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Four Footed Fishing Friend

Fishing Dog - Our Dog Rip

By

Rip and Turtle

Rip found this turtle on the bank of my pond and didn't quite knowwhat to think

Ronnie Garrison
Everybody needs a dog to make them realize what it is like to have boundless energy and the pure joy of being alive. My dog Rip constantly amazes me. He never slows down from daylight to dark and finds everything from cats to old pieces of wire and waterhose extremely interesting.

He lives up to his name daily. Nothing is safe from him that he can get his paws or teeth on. When the cold weather hit I bought a cheap indoor/outdoor thermometer to monitor the temperature in his insulated dog house. It sat on top of his house out of his reach, but the wire probe stuck an inch or so into his house.

One morning last week the probe reading was flashing. Sure enough, to no real surprise to me, he had grabbed the end of the wire in his house and pulled it out, chewing it up. So much for keeping up with the temperature in his house.

Exuberant is the best word to describe him. He doesn’t walk when he can run, and he doesn’t run when he can bounce like a kangaroo through the woods. He loves to chase a thrown ball, stick, plastic bottle or anything else, and will bring it back for more. I get tired of the game much faster than he does.

He loves to fish. That is one of the few times he will sit and stay still. Anytime I make a cast he watches the arch of the lure, never letting it out of his sight. When it hits the water he watches with great interest, waiting on a bass to jump. I think he wants to go chase them but so far I have been able to keep him on the bank.

Rip loves to wade in the shallows, lapping up water and cooling off. When it was hot he would wade out and sit down, submerging his body chest deep. He does not like to swim, though, and will not get his head wet - on purpose.

At my pond I had dug out some dirt near the bank with a back hoe, making a three foot deep hole right by the bank. The outer rim of the hole has a couple of inches of water covering it. Rip waded out around the rim then decided to come straight back. When he hit the deep water his head went out of sight. I will never forget the look on his face when he came up and immediately headed to the bank.

When he got out on the bank I was laughing so hard I could not stop. He did his usual trick when confused, he started running around me in circles. It is amazing how fast he can run in a 20 foot circle without spinning out. The harder I laughed, the faster he ran. I am surprised he did not turn himself into butter.

Rip can really make me feel old. While working on a siphon on my pond dam, I had to climb up and down the dam. I am just able to pull myself up it by hanging on to limbs and inching along. Rip runs in circles around me while I am doing this, running up the dam face like it is flat ground. I have to remember he has four wheel drive compared to my two, but he often will circle me 20 or 30 times while I make one transit.

Rip is a pretty good squirrel hunter, too. He surprised me the first time I fired a gun near him. I did not try to train him at all, but he is definitely not gun shy. The first time I fired a shotgun he just looked at me, then he heard the squirrel fall. He immediately went to it. Now if he sees me with a gun he starts looking up in the trees for my target.

Last week I shot a squirrel and it fell outside the fence around the back yard. Rip was watching and got real excited. When I went to get the squirrel it was not there. I let Rip out and he ran to where the squirrel fell the tracked it straight to a stump about 30 yards away. He stuck his head in the stump and pulled the squirrel out. Although the squirrel bit him on the nose and he yipped real loud, he hung on and shook it, killing it instantly.

I want to train him to tree squirrels but Rip does not bark. I have had him for over five years and he makes lots of different kinds of noises from a whine when I won't take him with me to a strange combination growl/whine when confused to yipping when bit by a squirrel, but he just will not bark. That is a good thing most of the time.

Dogs can be a great joy and a real pain. The pain seems short and the joy much greater overall. Everyone needs a Rip to keep them laughing.

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