This story is practically a legend in my family…
As a young man, my father married into a hunting and fishing family. Eager to impress his new father-in-law, he took up the sport of quail hunting and began hunting with his father-in-law nearly every weekend. They had only been out hunting a few times when disaster struck.
The dogs locked up on a covey of birds. The two men kicked up the birds, and brought down a couple off the covey rise. Then they used the dogs to hunt down some single birds that had scattered through out the field. My grandfather’s best bird dog, Sally, locked up on a bird. Eagerly, the men rushed over.
My grandfather was feeling generous and offered to flush the bird, giving my dad the first shot. My grandfather had barely taken a step in that direction when the bird took off in flight. At the exact same moment my dad raised his gun and fired. The bird dog jumped into the air after the bird.
My parents had only been married a few months, and my father had shot his father-in-law\’s best bird dog! Miraculously, the dog survived and only suffered some hearing loss, but my father’s ego was much tougher to repair.
They have been hunting buddies for many years now, but my grandfather still brings it up once in a while, just to keep my father humble. Now I am married, and my new husband hasn’t hunted much. When he goes out hunting with my father and grandfather, I always ask him, “Just don’t aim anywhere near the dogs.”