What's new
  • Guest
    As per our long standing policy of not permitting medical advice on the forum - all threads concerning the Coronavirus will be locked.
    For more info on the coronavirus please see the link below:
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html

Shooting the Breeze- general chit chat

Esox

I didnt know
Ambassador
Just about this time of year, before Covid-19 but still within the span of "Rites of back to schools" I was at the neighborhood drug store to pick up some prescriptions. While waiting I wandered the aisles jess looking.

There was a mother with her daughter who was picking out her "Back to School" supplies. The daughter was at the age where everything had to coordinate; pencils and pencil box had to match and not be like "HERs" (I never found out who "HERs" was but it was clearly important); folders and binders and erasers and paste and ... all the very most important things that she had wanted her whole life were selected, compared and either rejected immediately or accepted. The little girl was truly serious about the importance of the quest and as she paraded up and down the aisle her long pony tail swished and swung and dominated her personal space.

Now my hair had grown fairly long recently, certainly no match for hers which came about halfway down her back.

The mom was just looking on with only the very occasional comment or reminder of things that were needed.

"That's quite a pony tail" I said. "I wish I knew how to make a pony tail."

The little girl stopped and turned to look up at me and with hands on hip said; "Even a First Grader knows how to make a pony tail!"

I laughed but her mom said "That's not nice to say!" only to get the response of "But it's true!"

Mom turned and apologized but I explained there was no problem and that maybe her daughter could teach me how to make a pony tail.

Laughing I turned my back to the little girl and knelt down. She grabbed my hair and pulled hard enough that I was sure I'd never be able to shut my eyes again. She pulled and twisted and produced a thing like a fat rubber cloth covered rubber band like magic and with a constant stream of instructions punctuated by random commentary created my very first pony tail.

"Did you go to school?"

"You have really skinny hair!"

"You are going bald!"

"Your hair really is too skinny!"

"You're really old!"

Mom was laughing and telling daughter those weren't polite to the tune of repeated "But it's true Mom!"s and I'm on my knees in the middle of Walgreen being tortured by a second or third grader.

But I did end up with a pony tail and did learn enough to be able to make one on my own when desired and she did finally find all the essentials to go to school.
Good story. The simple open honesty of children told in a matter of fact way with no other intention than being honest. Chances are she'll remember it for many years too.
 
...Animals can be proud. Many people dont have the eye or the experience to see it but that doesnt mean it isnt there. Animals are far more intelligent than many people give them credit for. I saw that with my Lab after his first goose hunt. He knew what he was suppose to do and he did it flawlessly. I think this picture captured the moment where he really understood he was good at what he did.

View attachment 1139167

He was so proud of himself there getting all the attention and he knew why. He was only 9 months old. He retrieved each of those geese from a single volley of shots. He marked where each one fell, remembered and didnt need to be told to go back for the next.

From there he became a star and it went to his head lol. He was painted by the Ducks Unlimited artist Tammy Laye and developed a certain air around him. He understood.

View attachment 1139168

He wouldnt just walk around, he would strut with supreme confidence. I found it fun to watch but very few others knew what they were seeing. After that though he could get a bit haughty lol. He wouldnt always make a retrieve if I was hunting on land. He knew I could get it but we worked through most of that in time. On water though he never failed me.

I havent spent a lot of time around horses but I can easily see and understand them doing the same, and more haha.
Thank you for sharing the wonderful anecdotes & photos! Yessir, just like your beautiful, confident Lab, you understand.

While I do not hunt, my father-in-law, who owns/operates a large apple orchard in IL, does & through the years has always had one or two amazing Labs running around the place. I shall never forget our (spouse) first trip back home with our working, year-old Australian Shepherds in-tow. After a couple hours of watching his Lab’s futile attempts at trying to keep up with the crafty, athletic Aussies, he said, bring your dogs & their damn tennis ball over here ... here, being the edge of an endless, mid-August cornfield. Holding his Lab by the collar, he smirked & said, “Now, throw that ball as far as you can & let’s see how long it takes your dogs to retreive it”. I launched that chartreuse orb far into field & watched the duo from Down Under fly after it ... around 90-seconds passed before Taylor, the female, resurfaced, ball in muzzle, from the field. Laughing, my F.I.L., said, “Now, toss that ball again & watch what this”! I threw it for all I was worth & the three dogs blazed after it. About halfway through my follow-through, or so it seemed, that doggone Lab emerged from the corn & a couple minutes later, two confused Aussies, sans a ball, followed suit 😆. We would repeat this exercise three or four more times and each time and some 20-seconds later, it was the Lab who would proudly drop his tennis ball at our feet.

