Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Great Bloodhound

Rookie, the wonder dog, is your basic mutt. Describing his lineage is like a wine critic describing a wine he's tasted; vibrant Rottweiler, with Australian Shepherd overtones, a hint of German Shepherd, and some background hound tones. He's a good boy, great companion, has remarkable vocal range and vocabulary, but is not necessarily the sharpest knife in the drawer. This was brought into clear focus as he attempted to find TheKingOfIronwoodIsland as he relocated the propane lines for the gas lights in the Eight or Better Lounge.

The Eight or Better Lounge and its centerpiece, the Goddamn Bar (named as such by an anonymous member of the camp), was added on to our 20' x 24' hunting camp a half dozen years ago as a peace keeping initiative . Before that, a dozen people were eating, sleeping, and partying in that 20' x 24' space. This created conflicts when the actual hunters wanted to go to bed so they could answer the bell at 5am and the less dedicated hunters often stayed partying until 5am. There is nothing as aggravating as a loud argument or a pie tin banging against a head, waking a person up at 2am; some people can become almost murderous in that type of situation. In younger, more impetuous days a punch might even be thrown. The lounge solved that problem and is a cozy and convivial spot, with a couple ratty couches, bar stools, and the GD bar itself. The name arose when it was decided that only racks with eight or more points would be displayed in this space, adding another incentive for our Quality Deer Management program. The Humphrey gas lights give the lounge a pleasant ambiance and also provide heat. They were on a small propane tank and we wanted to hook them up with a 100# tank but someone would have to crawl down under the deck to make the connection. The King figured this selfless act might take some of the heat off him for missing the buck last weekend so into the access hole and under the deck he went. The Rook didn't notice him slip into the hole and thats when the fun began.

Rookie popped out through the door and looked around. I scratched his ears and asked him, "Where's Sam?". He started looking around and then the Rook heard, "Hey Rookie" from some magical unknown spot. He looked down the hole but could not figure out where that voice came from. That cocked head look of his is one of dim understanding and major canine head scratching.
The King spoke his name again, which sent the Rookie running up to the propane tank hole for the main gas lines into the camp. Still no sign of the mystery voice. By now its a spectator sport and we're cracking up. More than once Rookie was urged to raise his leg, a act that the King protested very vocally, which only confused our boy even more than he already was.
The Rook was running back and forth, sensing movement between the cracks in the deck board, barking his puzzlement, when the King finally popped out of the hole. Mystery solved, tail wagging, all is well at the hunting camp.
I don't think this performance did anything for Rookie's possible induction into the Doggie Mensa Society. He may not be all that bright but he sure can be entertaining.

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