by Jon Hedin
Dogs are a man's best friend, sometimes. Of all the dogs I've known, I guess my favorite was a dog named George. George was a golden retriever/golden lab mix. I bought him when he was eight weeks old from a farmer in Chisago City, Minnesota. I paid $5 for him and it was the best $5 I've ever spent.
It happened like this. I was camping with eight friends in northern Wisconsin and one night we all, puppy included, decided to take a midnight stroll. We walked along some railroad tracks and went about two miles before heading back to camp. When we got back, after laughing most of the way, we noticed the puppy wasn't with us. We headed back to a ridge that we had passed and sure enough, the pup was down at the bottom of a ditch. I don't know what happened while he was in the ditch, but after that episode, he never left my side, no matter where I went.
George could do all the basic dog tricks and then some, and, best of all, George could hunt pheasants. Many of the guys I hunt with have dogs, some which cost a lot of money. George would out-hunt them every time. I could have traded him in on many a dog many times. One time, George scared up thirteen pheasants-- to another dog's one! That guy couldn't believe it. Here he had spent eight hundred dollars and I spent five.
Well, as time went on I needed a better job, so I had to leave the farm and move into the Twin Cities. George was too big to bring with and there weren't many pheasants where I was going. I put an ad on the bulletin board at work and promptly got a reply. I ended up selling George to a deaf fellow over the telephone. He was using a mediator service-he typed the message and the mediator recited it. He ended up getting the same kind of deal as I did.
I don't hunt pheasants much anymore, but I hope George still does.