Posted 01-19-2004 at 07:07:06
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It was a cool September morning and all week I had looked forward to quail hunting with “Blue Monday” Blue for short. Blue was not your average Bird dog, He had a nose that could sniff out a quail a mile away, Slender even by Bird dog standards he could run all day and then some. I loaded my Browning light twenty with the usual three cartridges
And off through the pasture we went.
Not thirty minutes into the hunt Blue stopped on a dime and was on point like a cement statue. I eased on up closer and gave the bushes a quick kick, the covey busted out over the brambles, I fired twice and downed two fat old South Georgia quail. After two more points and some more brush kicking I had a total of nine nice quail.
I searched for Blue bounding through the briars and gave him a good whistle, calling him off a hot trail. We walked down to the spring feed creek to a swamp oak and sat down, time for our sack lunch dinner. As I tore my bologna sand which into to share with blue we sat there mostly quite listening to the sounds of the woods. Off in the distance the squirrels were chatting loudly warning all of our presence. After our lunch I sat back and watched Blue wonder down the creek bank to fetch him a drink of the cool water.
Blue was anxious and bayed for me to get up and lets get on with the hunt, so I obliged.
Through the pine thicket we were making our way when once again Blue Stopped and peered deeply into a briar patch, not even looking back to see I was near. I approached slowly and noticed that Blue had turned his head slightly but was still on point.
Suddenly I stepped onto a lone quail and all heck broke loose, quail in every direction.
Instinctively I swung in motion and fired three times, missing all three. As I reloaded I glanced down and Old blue gave me the look. Ok Blue I say, sorry it won’t happen again.
It was now mid afternoon and the cool day had turned quite warm as we made our way back to the wire grass patch. Blue taking the lead as always staying twenty yards or so ahead. When suddenly we see a small covey running through a bare spot in the patch and then back to the cover of the thickening wire grass. Blue bounds towards them then suddenly stops and points, then looks back at me and barks loudly. I noticed right off it’s a different bark, one like I’d never heard from him before. I start my approach with my shouldered shot gun and Blue breaks his points takes a few steps and barks again then turns back on point. I holler Blueeeee stand still stay, I getting closer now only ten yards away and Blue once again breaks point and is barking louder than before.
I holler be still Blue I’m almost there. Then suddenly he lunges towards that clump of brush and I hear a low whimpering bark. I ran the last few steps to discover a big rattle snake all five feet of him is firmly latched on Blue neck, I thrashed, kicked and hollered and tried everything I could think of to free Old Blue from him. Finally they were apart and I stepped up and shot the snake with my shotgun. I then turned to Blue laying there on the ground noticing his labored breathing, instantly tears ran down my face as I thought what could I do, I hoisted him into my arms with my gun and ran towards Granddads as fast I could, not even feeling the briars and brambles as I ran. It was a long run.
Over two miles back home I finally made it to the drive screaming for Granddad he came around the house in a trot and seeing me holding Old blue I could see the fear in Granddads eyes. He grabbed Blue from me and on the porch we went as Granddad hollered Mary, He hollered I need some help. We tried everything to help Blue but the big Rattlers fangs hit in deeply in the throat piercing it and then it happened. Blue took his last breath and now was gone.
That was a little over thirty years ago and to this day there’s a spot in that wiregrass patch I visit often, just yesterday I visited Blue that’s where I buried Him. Only the Lord and Blue know how much I loved him. I should have been more careful in heeding his warnings; if I had he would maybe still be here. I was only thirteen at the time but one thing I can say “ Blue Monday” I will always Love you.
True and still heart breaking to me.
Posted 01-19-2004 at 08:52:58
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Robert, that was a very touching story about Blue.
I cried with you, not how I planned to start my day, but it was a very sweet, but sad story.
I have one of those, too. That feeling of "if" I had done this or that, I wont share my story about my Pekineese Corky and what I wish I had done. I guess we should remember the good things and try to forgive ourselves.
Thanks for sharing; I realy enjoy the memories you have shared with us.