i've always had gun dogs, as a child in Michigan it was always GSP's. Something about watching a good dog work with you just made everything about hunting a bit more...well, just more.
My career as a commercial diver moved me from my home in Michigan to the deep south where a pointer didn't make much sense. after 10 years in Louisiana i couldn't take it anymore and entered into the duck dog world with both feet- i settled on a pup from a breeder i respected and after a long wait i had my first Lab, "Jazz" was what we settled on for a name and over the years he proved to be as good a dog as i could have ever hoped for.
We lost Jazz in 2011 after 10 fantastic years and 1 enormous learning curve. we cried, we mourned and eventually we decided it was time to get back to it. Enter "Roux", the most frustratingly stubborn, bullheaded sack of skin i have ever laid eyes on-Everyone told me Chesapeakes were a different monster entirely and i didn't listen-BUT in the midst of it all i started to see a glimmer in that dogs eyes, i slowly started to understand the way he thought. I honestly believed that once we both "got it" he could end up the hunting partner of a lifetime. We followed Hillmans puppy program and although he came along more slowly than i thought, it was obvious that once something clicked, it clicked-you could actually see the lights come on when it was learned, when he grasped the concept.
Roux was set up to go to Ed Thibodeaux on October 1st and everything was in place until yesterday.
I was hooking up a bush hog to a tractor while the wife was leaving to take the kids to school-i'm not sure why i looked up to watch her go down the road but i did. I looked just in time to see Roux run out in front of the car and go under the front tire. My wife stopped with 8 and 11 year old girls staring out the window and crying and Roux let out a blood chilling sound and limped to me in the front yard. He just sort of fell over at my feet and began panting and whining. I picked him up while i had the most gut wrenching feeling going up my spine and put him in the back seat of my truck. 20 minutes later we got to the vet, my wife had called ahead and they were waiting for us. at the end of the day yesterday they were still trying to get him stabilized enough to sedate him for X-rays and surgery to begin fixing the multitude of issues.
Today after surgery and x-rays it looks like Roux will pull through, he's got a chest tube in for drainage, his lungs a bruised horribly, his tail was degloved and had to be amputated but worst of all was his foreleg. the scapula is broken in such a way that the vet says he has no way to pin it or fix it (a vet we have complete faith in and have used for over 12 years)-his recommendation is too amputate.
So here it is 3 hours after getting the news and we're still numb from it all-the girls are done crying and now planning on how to take care of their 3 legged dog when he comes home.
Not sure why i posted this- I don't think anyone without working dogs can possibly understand what I'm feeling right now-of potential left unrealized. i think i'll leave it at that.
Thanks for listening-i think it's time to sit on the porch with a glass of something strong.