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  • January 30, 2012

    National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic: A Hunting Expo Worth Attending

    By Chad Love

    The noted French existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre once famously opined that “Hell is other people.” As a lifelong misanthrope, I’ve found that little gem to be not only a great way to kill conversation at dinner parties, but a wholly satisfying life philosophy. It’s not that I don’t like people; it’s just that I try to avoid large numbers of them at all costs.

    So when the website informed me that I would be attending SHOT this year with some 65,000 of my closest friends, and that I would even be allowed to wander the show floor unsupervised, I questioned the decision as either a gracious but misguided act of charity or the result of a lost bet.

    I took pains to point out to my editors that in matters of tact, wit and other social graces I’m roughly on par with Bat Boy from the Weekly World News. I reminded them, too, that, frankly speaking, I prefer the company of dogs to outdoor industry types, and that as a preferred destination for the third week in January I’ll take a CRP field in Kansas over Las Vegas, Nevada, oh, about ten times out of ten.

  • January 27, 2012

    End-of-Season Reflections: Looking Back and Ahead

    By Chad Love

    It's always been hard for me, as a bird hunter, to get very reflective around New Year's, simply because most upland and waterfowl seasons are still in high gear. But as we inexorably creep toward February, that starts changing. This is the time of year when waterfowl and upland seasons begin to wind down for many of us, which I think is as good a time as any to reflect on the past year and look toward the next.

    For me, this past weekend marked the end of duck season, and in about three weeks I'll no longer be able to walk mile after fruitless mile in vain pursuit of the bobwhite quail, a bird which I'm told is rumored to inhabit this area. Of course, I've also been told leprechauns inhabit this area, too, and I haven't seen any of them, either.

  • January 25, 2012

    Oldest Dog in the World Dies at

    By Chad Love

    Apologies for the lack of blog posts last week, but I was attending the SHOT show in Las Vegas. I did manage to survive the experience, so look for a new gundog and wingshooting product web gallery soon. In the meantime, sad news from the world of canine centenarians: Uncle ChiChi has died. Who the hell is Uncle ChiChi, you ask? Hey, I didn't know either, but he was absolutely, positively, perhaps, might have been, the oldest dog in the world.

    From the New York Times:

    Uncle Chichi, a toy poodle whose unusual longevity led to fame and an appearance on “Good Morning America,” died on Tuesday after a yearlong battle with cancer. He was 26. Or 24. Or maybe 25. The imprecision over his age led to debate over whether Chichi, or the Cheech, as he was sometimes known, had been the world’s oldest living dog.

  • January 13, 2012

    Blank Headstones Call For Good Dog Quotes...Obviously

    By Chad Love

    A few years back I did a blog post soliciting great outdoors quotes for a number of blank granite headstones that had come into my possession. Headstones? Well, yes, it's a long story.

    I was reminded of that blog post last night as I was reading a thoroughly enjoyable book entitled "Mile Marker Zero: The Moveable Feast of Key West." As the title implies, the book is a fascinating chronicle of the raucous, brilliant, and utterly debauched Seventies-era Key West literary scene.

  • January 9, 2012

    Ten-Month-Old Basset Hound Eats $4,500 Wedding Ring

    By Chad Love

    A while back I wrote a blog post about the canine propensity to eat virtually anything that can be chewed up and swallowed. Or perhaps your dog tends to dispense with chewing altogether and simply swallow whole whatever can slide down its ravenous and undiscriminating gullet.

    Either way, I wrote, swallowing a foreign object that gets stuck in your dog's GI tract can be fatal at worst, and very expensive at best. I was talking about vet bills, of course, but here's a dog who just took expensive to a whole new level.

  • January 6, 2012

    Dog Survives Avalanche That Killed His Owner in Montana

    By Chad Love

    Here's an amazing story of a dog that survived an avalanche that tragically killed his owner. Pretty incredible stuff, and testament to a dog's innate will to live.

    From this story on the Herald Tribune:

    A dog that was feared dead after he was swept away in a weekend avalanche that killed his owner showed up four days later at the Montana motel where his owners had stayed the night before going backcountry skiing. Search and rescue team member Bill Whittle said he was "positive" that the Welsh corgi ˜ named Ole ˜ had been buried in Saturday's avalanche. "The avalanche guys were up there on Monday investigating and they were looking for the dog too and never seen any signs," he said.

  • January 5, 2012

    NY Woman Sues Dog Breeder Over Genetic Abnormalities

    By Chad Love

    Does your dog have a soul? And if you answered yes, should you be able to sue an unscrupulous breeder for your dog's pain and suffering caused by genetic defects?

    These are just a few of the interesting questions being raised by a lawsuit now making its way through the New York legal system. This lawsuit seeks to reclassify dogs as "living souls" so their breeders can be held accountable for any pain and suffering the dog endures from genetic defects (A big hat tip to Patrick Burns at the always provocative and entertaining Terrierman's Daily Dose dog blog for the find).

    From this story on

    When Elena Zakharova took home her 2-month-old female Brussels Griffon from the Raising Rover pet store in Manhattan, she was excited about the new addition to her family. But, according to the New York Daily News, just a few months later in July 2011, the dog began whimpering and limping in pain. Now, her owner says despite expensive surgery, she will never run or walk like other dogs. Zakharova is claiming that the pet store sold her a dog with genetic abnormalities that could have been avoided if the pup were not bred from other dogs with disabilities. She is suing the business in a New York small claims court for the pain and suffering of the now year-old dog, which she named Umka.