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Ring and the Balancing Act…

Story ID:8765
Written by:Charles Dishno (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Family Memories
Location:Dillon MT USA
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Ring and the Balancing Act…
By Chuck Dishno
March 2013

The year was 1944 and I was 10 years old. It was fall and the duck and goose season was in full swing. Migratory waterfowl was good in the Sycan Valley where Bly was located due to the grain fields, lakes and rivers. A few of these places had warm water from underground springs. The birds loved to soak their behind in the warm water. I was too young to use a big 12-gauge shotgun but loved to tag along with my Pop. Pop was a good shot and always came home with a few Mallard ducks or Canadian Honkers. He was also a good storyteller and I learned much about life from this great old man, things that I have kept with me all my life.

On this particular occasion, Pop, Ring and I drove out to one of his favorite hunting places, the Liske ranch. The Sycan River ran thru it and there were lots of turns and bends where one could sometimes scare up an flock of Mallards. It bordered on the Klamath Indian Reservation and on the reservation were several hot water ponds. The geese loved these and would come off the grain fields to spend the night. It was easy to catch them early morning or late evening as they came or went.

There was a large ditch between the road and the field, which had a log across it. It wasn’t a large log, only about 10 or 12 inches in diameter, but large enough to use as a bridge. The water was running full and had large chunks of ice floating by.

Pop got all his gear together and said, “Come on, Chum, let’s get across and see what we can bring back for dinner tonight.” Pop was about 60 years old at the time and in good shape. I was a skinny little kid who put all his trust in his Pop. Pop started across the log with me hanging on to his back pocket. When we got about halfway, Ring decided he wanted to cross too and bolted on his three legs between the two of us. This threw Pop off kilter and he fell sideways into that ice water with me still attached to his hip pocket. Pop grabbed me and we waded to the bank we had just left. As soon as we got back on the road, we looked across and there sat Ring with his head cocked and a doggie grin on his face. He seemed to be saying,” What is the matter with you two guys, can’t you walk a log? I made it just fine and I only have three legs.”

Pop took all this in stride and we went back to our old Pontiac, turned up the heater and tried to dry out. We were still wet and cold though so we called it a day and went back home. Ring had come back across the log and hopped in his usual spot on the back seat dry as a bone.

Now we all know how a wet dog smells but I wonder if it is a repulsive to a dry dog to have to smell his wet owners. He didn’t seem to mind though but he surely had a story to tell the other Bly dogs as he made his rounds later that day.

Ring has long since gone to Doggie Heaven now. He will be waiting for to remind us of the time he walked a log on three legs and saved a bunch of Canadian Honkers from an early demise.