"One Good Bird Hunting Dog"........

Copyright Ahorseback.....

I had just walked out onto the porch with my morning coffee , letting the dogs out into the fenced in field for their morning sniff and scratch , when I heard the unusual shotgun blast from the apple orchard behind old man McManus' farm .....not unusual for this time of year , it was hunting season after all . What was unusual was the report from the old L.C.Smith shotgun that he always carried., It sounded a bit muffled ......as if a dud-round of bird shot had just been blasted into the air, I wasn't alarmed though Old Pat was a good hunter a conscientious sportsman and a great parent to a good old dog by the name of Butte.....

I had once asked about the name he chose for the dog , Butte ......something about a barmaid up in Montana who used to frequent the fire tower where he spent his summers in the Whiskey mountain range. It seems he named the pup after the town they used to sneak away to ocasionally when payday rollled around. I had heard that thats where he got his big toes shot off by her . But thats another story altogether . .......Anyway as I sipped my coffee and though about the unusual shot that I'd heard ....... that's when I noticed old Butte coming up the two track tractor path on my hay field . Alone .....! But the strange part was he kept stopping and looking back at the orchard and when he did his tail would lower down between his rear legs .

Now , normaly one might become a bit alarmed by a lone dog returning from a bird hunt without his master , but I had learned long ago that it was not a thing one should become alarmed by . At least when it came to Pat and Butte........all it did for me was make me want to hear the "rest of the story"......because one thing was for sure ......there would be a story .....sooner than later though ..... I heard Pat''s whistle to call his dog from the edge of the orchard ........and looking at Butte for a response ......I wasn't surprised to see him drop his tail, look back at the orchard and glance at me ......as if for protection or maybe an answer to a dog question.......but not being one to butt in on a domestic issue between a master and his dog I turned my attention back to the orchard.

It was then that I saw old Pat walking his usual missing toe walk , he had kind of a drunken swagger without the balancing effect of having his big toes . Except ...I also noticed his old double barrel shotgun barrels were opened up , shredded at the ends just like Elmer Fudds in a Saturday morning cartoon. As he walked I could just make out some of his muttering , something about a "no good God-damned Montana bird dog" ....... I looked at Butte one more time who looked at me and I swear on my Mother's grave .... he was grinning like a fool!. But he quickly lowered his head and snickered before plopping down near my front steps and sighing ! He had his back to us now . As if to hide his smile.

"Wall' I see you are gone to pertectin' my dog again" .....Pat said with just a hint of sarcasm.......
" I shoulda' known that damned woman would a give me a damned dog who's got his own sense of huntin' ethics !...
"And look what he did to my shotgun ! , I tell ya what" ..........
"Good morning to you Pat would you like some coffee?" I asked , at least trying to calm him down a bit ....... "It's a fine morning isn't it!"
"Fine my ass " Pat offered up in his own down trodden heart felt opinion.
" OH I guess so ! , Your coffee at least don't bite back .......not too much anyways". and with that Pat stood his shotgun up on the porch railing .

After a third cup of my coffee that he doesn't like too much I thought I might try to delicately draw out of Pat what it was that happened this time.
"Well Pat .....Old Butte wouldn't tell me what happed so maybe you'll tell me what happened to your new shotgun .....the way you have it standing there it kind of matches the day lillies opening up behind it ....with them spoiled double barrels and all !" .......I said trying to inject a little humor into the situation..........

" What happened is that that damned dog has got his own agenda for life and bird hunting I cain't' do nothin with him about it , no matter how hard I try, .....well ......it's as if he's a wants' to spoil my whole outdoor experience from day one !......."

"I don't know how he done it .......but somehow he snuck a wad of mud down in my barrels , and when I shot at that partridge ......well , from there on things when down hill fast ! Damned if he didn't run off when I begun swearin and all!........And ..... the worse part is ......thats the second time he's done it . If I didn't know for sure I'd swear that he knows about the curse thet woman put on my head! , And now I got to buy stock in the shotgun company because of I gotta order ANOTHER set of barrels for that darn shotgun"........ and with that he reached into his pocket taking out the pouch of chewing tobacco and sliding a pinch into his jaw.

