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Outdoor Life: Dogs I've known - Part Doo
Alvin Richardson

A couple of years ago I wrote a column on some of the famous and infamous dogs that have passed through my life. Right after that I got a bunch of e-mails from folks who enjoyed the story and encouraged me to do the promised follow-up on other dogs I have known and I told them I most certainly would.
    I forgot.
    But just the other day I had an epiphany and actually remembered my promise. Thus this little story is ingeniously entitled “Dogs I Have Known — Part Doo which is a nod to one of these canines who was notorious for indoor flatulence — by far the worst kind.
    In my previous episode I capsuled the history of Inky the Fearless, a notorious snake killing dog, Skipper the Meek, an English Setter with the ability to find quail in heavy brush and Maddie the Stinky who was one of the best all-around dogs of my canine owning career but who was prone to rolling in cow patties. They have all since moved on to doggie heaven — gone but not forgotten. Thus we now turn to the interesting narratives of my other canine companions namely Jake the Magnificent, Sport the Hungry and Thor the Terrible. All interesting in their own unique way.
    Jake the Magnificent was born circa 2010 to our own Maddie the Stinky. He was the alpha male from day one. His first feat of strength and endurance was to crawl all the way from his birthplace to a ditch fifty feet away while his siblings stuck close to their mom, copped a meal and squealed like sissies. Not Jake. He was a rounder from the very beginning.
    Jake eventually made his permanent home with a friend of mine who sensed his greatness and trained Jake up to be a dog for all seasons — well nearly all seasons. Before he was done Jake the Magnificent became a world class jumper. In his very first contest, an event better known as the “long jump over water,” he won. He handily defeated dogs who had been bred and then trained all their lives to that task. Jake just jumped for the love of it and he was simply a natural.
    His talents did not end there. He was a consummate ratter, a pesky squirrel dog, a legendary armadillo chaser and a renowned runner of deer. In our minds he was indeed a dog for all seasons — until dove season came along. Turns out Jake didn’t like the boom of a shotgun and that turned out to be the only chink in his armor. He would beat a hasty retreat to the front seat of any nearby truck in order to escape that awful sound. Maybe I’m wrong though — he might have just wanted to listen to the Georgia football game on the radio. But he didn’t seem to enjoy dove shoots.
    Then there was Sport the Hungry. He was a beagle-basset hound by birth and a biscuit hound by trade but made his name in other ways as well. He might be best described in physical appearance as low slung (a belly dragger). He had a deep booming voice with which he could wake sleeping neighbors several blocks away if unhappy. He was also proficient at tracking small game at short distance — particularly rabbits, but his claim to fame was that he could track a biscuit from any distance. There were many times when I had to go fetch him from either the school lunchroom or the drive through line at Dairy Queen depending on which way the wind was blowing.
    Last but not least there was Thor the Terrible. Even though that nickname might conjure up images of maliciousness he was not given that moniker because he was mean. Thor was actually a beautiful black Labrador Retriever with a sweet demeanor who was a pure athlete. He possessed the speed of a track star and the build of a running back. Courageous too. He once jumped out of the back of my truck in order to attack a speeding transfer truck that was going in the opposite direction. I don’t know if it was his protective instincts or what but all I could see in my rearview mirror was Thor sliding down the road on his belly while trying to get some semblance of an athletic grip on the pavement with his toenails.
    That incident changed his life and mine forever. From that day forward Thor the Terrible’s toenails never grew back to normality and he would not get in the back of my truck but would only ride in the front with me. It was that change of events that led me to discover his only fault — a severe and enduring case of indoor flatulence — thus his nickname. Things were never quite the same between us after that.
    So as I promised a couple of years ago there’s Part Doo. I wanted to include one more dog story but I’ve run out of space. I’ll do that next week.

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