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Ring Continued…Something Stinks in Basil’s Field

Story ID:8199
Written by:Charles Dishno (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Dillon Montana USA
Year:2012
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Ring Continued…Something Stinks in Basil’s Field

By Chuck Dishno

2012



One October in about 1943 when my brother Frank (Shad) was home on a furlough, he and I went duck hunting in Basil Hall’s field and of course I had to take along my dog, Ring. I was too young to shoot a gun but I went along for the outing with my big brother home from the war.



We didn’t have much of a hunt as nothing was flying but we stayed until dark and on the way back to the car, Shad saw something black and white running across the field toward the willow trees. He said he thought it must be a muskrat with something white in it’s mouth.



On an impulse. Shad took a shot at it and old Ring took off after it on a three-legged gallop. About the time the thing reached the willows, Ring caught up with it and we found out quickly what it was – it was a skunk. Shad said, “Let’s get out of here”, but I started crying and wanted my dog back.



I started out after Ring and by the time I got there he and the skunk were in a battle royal. I went into the fray to rescue Ring and the skunk nailed both of us but good. The skunk finally got away and I took Ring by the collar and led him back to where Shad was waiting in Pop’s 1936 Pontiac.



Shad wanted to leave Ring there and let him find his own way home but I would have no part of it. If I was going back Ring would have to ride in the back seat while Shad drove. It was only about 3 miles home but I can still remember Shad driving the old Pontiac with his head sticking out the window.



Ring and I stunk to high heaven but since we both smelled the same we stuck it out. Shad skidded into the driveway and ran into the house telling Mom not to let either of us in. Mom didn’t know what he was talking about and soon we were in the kitchen. I was standing there bawling and Ring was under the table licking himself. As soon as Mom realized what had happened, she stripped me and put me into the old reliable #3 washtub. Ring was promptly taken outside and tied to the bumper of the car. I think my Mom burned my clothes that night.



It took several days to get the smell off of me and the car was even worse. Every day, Pop would take Ring out to Fishhole Creek and throw him in several times. I think Ring thought it was a game and Pop said that after several days, he would drive up to the creek and Ring would get out of the car and jump in by himself.



Ring was a great dog for a young lad to grow up with but all good things have to come to an end and one day I went looking for Ring and found him laying in the shade of the house. He couldn't get up and when I knelt down beside him he raised his head, licked my hand and died. He was 13 and had live a good life.



When Pop came home from work, we buried him at the edge of a nice meadow where he loved to roam. For many years, each time I passed that meadow, I would give a salute to my faithful old friend.



I believe, Ring has gone to Doggie Heaven where, St. Bernard, at the gates, was waiting for him with his long lost left paw. I just hope St. Bernard was standing up wind from him, as we never did get all that skunk smell out of his fur.