We are reaching that time of year where I reminisce my younger days of being a student within the Colby School District. Every kid I know looked forward to Christmas Break! No homework, movie days, and the teachers, I’m sure, were also ready to have a break from us as well.
One of the things I looked forward to more than anything was the hours I would spend with the family beagle Buzz. My heart has a special place for dogs, and if you have been following any of the social media posts from Thankful Outdoors, you will see that being displayed by the stuff shared with Boone.
We got Buzz as a puppy; he was a different looking beagle. He was tan and white, not your traditional tri-color of tan, white and black. I had never seen a beagle like that before and thought it was so unique. Dad was going to sell these pups; as far as us boys were concerned, we should have kept all of them!
The day came when the people were going to come to buy puppies. Dad’s friend Rich Reddy picked out the pup that we ended up naming Buzz. My heart sank because I didn’t want to see that one go, and I got pretty worked up over that. Dad noticed how upset this had made me and said, “Rich, I’m sorry, but I can’t let you take that one; the kids want that one.”
In hindsight, I owe Rich a good dog, but from the stories Dad has shared, it sounds like Rich has had a few good dogs in his day, though. Letting us keep that dog was one of the greatest gifts that Dad and Rich could have ever given us, boys.
Several friends have hunted with this dog, and we all tell stories about how great of a dog he was. Not to brag too much about this dog, but I can’t think of one person that ever hunted with Buzz and didn’t appreciate how good of a beagle he was.
His drive and passion for chasing rabbits were like none I have ever seen before. He would hunt so hard that the pads on his feet would split open and bleed. When the snow was deep, he would ride on the long snowshoes until we got to the rock pile or junk farm equipment to get those cottontails going. You couldn’t pull this dog off a rabbit; I recall times where I would have to take my jacket off, leave it in the woods and retrieve my dog at dark as he was sitting on my coat waiting for me.
Dad still has the old game vest of his that I would wear when chasing rabbits; it hangs in the cabin, and I often stare at it remember how proud I felt putting a rabbit in the pouch. I will be honest I was a crappy shot and missed more rabbits than I got. I would feel bad after missing because Buzz would do his part, and I would feel like I had let him down when I wouldn’t get the rabbit.
That dog probably has a lot to do with why I have such a deep passion for the outdoors; that beautiful four-legged hound taught me what it meant to love the outdoors. It has been over 20 years since Buzz has passed on now, but his memories and stories about him still are among us that hunted with him.
There isn’t a time that goes by when I hear a bay of a hound, and it doesn’t take me back to those memories of chasing rabbits with my great friend Buzz. He will always have a special place in my heart.
I like to believe that Grandpa Fischer is in heaven with him, and they are running rabbits non-stop. My time will someday come where I will be there with them again.
As I prepared to share this week’s article with you, it was ironic that my friend Brent shared with me a sign he had read while having a meal in a little restaurant in Ogema. This message is from an anonymous writer, and it goes, “It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them, and every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are.”
Boone has certainly gifted a piece of his heart, and I look forward to making just as many memories with him as I had done so with Buzz.
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