A few days ago Lisa made an appointment with our Veterinarian to have a look at two of our dogs,Dixie and Tank.Dixie had been coughing and not eating while Tank was throwing up everything he ate so off they went.The Doctor examined Dixie suggested a chest x-ray and that we continue with the antibiotics we had been giving her.Then it was Tank’s turn he felt around his stomach and thought he had a blockage, he wanted to keep Tank overnight and if need be operate.We agreed and thought nothing of it as despite an operation there was no real sense if urgency.
Yesterday started off like every other hectic guide day,I loaded dogs then went and met my client then off we went.We worked hard for the birds we found and by 4.30 we where heading home.Once in town our vet called,I asked how was Tank and the reply was “he did not make it”.The Doctor went on about the blockage rupturing his intestine over the lunch break and when they came back to the clinic they found him dead.Thats all I heard after that,I asked the Vet. to have him cremated and to keep Tank’s Collar then drove home in shock as part of me went with Tank.
Litermates Tank and Squeaky in Saskatchewan 2013
Almost two Years ago I walked(stumbled) back from the Bar here in town,much to my surprise Lucy was giving Birth in a dog house.We thought we had a couple of weeks to go before the big day but she jumped the gun on us.Lisa and I became the proud owners of 4 beautiful Brittany Puppies ,3 males and 1 female who we named,Rocco,Valentino,Squeaky and the largest one ‘Tank”.We kept Tank and Squeaky and found excellent hunting homes for the other two.
Tank’s first hunting season started in Saskatchewan in 2013,where at the start I would let both Tank and Squeaky out of the Dog Box and run them through either the field or around the slough that we had been shooting Ducks on.The result was Brittany’s that loved the water,knew how to find dead or crippled birds and retrieve.The Puppies also got into multiple road coveys of Huns,they polished their new found hunting skills by running with the Big Dogs.Both did great but Tank was special.
The big happy Brittany crushed it .At nine months old Tank was back in Arizona bringing his new found bird dog skills with him.He mastered the ways of The Mearns Quail and learned how to deal with the often running Gambels and Scaled Quail.At the same time he was a big baby around the house.Always friendly towards people and other dogs,Tank was an big hit with visitors namely my Daughter’s Hope and Stephanie. Stepson Tyler was also a big Tank fan as Tank knew how to win over Ty.
When we headed up to Saskatchewan for our 2014 season Tank was on the A-Team.I paired him up with our old pointer” Buddy” together they got down to business on The Huns and Sharptails,as the season progressed Tank began to have equal the amount of finds as his much older and experienced running mate.When we came back home to Arizona in November Tank’s training intensified,he became steady to wing and shot,at the same time he became more proficient how to handle running birds,often relocating then circling back in hopes of pinning them.In a nutshell Tank was fast becoming the pride of the Fleet.
As our Arizona Guide Season rolled around Tank was always first at the gate to get loaded up on the truck,he was relentless in his desire to go hunting ,he was a tough and solid Guide String Dog.
Tank’s last loop was on Sunday January 4th.He hunted with some clients that had seen him develop over the course of a 2 seasons. He ran well and as usual handled his birds perfectly.Bill and Robert where impressed with Tank’s performance.
This year has been a tough one for losing dogs,Tank’s passing has pushed both Lisa and I over the edge as we are in shock that Tank is gone,the result is a lot of soul searching and questioning our faith.However I try really hard to smile as I Look back at Tank’s short life that was full of all the good things Bird Dogs love to do. Considering his young age he had more hunting experiences than most dogs his age.He was confident around people,a true test to the love he got around the house from Lisa,myself and members of our family.
Tank is now in the land of 1000 Bird Coveys, he joins Ted,Roxy,Zane,Covey,Crash,Reba,Clint,Jasper,Cochise,Sunny,Jamie,Okie,Hilda,Quincy and his mother Lucy.R.I.P. Tank we sure do miss you.