Following, is a link (that I hope works) to a favorite Norman Maclean short story that is both humorous & evocative ... I believe that it will resonate with you

Retrievers, Good & Bad :
 

Esox

I didnt know
Ambassador
Thank you for sharing the wonderful anecdotes & photos! Yessir, just like your beautiful, confident Lab, you understand.

While I do not hunt, my father-in-law, who owns/operates a large apple orchard in IL, does & through the years has always had one or two amazing Labs running around the place. I shall never forget our (spouse) first trip back home with our working, year-old Australian Shepherds in-tow. After a couple hours of watching his Lab’s futile attempts at trying to keep up with the crafty, athletic Aussies, he said, bring your dogs & their damn tennis ball over here ... here, being the edge of an endless, mid-August cornfield. Holding his Lab by the collar, he smirked & said, “Now, throw that ball as far as you can & let’s see how long it takes your dogs to retreive it”. I launched that chartreuse orb far into field & watched the duo from Down Under fly after it ... around 90-seconds passed before Taylor, the female, resurfaced, ball in muzzle, from the field. Laughing, my F.I.L., said, “Now, toss that ball again & watch what this”! I threw it for all I was worth & the three dogs blazed after it. About halfway through my follow-through, or so it seemed, that doggone Lab emerged from the corn & a couple minutes later, two confused Aussies, sans a ball, followed suit 😆. We would repeat this exercise three or four more times and each time and some 20-seconds later, it was the Lab who would proudly drop his tennis ball at our feet.

Following, is a link (that I hope works) to a favorite Norman Maclean short story that is both humorous & evocative ... I believe that it will resonate with you

Retrievers, Good & Bad :
There was a time I had no stories but that was a long time ago. I've got plenty now lol.

Thats what Labs do. They've been bred to do that very thing for a long time. If you like watching how dog breeds work, if you ever get a chance, watch a Kuvasz. I had a 4 year old male rescue for a while a few years ago. Those dogs are unlike any other breed I've ever seen. A friend of mine is a breeder, Huron Kennels, and I spent a lot of time there watching those dogs and was amazed.

I drove Indy, the rescue I had, up for a visit one day and all the dogs were out in a paddock. Indy's grandmother was out too and she's a very sharp example of the breed. I got out, had Indy on a long lead and here came his grandmother. A 120lb ball of white hair and fangs coming at top speed right at me. Indy knew what she was going to do before she did it and stepped in front of me before she had covered 10 feet of the 50 yards to the fence, planted his feet, lifted his tail and snarled, standing between me and the fence. As soon as he planted his feet she turned. When he was sure she was finished, he turned around as if to say "Right. Shows over, everyone back to work." Lifted his leg and pee'd right down my jeans on my left leg. You know why he did that. I never had a problem with any of those dogs again but his mean old grandmother would still complain. She was 14 at the time. Another female, Diamond was 16. A big male, Cezar, was 140lbs and we really got along. The first time I met him he came over to where I was standing and sat on my feet. I scratched and rubbed his neck and the muscle felt like steel cable with an oiled sheep skin over it.

I use to take Indy for a 5 mile walk every night and every time we got back, he'd stand at the open gate and survey the yard. If a leaf was out of place he'd go sniff it and wonder why. That breed is one of the three oldest breeds and were bred to be faster and more agile than wolves to protect the livestock. Very careful breeding since WW2 has saved that breed and the bloodlines are intact. Indy's bloodline went all the way back to King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary in 1459.

