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My Hunting Dog This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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Aboutthree years ago my father and I were hunting grouse behind ourhouse.

"Man, this dog is going to be a good one, Ted," Dadsaid.

"Why do you say that?" I asked.

"Look at herwork. She's like a machine. She'll point birds this fall," he saidproudly.

We had purchased an English setter puppy from a breeder in NorthDakota. Come fall, Dolly's training would be finished, and I couldn'twait.

The day finally arrived, and I flew out of bed to the sight of mydad sipping his coffee.

"We had a heavy frost last night, the birdswill be moving." I could hear the happiness in his voice. I grabbed our gunsand ran out to the truck. We arrived at our favorite hunting spot and let the doggo to work. After only five minutes I couldn't hear the bellanymore.

"Dad! The bell stopped," I yelled.

"Yep,she's on point, Ted."

Sure enough, there she was, our English setterlocked up solid. The bird flushed, and my dad's quick reflexes downed it.

"Wow! Dad, you're a quick shot," I said cheerfully.

"I know," my dad said proudly. I was in awe of my old man, so confidentin his shooting. We got quite a few birds over Dolly that fall, but not as manyas we'd hoped.

As fall turned to winter we noticed Dolly was coughing alot. The vet put her on medication. She seemed to get better, but was sick againa month later. One morning as I was petting her, she just fell.

"Mom,Dolly fell over and she's twitching!" I screamed. We took her to the vetagain and he told us it was just her breeding. Upset, Dad decided to take her toanother vet.

Twenty-four hours later, Dolly died in her sleep. Thenew vet told us she had a fungal infection from the hay we put in her kennel tokeep her warm. I couldn't believe I had lost my hunting companion. I told myselfI would never go hunting again; I couldn't go without Dolly.

Winterturned to summer, summer to fall, and I decided to go hunting again. As I enteredthe woods, I said to myself, In loving memory of Dolly. May we meet again and itforever be autumn.

I wiped a tear and went to the spot where Dollypointed her first bird. There it was: a grouse on the ground. I knew Dolly waslooking down saying, It will be okay, Ted. I didn't have the heart to shoot thegrouse. But finally I had moved on from Dolly, my favorite hunting dog.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

TwilightWolfGirl2418 said...
Jun. 27, 2009 at 7:36 pm
That was a very good true story i wish i would've had a dog like Dolly
Instead I have two bernese mountain dogs that won't cooperate.
 
ABBA said...
Jan. 29, 2009 at 7:19 pm
I really liked the voice in the story. I could tell the author was reflecting on his sadness. But I am amazed by how he was able to recover over the loss of Dolly.
 
Pinecone said...
Oct. 1, 2008 at 8:08 pm
wow, really good story! Really sad, but well written!
 
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