Sunday, August 28, 2011

Casualties Of War

     The ongoing military actions in the middle east have produced untold number of casualties, many returning home to the US in a flag draped coffin. Perhaps you've known some one lost to the aggression, or have a neighbor who's lost a relative. Even if you don't, it isn't terribly difficult to imagine the sorrow of losing a young loved one under such circumstances. The sorrow doesn't stop there, however, and if you've ever wondered whether your dog loved you, as you love it, or wondered to what extent the the bond was felt by your friend, you can stop wondering.
          When US Navy petty officer Jon Tumilson, one of the 22 Navy Seals killed in a helicopter crash on August 6th, was laid to rest recently, his chocolate Lab, Hawkeye, laid mournfully beside his casket during the entire ceremony.
     While we'll never be able to know what our dogs are thinking, the images above are certainly an indication that the bond, love, and commitment we share is deeper felt by our dogs than we'd ever imagined. Probably more so when you share a working relationship, such as with a gundog. Adding to the already long lists of worries that comes with the responsibility of owning a dog, I now will have indelibly etched into my mind, that I one day, too, will cause  a dog sorrow when I leave it behind.
     I make no claim of knowing where good dogs, and good dog men go when they depart us. I'd like to think they find themselves in endless cover,  filled with big beautiful birds that hold for points, and flush strong and hard. A place warm enough that your hands are never cold, cool enough that the dogs can run all day, and posted signs never existed. If there is such a place, and I hope there is, Jon may have to wait a few years until he's reunited with Hawkeye, but in the mean time I know a few good dogs that'll be happy to point, flush, and retrieve for him.

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