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  • October 29, 2010

    Caption Contest: Win Some Free Gear

    By David DiBenedetto

    It’s time for some fun this Halloween weekend. (No, I do not plan on dressing up my dog.) Pritch and I will be heading a few hours northwest to do some water work in preparation for duck season, and in the off-hours I’m going to spend some time in a deer stand. But if you’re stuck at home, then we’ve got your entertainment. This hilarious photo, courtesy of a good friend with a rambunctious Vizsla, is in desperate need of a caption.

    And thanks to our friends at Cabela’s we have a six-pack of training dummies to give away as a prize, along with some assorted extra goodies I can round up from my desk.

  • October 28, 2010

    Video: Dog Eats 30 Nails and Survives

    By David DiBenedetto

    Pritchard never met a rock, stick, extension cord, shoe, sock (click here for details), clump of potting soil, Netflix envelope, or sundry other things that she didn’t want to eat (or attempt to eat). But so far she can’t top this Beagle, named Sophie, from Colorado Springs. According to reports from KABC, Sophie followed a Lab around that was digging up nails…and then she proceeded to eat the unearthed nails.

  • October 26, 2010

    Would You Go to Jail for Your Dog?

    By David DiBenedetto

    I’ve said it many times: I’d do just about anything for Pritch. Even if she seems to pick up one bad habit (chasing deer) just about the time I eradicate a different annoying habit (whimpering in the blind). But I might draw the line at spending some time in the clink.

    According to a report from NewsOK, a man from Hydro, Oklahoma took the law into his own hands when his dog was picked up and sent to the pound. Edwin Fry, 73, rode his lawnmower to the pound and used a pair of bolt cutters to free his poodle, Buddy Tough. He told a reporter he was fearful that Buddy Tough would be killed. During his getaway, however, he was stopped by the police. (I’m thinking a lawnmower isn’t the best getaway vehicle.)

  • October 22, 2010

    How to Dry a Wet Dog

    By David DiBenedetto

    Pritch loves to swim but she apparently doesn’t love to be wet. How do I know? Well, seconds after coming out of the water she tries to use my legs as a drying post. If not my legs, she’ll beeline for a nearby tree or fence. Or she’ll perform a good ol’ fashioned ground rub (as in the photo here). Lately I’ve been working on Shake—an easy and useful command to help stem her antics when wet.

  • October 20, 2010

    Sick Dogs, Pigeons, and the NFL

    By David DiBenedetto

    I had grand plans for Pritch this weekend. We were headed a couple of hours northwest of Charleston (out of alligator country) to work on our duck season prep. I had prepared a simulated duck hunt with decoys, calls and guns to get my pup conditioned for what’s coming. (Some of you may remember, Pritch was a little out of control on my last duck hunt this past year.)

    But on Thursday night my girl caught some sort of stomach bug. After vomiting for 24 hours, she took a brief respite to release the most god awful gas—a harbinger of what was to come—and then began to let fly from the other end for another 24 hours. Pritch was in no shape for a training weekend. In fact, she laid around mostly…sick as the proverbial dog.

  • October 15, 2010

    “Dead” Dog Comes Back to Life

    By David DiBenedetto

    Putting your dog down is certainly one of the hardest things a person has to do in life. But imagine if you went through with such a task only to later find that your dog had come back to life.

  • October 13, 2010

    How Often Do You Give Your Gun Dog a Bath?

    By David DiBenedetto

    Here’s a true story. When I was a teenager I once leashed my Lab, Salty, to the handle of the garage door and started giving him a bath. The handle was the perfect height, and I had used this technique often until this day when my old man came home early from work.

    He hit the automatic garage door opener as he turned down the driveway and suddenly Salty was coming tight to his leash. I started yelling as I grabbed my dog and began lifting him up to keep pace with the garage door. Thankfully, as I was about to attempt to hoist the dog over my shoulders my father pulled up in front of the garage and reversed the direction of the door. There I stood holding a sopping wet 60-pound dog, both of us wondering how I could be so stupid. Needless to say, Salty had a lot less baths from that time forward.

  • October 8, 2010

    Ever Take a Shooting Lesson?

    By David DiBenedetto

    Many years ago, during my first week at the Field & Stream office in New York, I tracked down Dave Petzal. (He was easy to find. If I remember correctly he was sharpening a knife at his desk.) I asked if I could go shooting with him to get a few pointers. I’ve got one pointer for you, he told me, practice. I think he mentioned an ungodly amount of rounds, and then I trudged back to my cubicle. He was right. I needed practice…but I got very little of it in NYC.

    Fast forward many years, and I’m now in the Lowcountry with the stark realization that I’m a horrible wing shot. (Deer and turkey I can handle. Dove and ducks make a mockery of me.) And now with a dog at my side the stakes are even higher. I’ve gotten used to letting myself down when the gun goes off, but Pritch just can’t comprehend when a bird doesn’t fall from the sky. Who can blame her?

  • October 6, 2010

    Why I Only Train Dogs

    By David DiBenedetto

    I was reading an article in a magazine recently about a dog trainer who formerly worked with elephants. Seemed like a pretty smart career change to me. Then I saw the below video of a lion trainer that was attacked by his “students” yesterday. The clip went viral on the internet and even ended up on Anderson Cooper’s show. Everybody loves a mauling, I guess, but why are we surprised when a wild animal goes batzo on a trainer. They’re wild, no? Don’t know about you but I’m sticking with dog training.

  • October 4, 2010

    Caption Contest. And the Winner is…

    By David DiBenedetto

    Last night at the stroke of midnight the latest Man’s Best Friend caption contest came to a close. We had 180 very solid entries, which made for difficult judging. But before we get to the winner and runner ups, let me give big thanks to Costa Del Mar for providing a killer prize—a pair of Jose shades worth $179.