entire bag of potting soil.
So, friends, I suppose the moral of the story is that we must love our humans despite their shortcomings but that we must never, ever give up on them because you just never know what they might someday be able to achieve.
Oh, and Mayzie, remember – cookies and ribeye. Okay?