Walter Scott: We get what we deserve... mostly

To be an outdoorsman, it is almost mandatory to have a dog.

Most of us have more than one dog. A person need different dogs for different outdoors activities. It is handy to have a bear dog if a person is bear hunting or a coon hound to hunt raccoons. Bird dogs are necessary to hunt pheasant and the list goes on.

Since I do not hunt bears or raccoons and it has been several years since I hunted pheasants, the dogs I now own are more general-purpose, all-around useless dogs. They serve very little purpose other than to help me enjoy the outdoors.

Coty, the Lab, probably could have been a good bird dog or water retriever if he had been trained. He spends his leisure time hunting for a good place to lie in the sun and retrieving things that a person would not normally want as yard ornaments, such as deer bones and large sticks.

Duke, the mastiff, is the guard dog. He enjoys nothing better than a walk in the woods or to run ahead of the ATV. He is guarding all the way. On our many and varied trips through the timber, I must say, thanks to Duke, we have never been attacked and injured by wild animals or stray mailmen.


There have been a few close calls when Coty had a field mouse on the run. Duke had to step in and on the attacker to keep it from getting us. Marauding mailmen have never been a problem. For some reason, Duke has an intense dislike for our mailman, or even someone with a close resemblance, such as the UPS guy or the LP delivery driver.

According to Duke, it would never do to have someone sneak mail into our house. Our mailbox is almost a quarter of a mile from the house and I am surprised we get mail delivery at all. If I were the mailman, I would not chance it.

Louie is our third dog. Last on the list but possibly the most useless of the pack. Louie is a boxer, which I think are supposed to be watch dogs. At almost a year old, he has not really figured out what his job is. He lives a pampered life in the house and only goes out for necessary trips unless somebody wants to go for a walk or a ride. He does not feel the need yet to be a watch dog.

If Duke, who outweighs him by close to 200 pounds, cannot handle the problem of a prowler, Louie feels he should probably stay out of it. He loves to chase Duke on rides through the woods. He loves to torment both big dogs while they are either hunting or guarding. For every mile we travel, I would guess he runs four. By the time we get back, Louie is ready for a long winter's nap on the footstool in front of my wife.

This is where we have the most problem with Louie. On an average run, the dogs have found at least one thing dead and nasty on which to stop and have a quick snack. This foreign meal seems to have adverse effects on Louie's digestive system. While stretched out on the footstool, sound asleep, quiet sounds escape from the wrong end of his body. Quiet sounds can be ignored, but the aroma cannot. The smell coming from one little animal is unbelievable. If a person hears it coming, they can jump up and run into the other room before the full effect sets in. Those silent ones that suddenly turn the air green can just about knock a person down.

I know, we humans have the dogs we deserve. Coty does not know how to hunt correctly because I did not train him. Duke thinks it is proper to eat the poor mailman because we did not tell him different the first time he ate one, but I do not deserve what Louie is doing to us when he sleeps.

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