I ganced at the dog quickly so he wouldn't notice me and thought ...........how Do you keep a straight face Butte?..........but Butte just glanced at the empty water bowl by the steps and raised his hind foot up to the shotgun stock .........

" Well Pat , maybe that dog just needs a little positive feedback once in a while......" and with that ........Pat burped a loud burp ,stood up grabbed his shotgun and speaking to no one in particular ..........
" Positive feedback my ass !.......What that dog needs is a one way bus ticket to Montana ....And a note tied around his damned neck ".........And with that Pat whistled to Butte and picked up his ruined shotgun staggered down the steps wiped off the butt stock and began his journey home .........muttering something about bitter coffee and dogs from Montana , but as they neared my mailbox old Butte turned slyly to me with a grin from ear to ear .........as if to say
"Did you see him put that gunstock under his arm wearing his new hunting coat?"

I swear that dog of Pats has ADHD.........or something , what ever he has though , at least he's got a pretty good sense of humor!

The end .

Comments 13 comments

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

LOL, I so enjoyed this story with my morning coffee. Have a great day!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

ohmygosh. That's SOME dog, all right! (And ole Pat is pretty entertaining, himself!)


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

I love a dog with a sense of humor. I have one now. Every night I have to help my husband get into bed. The dog lays on his side of the bed and won't move until I go in and lay down on my side. When I do that, the dog will come rushing over to stretch out next to me and get his belly scratched. Then my husband can get in the bed.


xstatic profile image

xstatic 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Another good'ern ahorseback. I think that dog is a member of some Gamebird Protective Association, and is working undercover. Great wrtitng, you are on a roll!


Sarra Garrett 4 years ago

I am laughing so hard! I can just picture this whole scenario and the wry smile on Butte's face. Dogs, what are ya gonna do. Reading this made my day! Thank you


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 4 years ago Author

@ Sarra , Wow I made someones day ....woooo woooo woooo ! Thank you sweety!

@Xstatic my friend , Good point ! GPA .......great hub my friend !

@Becky Katz , Keep the dog ditch the man ? Hmmmmm, you women are evil, coniving with the pets !lol......Thank you

@Nellieanna , Sometimes the dogs smarter than the guy huh !This one really is ! Haa ....be well my dear lady !

@Just ask Susan , I'll write another then , just for you !


Mr Archer profile image

Mr Archer 4 years ago from Missouri

Reminds me a bit of a dog I once read about named Strange. See, Strange wasa dog that kinda belonged to a writer named Patrick McManus. Strange had a wicked sense of humor, and was not known for being a hunting dog at all. Great story, and I look forward to reading more of your work.

And I love that shot of the Lab puppy! Is he (or she) yours? I own an English Labrador myself. Great dogs!


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 4 years ago Author

Mr Archer , This black belongs to my stepson , Piper , he's a year old now , we have a chocolate lab named Bud 7-years old and a golden retreiver named Gus- 5 years , I used to LOVE Pat Macmanus ! The funniest writer ever !...Thanks for stopping by ........:-}


Beth37 3 years ago

That's adorable... is that a real life pic or just a representation of Butte?


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 3 years ago Author

Hi Beth ! The dogs real name is Piper , the picture is a year or so ago , The story ? Just my fantasy !....Be well my friend !


klidstone1970 profile image

klidstone1970 3 years ago from Niagara Region, Canada

Such a great story! The pup in the picture looks like my black lab Gulliver and he's a little stinker too!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Wow - what a great way to end my day. Fantastic story from beginning to end. Big thanks to you!


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 3 years ago Author

klidstone , we do love our dogs , yes !Thank you my friend !

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