The instincts of that breed are phenomenal and have been preserved. I remember sitting in the yard, Indy laying on the top step at the gate and looked like he was sleeping, his eyes were just slits. What he was actually doing was watching everything in the neighborhood that moved. There was a squirrel 4 doors up in a tree and I saw Indy move his head slightly while still laying it over one front leg. He was watching that squirrel so I started watching it and him without saying anything. When that squirrel jumped into the next tree, closer to 'his' yard he lifted his head. The squirrel didnt react. When it came into the yard 3 doors up in another tree, he stood up. The squirrel didnt react and came into the yard 2 doors up. When it looked like it was going to come into the yard next door, he slowly started walking towards it. The squirrel got the picture and sat in that tree complaining. Indy walked by me, got a pat and a good boy and went to lay down again.

They do the very same thing with people they dont know and anything else they might encounter. They are completely fearless and do not shrink, they only get bigger and bolder. They use their tails as a flag to alert the other dogs in the group. When its half way up they're paying close attention and watching something unsure if its a threat yet. When its all the way up they're on their way to confront whatever threat they think it is. When its curled over their back you better hope theres a fence between it and you.

They might bring back a thrown ball once. If you throw it away again they just think you didnt want it anyway so wont bother. They have a way of warning you, or someone coming to your gate, to stay away. They'll jump up and poke you, forcefully, in the chest with their snout telling you "No, dont do it."

I'll read that story, thanks. There was another site, its gone now, of posts by Robert Denlinger of Denstar Farms in KY. He had two Kuvasz sisters he called "The Daemon Sisters" because of what they got up to on his farm. He also called them his "Missile Defense System". He's since changed to Caucasian Ovcharkas because Kuvaszok (plural) roam too far. They kept expanding their coverage area to other farms and were being killed on the roads.

During WW2 they were such fierce protectors that first the Germans shot them on sight and then the Russians. After the war there was only a dozen of the breed left.

If you get a chance or theres a breeder nearby, drop by and have a talk and just watch them for a few minutes. It's something to see.
 
Last edited:

Esox

I didnt know
Ambassador
Following, is a link (that I hope works) to a favorite Norman Maclean short story that is both humorous & evocative ... I believe that it will resonate with you
Indeed it did, thanks for posting it.

We used to goose hunt a big slough just south of Indian Head Saskatchewan. We'd spend the day there. One foot of water over 4 feet of alkali mud, horrible stuff.

Around about noon or so we'd have some lunch and a nap during the lull between flights of birds. One day we were woken up by a rustling and there went a big Chessy that lived on the closest farm, about a mile away, with one of our geese. I can still see that dog running across the prairie with the wings of that Snow goose flapping around its head lol.

They are good in big water. They're bigger than Labs, usually. Mine was 92lbs working weight and 96 the rest of the year. Big for a Lab and thinking about it, I wonder if there wasnt some Chessy blood in those dogs at some point. Now they're all English blood here, smaller and lighter. He was muscular and broad chested like a Chessy and even had the head and heart of one but his brain was all Lab.

Tammy Laye Before The Storm cropped2.JPG

He always sat just like he is in that painting too, ready to launch. Tammy really captured him in that painting.
 
Last edited:
There was a time I had no stories but that was a long time ago. I've got plenty now lol.

Thats what Labs do. They've been bred to do that very thing for a long time.
They are good in big water. They're bigger than Labs, usually. Mine was 92lbs working weight and 96 the rest of the year. Big for a Lab and thinking about it, I wonder if there wasnt some Chessy blood in those dogs at some point. Now they're all English blood here, smaller and lighter. He was muscular and broad chested like a Chessy and even had the head and heart of one but his brain was all Lab.

View attachment 1139839

He always sat just like he is in that painting too, ready to launch. Tammy really captured him in that painting.
Again, thank you for sharing those informative & wonderful recollections. The Kuvasz is a new one to me ... the first thought that came to mind as I viewed a few of them on Youtube was that their kind, warm faces certainly belie that fiercely protective drive you wrote about ... what a proud, confident breed!

