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RIP Hoss

Discussion in 'Idaho Flyway Forum' started by HaydenHunter, Aug 23, 2016.

  1. HaydenHunter

    HaydenHunter Elite Refuge Member

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    Hayden Lake, ID USA
    My big boy went to the happy hunting ground yesterday. Hoss, who came to me as the big male in his litter and grew to be 92 lbs at his prime weight, succumbed to old age respiratory and ambulatory issues. After a rough weekend we took him to the vet and now he is up in the yard buried next to Sadie.

    I never properly trained Hoss. That's on me. His marking and retrieving was purely on instinct. Man, how he loved to get in the boat and go out hunting. He was a lucky boy who grew up on Hayden Lake and for at least the first 8 years of his life, swam just about every day that the water was not frozen hard.

    His only transgression was his mastery at the art of escape and what my wife used to call his "walkabouts". We got so tired of him bailing 8' off of our farmhouse porch that we put up hog panel. The side of our house looked like a prison of sorts.

    He was a sweet, sweet "gentle giant" and all who have hunted over him with their dogs also on the trip found Hoss to be willing to honor other dogs retrieves. As he got older he'd love to come along and sit in the bushes but was perfectly ok with letting the other dog do most of the work. Last season he was so frail I didn't take him out at all; he finding it harder to get around and my buddies dogs coming into their prime. It was a tough transition into leaving Hoss behind. But he resumed a new role as mama's boy. Man, he loved my wife. His new job in life seemed to be not letting her out of his sight. And raiding the kitchen garbage can. For this, my wife gave him the nickname of the Moochie Man.

    Hoss never was given human food and we were rewarded with a dog whose world was food but who never begged when we sat down to eat. He loved a good garbage can, however. And he couldn't resist a fresh gut pile. A true labrador retriever, he was driven by his stomach. We have 16 apple trees on the property, and in his prime Hoss probably ate a dozen or more apples a day when they started falling from the trees. If Hoss had escaped and it was apple season you generally needed to look no further than the orchard.

    We laid Hoss in the ground yesterday not far from that orchard. I tucked him in, smoothed his big velvet ear over his head and put in a couple of dog treats, an apple and a tennis ball.

    I am waiting off on getting another dog until I retire next year and can properly train it. It will be my last hunting dog, as I'm no spring chicken. I know that my next dog will be a much better gun dog than Hoss. But I can't imagine that I will love another dog as much as I loved big Hoss. He was a character, a goofball, a gentle giant, a loyal big boy who watched over his mama and me.

    RIP Hoss.

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    birdstuffer likes this.
  2. fflegel

    fflegel Senior Refuge Member

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    Loon Lake, Wa
    Good Memories.
     
  3. BigBand

    BigBand Elite Refuge Member

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    My condolences, my friend. Hoss was a joy to be around, and he retrieved a bunch of my ducks over the years. When I built my boat blind, I even put in a second dog door up front, just for Hoss. You two were inseparable.

    I suspect you may not be without a pooch for as long as you say. They bring such love and good memories to our lives.
     
  4. WaterFoulHunter

    WaterFoulHunter Refuge Member

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    Jul 13, 2016
    Location:
    Hayden, ID
    This starting to look like my Murphy's last season in the field. I can see the writing on the wall. Sorry for your loss. The good ones always leave a large void when their gone.
     
  5. salthunter

    salthunter Moderator Moderator

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    Sorry for your loss!
     
  6. dcknight85

    dcknight85 New Member

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    Very nice eulogy. Sorry for your loss!
     
  7. crazyquacked

    crazyquacked Elite Refuge Member

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    Sorry for your loss. Very nice write up for your boy.
     
  8. Dek

    Dek Elite Refuge Member

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    Sorry for your loss, sounds like Hoss had a good run and gave you lots of joy. They do get old too quickly.
     
  9. IFSteve

    IFSteve Elite Refuge Member

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    So hard to lose a family member. All dogs are special but there is just a bit of an extra unexplainable bond between a man and his hunting dog, regardless of how good a hunter either of them were.
     
  10. HaydenHunter

    HaydenHunter Elite Refuge Member

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    Very well put Steve.

    Thanks to all for your thoughts and comments. My wife Rita was OK for a few days but is taking it harder now as it sinks in. She misses her Moochie Man. My wetsuit was hanging over the porch rail the other day and wishful thinking defied logic for a moment when out of the corner of her eye she saw the black mass where Hoss used to sit. For a second until reality hit, she moved toward the door to let Moochie in.
     

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