If you follow the blog, you may remember that the brown dawgs did not get to go hunting at all last Fall because hubby had surgery and was not cleared to hunt.  I can tell you that did not sit well around here.  These dogs live to hunt.  I think it was particularly hard on Thunder as an old hunting dog.  He has hunted every season since he was a puppy, except one when he had an injury.  That is a lot of hunting and he sorely missed it.

Fast forward to a few weeks back.  We had a rainy Spring so our grass was longer than normal and in need of cutting.  Not overly long, just not as short as we normally keep it.  It was a beautiful morning so I let Thunder and Storm out while I filled water pails for the outside kennels.  I noticed Thunder sniffing around in the grass but I paid no mind as I assumed he was just doing the normal dog sniffing.

In retrospect, I realize he wasn’t.

He was kind of sniffing in a zigzag pattern and then kind of pounced.  The next thing I knew, he had scooped up a baby robin.  Oh no!  I think it was newly out of the nest because it did not appear it could fly all that well.  I now realize that Thunder had tried to flush the bird like he would a bird out in the field.  Except we weren’t in the field and the bird did not flush or fly away.

Lovely, now it is in his mouth.  Yikes!  I kind of panicked and told him to “Leave it!”.  What a dope.  That command is not going to work.  It is already in his mouth so too late for leave it.  Then I told him to “Drop it!”.  Wrong again.  He has been trained to hold birds to be delivered to hand and I was no where near him so he is not just going to drop the bird on the ground and we do not use that command for birds anyway.

If I had been closer maybe what happened next could have been avoided.

All at once the robin started to flap its wings.  Then Thunder did what he does when any bird he is trying to retrieve flaps, he shook it.  It happened so fast I was not able to stop him.  I got over to Thunder who delivered it to hand, but it was too late.  The shaking was the bird’s demise because it broke its neck.  Sorry little bird.

Thunder seemed pleased with himself.  Look!  I got you this bird!

Sorry to be a kill-joy but I let Thunder know I was not pleased with him.  I do not want him to retrieve that kind of bird.  In all of the years we have had the dogs, this has never happened but I guess when you have an old hunting dog, this was bound to happen.  You can’t take the hunting dog out of the old hunting dog.

5 thoughts on “You Can’t Take The Hunting Dog Out Of The Old Hunting Dog

  1. sorry for the robin… but it is sure like you said ;o) I often wish to be closer or to be faster when such things happen… fortunately it was only a snail yesterday… well.. phenny is a french boy ;o)

  2. Aw, poor baby Robin, and poor Thunder just doing his thing! We’ve seen baby birds and chipmunks meet their demise too…but it was always at the paws of our cats, not the dogs! Our cat Don Juan must have raided a chipmunk nest once, and I was so mad at him! Then another time, even indoor cat Sam escaped the house and found the robin’s nest in the wood pile on our deck. I just couldn’t get there quick enough once I realized what was happening. 🙁

  3. Our guys catch occasional baby robins and are so proud of retrieving them. Sometimes they don’t hurt the bird, but the damage usually comes in catching it and I have to “dispatch” the young bird.

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