I spent a couple college summers working on commercial trawlers up in NC & it was there that I met the first of what would become many Chesapeake Bay Retrievers ... try as I might, I never could get any of them to warm up to me. I don’t know that I have ever met a more aloof, one-person dog than a Chessie.

That regal Lab of yours was certainly a beauty & that painting, just unbelieveable! Did you ever breed him? When my father-in-law’s lab(s) reach a particular age, he’ll search out a willing & worthy mate & then offer his dog’s services in exchange for the pick of the litter ... who in turn, will spend a few years learning from & growing up alongside dad ... or mom, as it were. In a very real sense, Labs that passed long, long ago still run around that orchard today.

Back to the Kuvasz for a minute. You mentioned 14 & 16-year-old dogs & considering their size, that’s quite long life, no?

Speaking of lifespans & in closing, when I took photos of my horse collar & halter the other day, there was another collar belonging to a mare (Sweet Robbery) that I did not include in my earlier post. Anyway, today I’m looking up pedigree charts for some of the mares I had worked with & to my shock discovered that as of 2018, a then 42-year-old Sweet Robbery was still walking this earth!
 
Seabiscuit ... excellent racehorse & a wonderful story (& movie, too), but IMO, it’s Secretariat for the win; Man O’ War for the place & Seabiscuit for the show.

... and for my money, Secretariat & the tragic, Ruffian were & remain the greatest thoroughbreds ever.

Ruffian, sixteen-hands of phenominally fast filly...


"As God as my witness, she (Ruffian) may be better than Secretariat”
~
Lucien Laurin, Secretariat’s Trainer
 

jar_

Contributor
BUT...

there is also Steeplechase and Harness racing and ...

Growing up in an area where each of the three styles were approaching the status of "The One True Religion" I got to experience all three and it was at Windy Farms that all three were in constant debate. There was often little shrift granted to those of one of the other two religions and yet the walls were covered with photos from all three and if asked there would always be someone in attendance that could roll off the odds and likelihoods of the night's or next event.
 
Last edited:

Billski

Here I am, 1st again.
BUT...

there is also Steeplechase and Harness racing and ...

Growing up in an area where each of the three styles were approaching the status of "The One True Religion" I got to experience all three and it was at Windy Farms that all three were in constant debate. There was often little shrift granted to those of one of the other two religions and yet the walls were covered with photos from all three and if asked there would always be someone in attendance that could roll off the odds and likelihoods of the night's or next event.

Windy Farms is good reading. And Jughead? So that’s where we get Archie’s friend’s name.
 

Ad Astra

The Instigator
Ambassador
Just got motivated to start a few cycles of .38 Special brass reloading.

So hot out there! But must have more K-frame chow! :lol:

Besides. Those Keith-style SWCs demand to be loaded! Such a fine projo.

I should buy some nickle plated Starline brass - I use that in .45 Colt, none better.


AA
 
@shoelessjoe

All good reads in this thread. I’ve always been intrigued with parimutuels. Probably glad I can’t attend any around here. It’s interesting to watch all the regulars at the track and to visit the paddocks before each race.

I went to the Kentucky Derby in 1976 with $20 in my pocked and paid $10 back then to get into the infield. My roommate sat on my shoulders so he could see the race. I bought six mint juleps and two hotdogs. Made some bets and left with $20 in my pocket! Life is good. So aren’t horses.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Esox

I didnt know
Ambassador
Great posts and story @Esox!
Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed them!


Again, thank you for sharing those informative & wonderful recollections. The Kuvasz is a new one to me ... the first thought that came to mind as I viewed a few of them on Youtube was that their kind, warm faces certainly belie that fiercely protective drive you wrote about ... what a proud, confident breed!

I spent a couple college summers working on commercial trawlers up in NC & it was there that I met the first of what would become many Chesapeake Bay Retrievers ... try as I might, I never could get any of them to warm up to me. I don’t know that I have ever met a more aloof, one-person dog than a Chessie.

