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Old 08-11-2016, 12:57 PM   #1
curtintex
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Default My Life with Abby

I've often heard that if a man has one great dog in his life then he's been fortunate. For me, that dog is surely Abby. She was a great duck dog, a faithful companion and a fierce competitor.

I got Abby as a puppy in 2005 from a breeder in Gilmer, TX. I was looking for a particular line out of a dog named Downtown Dusty Brown. He was the recent Purina Gun Dog of the Year and he sired some good pups. I brought home a beautiful black pup that never left my side. She quickly became a great family pet as Jen and I had four daughters, the youngest were 1 year old twins. Abby grew up with our kids and loved them as much as they loved her. But I didn't get Abby to be a "pet", I got Abby to get ducks.

I sent her off to a buddy of mine for training and very early on he called to tell me that Abby was different from the other dogs he was training...more drive, more trainability, more determination. She took correction well and progressed quickly. He talked me into letting him run her in field trials and Abby got her senior title without a fail. Not a big deal, but I've no doubts that Abby could have done anything and never advancing past Senior was my call. She didn't need trophies and ribbons...she had this insatiable need to hear whistling wings and shotgun blasts.

On her first weekend of teal season in 2006, Abby picked up all 64 birds we killed over two days, and a legend among my hunting buddies was born. I've hunted over a lot of dogs, as had they, but Abby was indeed different. She did things beyond her training. I'd call her off a line and sometimes she'd ignore me....and then she'd go straight to a duck that I hadn't seen fall. She was smarter than me and worse than that, she knew it. Abby is the only dog that I've ever seen get a standing ovation from a duck blind...seriously. A duck was diving on her once and Abby just wouldn't quit. Finally as she got close the duck went under.....So did Abby. After about 3 seconds, but seemed like 30, Abby surfaced about 15 feet away with a flapping duck in her mouth and the blind erupted. She was two.

Abby and I have traveled all over North America chasing fowl. All over Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, South Dakota and all over the province of Saskatchewan. She was as constant in a field of cut barley as she was in the Gulf Coast marsh or the pheasant-filled corn fields of South Dakota. She's been sneaked into more hotels, and at least one casino, than I'd like to admit. She shared my bed, the bed of my buddies and basically wherever Abby wanted to sleep. When one of my buddies suggested she sleep in the truck, me and the others suggested he pick up his own birds....he relented and shared his bed with Abby that night. I always tipped the maid staff good at the hotels where Abby slept because she shed like a banshee.

Waterfowling is a young man's game and about the time I turned 40, Abby and I both slowed down a bit. We still have a great lease and make it out a few times a year, but marsh-stomping and 40hr drives are long past us. We were fortunate to be in our prime together and we put the hurt on some ducks. Abby got old with me and arthritis and hearing loss plagued her. She semi-retired to a comfortable life with a memory foam bed and all the food she could eat. She went to the office with me, went to the lake with us every weekend and loved her some air-condition. She and I spent every night on the back porch, after Jen and the girls went to bed, me reading and she snoring or pushing my hand up with her head for me to pet her. She was a retired legend in our house and given a place of reverence, even with my wife and girls.

I knew the end was near, so Abby and I stayed up until 2am this morning. There was no reading, I just pet her, washed her up with the hose which she always loved, and talked to her like an old friend. It would look foolish to anyone watching, but it felt **** right to me. I woke up this morning knowing what I'd find...I just knew. I called my office to let them know I'd be late because I had to dig a grave for my best friend. Within 30 minutes, my buddy at the office had called one of our rental companies and they delivered a mini-excavator to my house...I don't get equipment to jobsites that fast. My BIL and best hunting buddy showed up with tears in his eyes and Abby stories on his mind. I've gotten texts from hunting partners, old and recent, this morning and they all said the same thing...."what a helluva dog". It makes me proud to know that others saw what I saw. She was loved by many.

I don't know if there are dogs in heaven, but if there are God got a great duck dog this morning. I'm sure God never misses a passing shot, so Abby won't have to give that trademark sideways glance that says, "you do your job and I'll do mine". RIP Abby-girl. You were the best of them all and you will be truly missed. Until we meet again.....





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Old 08-11-2016, 01:02 PM   #2
RangerRick2012
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Thanks for sharing. Sounds like one the best. Condolences on your loss.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:03 PM   #3
Eagle19
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Sorry for your loss! It's always hard when you lose a dog, a good hunting dog at that!
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:04 PM   #4
awry
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Condolences ... Great tribute
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:05 PM   #5
AgHntr10
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Great tribute to what was obviously a great dog.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:05 PM   #6
VinnysquidTX
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My allergies just kicked up. Sorry for your loss. Prayers for you and your family.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:09 PM   #7
billfromtx
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Im getting close to the same boat with my Yellow Lab momma dog Belle...Reading your story brought tears to my eyes...My condolences Bro! :-(
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:13 PM   #8
12RingKing
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Awesome dog. Sounds like she was in the best place possible. God gave her to you for a reason. You did good! RIP Abby girl.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:13 PM   #9
Atfulldraw
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So sorry to hear this, brother.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:15 PM   #10
Horn a holic
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Very nice write up. Sorry for your loss! No doubt she was an awesome hunting buddy!
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:15 PM   #11
Meatcutter
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great story, so sorry for your loss!
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:18 PM   #12
Lefty5
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Sad for you loss and I sounds like she was your duck dog but also everyones PET
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:22 PM   #13
kae006
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Story put tears in my eyes, sorry you lost such a good one but she was fortunate to get to spend her life with you.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:23 PM   #14
jer_james
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Great write up - Sorry for your loss.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:26 PM   #15
Pistol
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I am so sorry Curt. I always cry like a baby when someone loses a great dog, because I lost one just like Abby. Life will never be the same. My deepest condolences.
I am sure she is waiting up there in heaven for you, so be good. IMO dogs are proof that God exists, and of course they go to heaven. Anything that loves unconditionally must be from God, and must be returned to Him.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:30 PM   #16
Fashinghunts
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I'm sure she is at a better place. Just remember, DOG spelled backwards is GOD. That's why a dog will stay with you, no matter what, good times or bad. God made dogs for us to remember him as well.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:32 PM   #17
quarterback
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Great tribute to what must've been that one in a million dog/family member. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. I have a pretty cool little sweetheart of a dog as well who thinks I can do no wrong.

