When an old bird dog loses his hearing – The big game-changer

Pointing dog (Vizsla) is "Kosmo"/CH Derby's Read Em And Weep MH. Honoring dog (Vizsla) is "Amante"/CH Boulder's Bolder Amante MH.

Cussing out the squirrels was among his top ten.  Back when he was young and all was in working order he could hear the chatter of a squirrel two houses away.  He’d spring from his sleep and race outside to hunt that squirrel.  He’d wait hours if need be.  Poised under that branch.  Eyes locked on that chattering squirrel.  Just waiting for the arrogant little tail-flicking critter to make a mistake.  Sometimes he’d let his emotions get the best of him and he’d wail as if a leg had been cut off.  But mostly he tried to remain calm.  Focused.

. . .

Imagine his restless sleep as a young dog.  His senses–especially smell and sound–continued working even as he dozed.

Now, he sleeps deeply.  Undisturbed by chattering squirrels just outside the window or even by another lifelong-all-time-favorite–the refrigerator door being opened.  His senses dulled, worn down perhaps like a favorite pair of shoes gets worn down with time…age.  His “sugar face” and “frosty paws” at ease as he naps most hours of the day.

The “old guy” has earned this right.  After all he’s been on the hunt since he was a 5 week old puppy–stalking leaves and bugs when he was still with his littermates and dam.

Now, at almost 12 years, he hunts more selectively.  He saves his energy for the “real” thing–upland birds.  He applies the many years of knowledge he’s acquired about hunting these fabulous creatures and never fails to produce.  He’s a meat dog.  He knows where to go to find birds.  He knows which cover to hunt, how to use the wind, how much pressure to apply once he’s scented game, how to mark a downed bird so as to deliver promptly hand…with a soft mouth of course.

And, sometimes he decides to throw caution to the wind.  Behave like a pig instead of the finished gun dog we so proudly brag on.  Sometimes, rather than holding point he decides to put up a bird for a glorious chase.  Or, steal a point or a retrieve from one of the youngsters.  This is okay too.  He’s also earned this right.

Yes, these memories make the sweetest of dreams.  Perhaps this is why old gun dogs like him sleep so soundly.  Peacefully.  They dream of “the hunt”.

Kosmo the old bird dog - A much deserved peaceful sleep

Kosmo the old bird dog – A much deserved peaceful sleep

Written by Mel Reveles of FusionVizslas.com. I am proud to be a founding member of the Rocky Mountain Vizsla Club– “The Specialty Vizsla Club of Colorado” and a member of the Vizsla Club of America. I am also a participant in the American Kennel Club’s Breeder of Merit Program.

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