1. “I was more worried about getting a summons from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for Hunting Over Bait.”

    OK, this one made my day

  2. As I learned during my extended sojurn in AL – that’s funny right there, I don’t care who you are!

  3. Mas, I agree. Don’t underestimate the little dogs. The best hunting dog that I ever saw was a small Mountain Feist named “Patches”. She had long legs for her size and, in build if not coloring, looked like someone had thrown a Greyhound into a dryer and shrunk it down. For those unfamiliar with this breed of dog, here is a link:

    Patches was owned by my cousin but (in my youth), my Dad and I would borrow her and take her squirrel hunting. She was a SUPREME squirrel dog. I once saw her tree five (5) squirrels at once in three, closely-grouped trees. She was running from tree to tree and barking up a storm. We got all five of those squirrels, by the way.

    Long-legged Patches was one of the fastest dogs I have ever seen. My cousin told me that she would, routinely, run-down, catch and kill cottontail rabbits. Note that my cousin was a pastor and would not lie about that even in the context of a “hunting yarn”.

    I witnessed her speed with my own eyes. One day, Patches and I walked up on a hapless squirrel that made the mistake of being on the ground and more that 15 feet from the nearest tree. The leaves were wet so that the squirrel did not hear our approach. Before I could even un-sling my .22 rifle, Patches charged the squirrel. In a flash, the squirrel started for the nearest tree. It made it about four (4) feet up that tree. Then Patches gave a mighty leap and “plucked” the squirrel right off the trunk. A quick shake of her head and it was a “dead squirrel”. I did not even have to expend a cartridge to add it to the bag. Just get it away from Patches.

    By the way, Mountain Feist’s do not relinquish their prey so easily. The trick to getting them to do so is simple and effective. Just walk up to the dog, grab the squirrel by the tail (as it is hanging from the dog’s mouth) with one hand. Then, with your other hand, take a gentle but firm hold on one of the dog’s ears. Then pull your hands apart in opposite directions. The only trick is to pull your hand back smartly when the dog releases the squirrel to bite the hand pulling on it’s ear! 🙂

    The only flaw with Patches, as a hunting dog, was that she did not know when to quit. We (the humans) would want to finish the hunt and walk back to the truck. Patches never would agree to this. She LIVED to HUNT! On several occasions, I had to physically pick her up and carry her from the woods. Fortunately, she was a small dog and easy to carry. I eventually wised up and started taking a leash with me when hunting with her. That way, after we got the final squirrel of the day, I could leash Patches and walk her out of the woods.

    So, Mas, I agree with you 100%. A small dog can be a formidable hunting dog. I can testify to that myself!

  4. “Day-Z-Dogg.” Now that is brilliant! Don’t worry about wearing pink. When women wear that shade it is pink, but when men wear it it is light red. 😉

  5. I had/have 3 small Yorkshire terriers in my life. Two have the hunt instinct bad. Body count so far, is one grey squirrel and one cottontail rabbit. They made the fatal mistake of visiting my back yard while the Yorkies were out.

  6. Thanks for the Monday morning laugh out loud story. I can just picture you cruising around the streets of Chi town with the little Foo Foo dog. Too funny.
    And thanks, now I’m going to have that damn song in my head all day !!

  7. We boarded our Cairn terriers with a man whose business is training hunting and birding dogs. He welcomed our pair because they were the ones that cleared the wood pile of vermin and regularly patrolled the grounds. The big guys couldn’t be bothered.

  8. Well, here is a solution (or sorts) to the pink problem.

    Here in the UK when we go huntin’, which means riding to hounds after foxes, we wear pink jackets. Which are actually bright red.

    So, when challenged as some kind of alternatively inclined dog-walker, you explain that you are wearing hunting pink, and perhaps also that the dog, while sanforized, has very sharp teeth and is quick off the mark.

    Worth a try. Not worth leaving the .45 at home for, though.

    Some terriers are remarkably dumb. Knew one who, having seen a squirrel run up a tree, would sit at the bottom of said tree for a couple of hours in the hope of it coming down. Squirrel of course hopped from branch to branch of neighbouring trees and went to have tea and biscuits with its auntie, or whatever.

    I also did actually meet a dog called “Fou Fou” in Millau, France; where I also met a cat on a lead, though it disdained to speak to me, as did its not unlovely keeper. So it goes.

  9. As any cop will tell you, which I learned early on in my police career, “It ain’t the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog!”. And I’m not just talking about dogs, either…

  10. Never sell a Foo-Foo dog short. Somebody gave a spayed female “Beeshone Freezay” to my kid brother in Mesa, AZ back in the 90’s. He kept the dog for a while, but he decided he couldn’t keep her and gave her back. The next day she trotted twelve miles across Phoenix and Mesa through heavy traffic back to my brother’s house! Moreover, just because a fellow happens to wear pink doesn’t automatically make him a “girly-man”. The Marine Corps has been reported to wear pink trousers on occasion, and look at their tough reputation. Beware of “the boy named Sue,” I say.

  11. Yeah, how Bichons, dachshunds and chihuahuas et al. get evolved from wolves is still amazing.

    On the other end of the spectrum, my wife had an Irish Wolfhound while still living at home. She said seeing that dog in full speed hunting mode after a groundhog was a sight to behold. The dog was the sweetest thing when not in that mode, but I didn’t want to wear a wolf suit around her! Like Danes and other large breeds, though, they don’t live that long – sad!

    Maybe I’ll bring some pink accouterments to the NRA NM and find some sweet young thing to talk you into wearing them while I lurk with a camera! 🙂

  12. Our cur of unknown descent once caught a fleeing, flaming rat in midair. Yes, it was literally on fire. Long story, but trust me, that’s quick.