And yes, I am convinced that God allows dogs to go to Heaven. Your Abby will be there waiting on you when it's your time.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:34 PM   #18
WItoTX
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My lab gives that same look as Abby...kind of "why are we just sitting here taking stupid photos".

Sorry for your loss.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:34 PM   #19
stickman
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Hard read right there knowing I'll have that type of day in my future. Terribly Sorry for your loss.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:37 PM   #20
bloodtrailer28
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Sounds like you were blessed with one hell of a dog sir. Very sorry for you loss.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:38 PM   #21
Patton
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Tough but excellent read, screen got blurry. If dogs in Heaven make a man the slightest bit happier, then I'm sure they are up there. She'll be waiting for you.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:41 PM   #22
Grndchecker
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Sorry for your family's loss. Great dog from what you described.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:42 PM   #23
Erin
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Tears in my eyes friend! I'm so sorry for your loss. Those great dogs leave a hole when they are gone. Your stories remind me of a yellow lab we had that we loved just as much.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:42 PM   #24
Razorback01
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Went through the same with a 13yo chocolate in 2004 and a 11yo yellow last year, doesn't get any easier. We have a 13yo rescue Aussie that will be next.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:46 PM   #25
WBT
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Sounds like a great dog. Sorry for your loss.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:48 PM   #26
bownutone
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Every man should be lucky enough to have an Abby at least once in their life and it sounds like she was lucky to have you.
Prayers to you and your family.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:48 PM   #27
cj7zrcool
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Sorry about Abby's passing, Curt. I lost my 12yo canine best friend last year.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:50 PM   #28
Kdog
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Great tribute to her. Sorry for your loss.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:52 PM   #29
StrayDog
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...you know that smell of too many buddies and hunting dogs sharing a small hotel room. That aroma of stale beer, wet dog, beef jerky, and BO...

Nothing beats hunting over a good dog.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:54 PM   #30
Mayhem
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Sorry for your loss Bud.

Like I said earlier, it's amazing how much a dog can impact ones life. Especially a good Gun dog.


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Old 08-11-2016, 01:55 PM   #31
AntlerCollector
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Curt, that was a great, heart felt tribute to undoubtably a wonderful best friend.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:56 PM   #32
bluelund79
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Sorry for your loss Curt. I put down my little girl this past Monday, worst thing I've done in a decade. All dogs go to heaven at least. I absolutely feel your pain, and I'm dealing with allergies as I type this.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:57 PM   #33
AJMag
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Dam fine write up! My condolences bud...
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:57 PM   #34
Clark
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Great tribute to your girl.
Remember the good and I'm sorry for your loss.
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Old 08-11-2016, 02:04 PM   #35
LiftAndShoot
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Hooyah. Great tribute to what was obviously a great friend. Sorry for your loss.
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Old 08-11-2016, 02:07 PM   #36
Chew
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That hurt to read. I dread that day. Sorry for your loss
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Old 08-11-2016, 02:08 PM   #37
scoutman
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So sorry, been in your shoes, not a good place to be
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Old 08-11-2016, 02:09 PM   #38
Neck
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Dang blurry screen!

Great tribute. Sorry for your loss.
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Old 08-11-2016, 02:13 PM   #39
lanceodom
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Great write up!
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Old 08-11-2016, 02:14 PM   #40
Drycreek3189
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Sorry for your loss, but your memories will take a little of the sting away.
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Old 08-11-2016, 02:16 PM   #41
Derek H.
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Great write up.
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Old 08-11-2016, 02:18 PM   #42
HUNTIN HARD
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so sorry RIP Abby
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Old 08-11-2016, 02:23 PM   #43
tgil
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Great tribute, these are always tough to read.

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Old 08-11-2016, 02:23 PM   #44
iamntxhunter
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Sorry to hear about Abby. I have been there just this past year and when you lose that one that you know could never be replaced it sure is tough. There is a bond there that is unexplainable.
Again I am sorry to hear you lost your Abby.


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Old 08-11-2016, 02:26 PM   #45
gingib
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God BLess and what a great write up!

I dread the day in the next 5-6 years I am hoping if lucky
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Old 08-11-2016, 02:28 PM   #46
Horitexan
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Sorry for your loss! Been there and it's nothing nice. Hang in there brother - you'll always have the memories.


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Old 08-11-2016, 02:29 PM   #47
glocker
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Great tribute,I've been there myself a couple of times. It gets better, and the memories live forever. You'll see her again someday. I gotta find out who's cuttin onions in here.
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Old 08-11-2016, 02:31 PM   #48
krausejmk
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so sorry for your loss man
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Old 08-11-2016, 02:33 PM   #49
EastTx
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Sorry to hear. Sounds like she was special.
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Old 08-11-2016, 02:34 PM   #50
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Great tribute, I did the same last Aug sorry for your loss.
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