That regal Lab of yours was certainly a beauty & that painting, just unbelieveable! Did you ever breed him? When my father-in-law’s lab(s) reach a particular age, he’ll search out a willing & worthy mate & then offer his dog’s services in exchange for the pick of the litter ... who in turn, will spend a few years learning from & growing up alongside dad ... or mom, as it were. In a very real sense, Labs that passed long, long ago still run around that orchard today.

Back to the Kuvasz for a minute. You mentioned 14 & 16-year-old dogs & considering their size, that’s quite long life, no?

Speaking of lifespans & in closing, when I took photos of my horse collar & halter the other day, there was another collar belonging to a mare (Sweet Robbery) that I did not include in my earlier post. Anyway, today I’m looking up pedigree charts for some of the mares I had worked with & to my shock discovered that as of 2018, a then 42-year-old Sweet Robbery was still walking this earth!
The Kuvasz is a friendly breed but they are a guarding breed. They will fight and defend to their death but its a last resort for them to bite or attack. They arent quick to it, unlike an Ovcharka and will only do that as a last resort.

With this Ovcharka and you see his intentions clearly.


I wonder if he knows how lucky he is. That dog learned to use his weight to his advantage. A Kuvasz on the other hand would have confronted him quicker so it wouldnt have escalated the same way but if pushed they'd react the same way, just lighter and quicker on their feet. A well matched pair would be unbeatable in a rural setting.

This is Indy, taking up the entire back seat of a Grand Prix.

DSC00644.JPG

You wouldnt know that behind those soft brown eyes lurks a werewolf. 34"s at the shoulders and 105lbs. He literally ran circles around a friends 4 year old Border Collie. He sure has the right name lol.

That aloofness and independence you mention about Chessies is the reason why my father always kept Labs. He thought of Chessies as a bit bull headed and not always as eager to do what you wanted but more what they wanted. Kuvasok are the same way, highly independent and think for themselves. I've only met a couple Chessies, they arent a popular breed around me which is surprising since a lot of duck hunting is done on the Great Lakes where they would excel.

We did breed him yeah. My brother in law had a very fine Yellow Lab female. Almost white, 65lbs, good legs, great nose and fast. This is her at about 9 months. She was the sharpest example of a Lab I ever met.

William and Caetie pup.JPG

The black ball of fluff at her feet is a miniature Poodle that spent 10-15 years inside my brother in laws coat, goose, duck and even deer hunting. She thought she was a retriever too but rarely got let free because of burrs. My sister told him that if you take one, you have to take both. Whatcha gonna do? haha

She was really smart and easy to train. Eager to please. It took seconds one day goose hunting to teach her to run around and collect the fired shot shells for reloading. He held a fired AA hull out to her for a sniff, he said "Find!" and off she went. She didnt really grasp it until she sampled one with her teeth though. Paddy, my Lab was a bit more difficult. Typical of a male. Things he wanted to do came quickly. Things I wanted him to do, well, he was royalty right? lol It took me maybe 5 minutes one day to teach him to "Get the shoes!" "Outside? Get the shoooes!" and I'd put my shoes in his mouth. When I started I had to tell him to "Get the other one!" because he only brought back one haha.

The pups. I only met one and he was about 9 months old then. A working field dog and very light Yellow, just a bit darker than his mother. He was tall, long legs. Taller than both his parents, about 80lbs. A perfect mix of mother and father. He had size and strength yet light and fast like his mother.

Kuvasz and age, yeah, they live long lives. 14 and older is common for the breed. It surprised me too. Another little known fact about them is, they have no smell. You can bury your face in all that hair, inhale and smell virtually nothing, even when wet. They're also hypoallergenic. They also shed, profusely and need brushing often but leaves and twigs and the like dont stick to them and just fall off when they get up and shake.

The horse business all took place with my parents before I was born. He was pretty well known around the tracks, even the Aqueduct in NY that I remember him mentioning often. He and my mother had both had been to The Kentucky Derby in the 1950's. Where I live is harness racing. The older couple I shovel the snow for across the street from me, he was a driver years ago for the Standardbreds that race here all the time.

Man 'o War. My fathers favorite horse.

When I was just little we always had a Lab and my father raised coon hounds for hunting. He turned down $15,000 for one in, I think, 1976.