    Mas, somehow I never knew you were from the deep south, but I always thought of you as a brother. I’m in MS.

  13. Is “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” making a comeback? Hell, if considerations for firearms accessories is a regular feature, I’ll be tuning in.

  14. Actually a lot of the smaller dogs, particularly the terriers. were bred for hunting small game and rodent control. Cairn terriers were specifically raised to hunt rodents hiding in piles (“cairns”) of rocks.

    One time when I was away on reserve duty our Cairn, Andy, got to sniffing and growling around my wife’s desk. She told him there was nothing there, then moved the desk to convince him. The rat, who had wandered in from the big field behind our house, made it less than halfway to the back door before Andy pounced and killed it.

  15. Just got to see this because my email has been sending your column to the junk file even though it’s marked as VIP. I had to wait till the tears cleared before I could respond. Great one, Mas. I read it aloud to six of my dogs including my wife’s foo foo dog and two of the Pyrenees/Anatolians. They all loved it too.

  16. Mas, this is by far one of my favorite ‘comic relief’ pieces from you! You painted that whole stiry incredibly well. Foo-foo dogs rock! Maybe a middle weight is better for you such as a good ol’ Southern breed in the Coonhound family. I adopted a perty ‘ lil Bluetick to keep my Collie company. They both posess some Foo-foo dog qualities, like wanting to be a lap dog and getting under your feet! I also go for dogs that don’ poop more than me! A Pyranese AND a Dane in your life? Wow, fertilize a mushroom farm don’ ‘ya know😀

  17. Just getting to this after clearing out the “important” stuff, away for a few days.

    Mas, that was by far the FUNNIEST thing I’ve read in a long time. Your story telling is legendary, but this one is way up there. As someone said, you took a nothing story and made ithilarious. And that crack about “hunting over bait” was a ripper.

    Two dog stories of my own.. I was visiting y friend Jeff who lived an an old “decommissioned” farm. We were out behind the barn, probably checking out one of his “derelictus wrecks” to perform triage and determine whether it could run again. He had a little dog, mostly mutt but obviously with lots of some small terrier in the mix. Muffin was a good dog.. about twelve, small, and had only one eye left. Can’t remeber the tale, but Jeff knew. She was hIS dog, and it was obvious. Not a cuddly thingm and loaded with energy all the time. We were, as said, behind the old wooden barn, past a low paddoc fence, more accuratel the remains thereof. Muffin was casting about energetically, as ever, and we noticed she had perked up and taken a line toward a ramdom pile of stuff that had been laying there for probably a few years. There was a piece of plywood very close to four feet square, probably half inch stuff. It was greyed from the weather, and somewhat curled, Muffin was on the far side of it, nose to ground, intent on something. As she moved I noticed a pretty good sized mouse she had flushed, which headed toward the plywood, and slipped underneath the side nearest her. She nosed and pawed where it had gone, blasted herself vertically up and across that four foot piece, spun about, put her teeth on one edge of the sheet, tugged it backward about a foot, launched herself verticaly up and across again, sipinning in the air, and pounced back down IN TOP of that mouse. Most amazing bit of mental processing and instant reflexive planning and execution I’ve ever seen in a dog, and I’ve had a number of them myself. We both stood there and stared at her as she enjoyed the mouse. She played ‘Muffin and Mouse” for a while, then wearied of it and went for the kill.

    the other dog tale I did not witness, but was told by a college roommate, His family lived in an old area up toward Pasadena, outside of Los Angeles. I’d seen pictres, and the homes seem from the thirties, nicer craftsman style, long sidewalks up to the front porch, which was a REAL porch, not a six by six slab had railings, etc. There were plenty of old trees, large, and as he described it, the one by the walkway up to the porch and mailbox had large low branches growing in gentle lifts, perfct for young kids to climb. One such startd low to the ground, and grew up somewhat parallel to the walkway, clearing it by maybe eight feet as it crossed above it. This was in the days when the Posties actually WALKED their route, with the two sided leather mailbags over their shoulders, a bag in front and in back. They had a Dachshund which, with her short stumpy legs and some apparently effecive claws, would work her way u into that tree (she’d go up there to be with the kids when they climbed in it), go out along the branch that crossed over the sidewalk, and wait for the postman. As he walked underneath the branch, she’d leap out, barking, and land herself in the rear bag. The poor postie about lost it, probabely wend “code brown”, finally recovered, placed the mail in the box on the porch.. of course the crazy Doxxie had run of round the house. After a couple times of that, said postie remembred.. and as he’d walk up the walkway he’d stop and check the branch, If the dog was there he’d warn her NOT to do that… ahd she wouldn’t. EAch new postie had to be broken in………
    These days, with NO sense of humour, the Post Office would simply stop delivery and make the customer come to the post office to collect their mail.

    • Tionico, you have just described the postman’s worst nightmare. Imagine that one on video, happening repeatedly. Wondering if one of the postmen actually died of a heart attack on the spot, whether charges would be filed against the dog’s owner.

  18. Had dogs my whole life and the toughest by far was a dachshund. She hunted every waking hour and would take on absolutely anything. My father paid some rather expensive vet bills getting neighbor’s cats put back together.

  19. Pink is the new grey…not exactly shoot me first! If you can’t be invisible, then be harmless! It’s a dog, even ankle biters can be heartbreakers.

  20. It’s not the size of the dog in the fight… nor necessarily the intended fashion statement of the sharp dressed Man.