My life has been dogs ever since but when it came time to put Paddy down I just dont have it left in me to do again. I took Indy for a while until we found a better home for him. He wasnt suited to city life and needed more room to run and kids to play with.
 

jar_

Contributor
You know you're getting old when the ads on TV say "Are you waiting for someone you've never heard of to do something" and even when you see the person it's someone you wouldn't recognize if they showed up at your door.

And you are still clueless of who the person is or why they would be doing whatever they did in the ad.
 

Ad Astra

The Instigator
Ambassador
You know you're getting old when the ads on TV say "Are you waiting for someone you've never heard of to do something" and even when you see the person it's someone you wouldn't recognize if they showed up at your door.

And you are still clueless of who the person is or why they would be doing whatever they did in the ad.
Wife will see some famous actor/actress on tv.

"So-and-so is getting old!" she exclaims.

"They're all getting old. We're getting old, too," I usually laugh.

Usually.

Why is it ok for kids to grow up, but well-known actors - and other people - shock us by aging?

I mean, not me. I have that hyaluronic acid aftershave! :lol:


AA
 

Ad Astra

The Instigator
Ambassador
What's better than a new firearm? Well, seeing a Saturn V rocket, for one!

Go check out "A Shave Outside the Surly Bonds of Earth" in the main forum.

@DEPenguin made a trip to Huntsville Rocket & Space Center. An awesome place, as you'll see ...


AA
 

jar_

Contributor
It was the late 1960s and we were driving up from San Buena Ventura to Santa Barbara and in the space of about 50 feet went from bright sun to total zero visibility as a coastal fog rolled in. I pulled over as close to the guardrail and cliff face as possible and we got the MGB top out of the boot and had put the frame together and on the car and were about to add the skin when we heard a horrendous crash a little ways ahead. The sound of crashes continued and kept getting closer and closer as car after car plowed into the growing dam. I don't remember hearing any screech of brakes and my wife and I just stayed behind the guardrail and waited for the noise to stop. Soon the sound of horns and red tail light became visible and traffic seemed to be slowing down and even stopping. It wasn't long until the line of stopped cars was all the way back past the MGB and other folk were joining us against the cliff face. The pileup seemed to continue forever but now was cars south of us and likely extending out of the fog because we could hear brakes and sliding and the impacts were far less severe.

We were there for hours while police and ambulances and fire trucks and wreckers sorted out the mess. I can't remember for sure but I think the final total was like 80+ cars. Eventually we were able to back down the line to an area where we could turn around and head back home. I had really wanted a bowl of cioppino on the Pier in Santa Barbara but we settled on Tacos Al Carbon from a little shack near the court house in Ventura.
 

BigFoot

We Don't Smoke Marijuana In Muskogee!
Moderator
It was the late 1960s and we were driving up from San Buena Ventura to Santa Barbara and in the space of about 50 feet went from bright sun to total zero visibility as a coastal fog rolled in. I pulled over as close to the guardrail and cliff face as possible and we got the MGB top out of the boot and had put the frame together and on the car and were about to add the skin when we heard a horrendous crash a little ways ahead. The sound of crashes continued and kept getting closer and closer as car after car plowed into the growing dam. I don't remember hearing any screech of brakes and my wife and I just stayed behind the guardrail and waited for the noise to stop. Soon the sound of horns and red tail light became visible and traffic seemed to be slowing down and even stopping. It wasn't long until the line of stopped cars was all the way back past the MGB and other folk were joining us against the cliff face. The pileup seemed to continue forever but now was cars south of us and likely extending out of the fog because we could hear brakes and sliding and the impacts were far less severe.

We were there for hours while police and ambulances and fire trucks and wreckers sorted out the mess. I can't remember for sure but I think the final total was like 80+ cars. Eventually we were able to back down the line to an area where we could turn around and head back home. I had really wanted a bowl of cioppino on the Pier in Santa Barbara but we settled on Tacos Al Carbon from a little shack near the court house in Ventura.
So a daily drive in DFW traffic minus the fog. :lol:
 
Top Bottom