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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, this is a tough decision for me, I have a hell of a bird dog whom tore her CCL (ACL) and MCL during a pheasant hunt late last November. We've pursued wild upland birds from many different states; mainly Missouri & Iowa (Pheasant & Quail). I did the TPLO surgery for her in late february and she seems to be bouncing back very well now. She is 8 years old, has 7 years of war afield under her belt, and she looked great (bird finding ability) last fall before she went down with the injury. Another TPLO surgery is out of the question for me. She's a pointer so she only knows one speed and that is 110% all the time. We've been through the thickest, thorniest, and steepest of habitat this country has to offer. We have been through a lot of bloody hunts, stitches, surgeries, thin ice, snow storms etc.. I've followed that warriors painted red 12 o clock tail for years without question, as I always knew her nose to be on the scent of a pheasant or quail... With all that in mind, the Vet said since one CCL went the other is likely to go as well. So do I risk hunting her and maybe get two more years afield? Or, do I retire her and give her a well deserved restful retirement and hopefully a healthy one at that?

Dog Dog breed Carnivore Road surface Asphalt
Dog Plant Carnivore Collar Mammal
Dog Plant People in nature Carnivore Fawn
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Dog Collar Working animal Black-and-white Grey
Smile Dog Hunting People in nature Carnivore
Dog Dog breed Carnivore Road surface Asphalt
Dog Plant Carnivore Collar Mammal
Dog Plant People in nature Carnivore Fawn
Sky Plant People in nature Grass Tree
Dog Collar Working animal Black-and-white Grey
Smile Dog Hunting People in nature Carnivore
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Let her do what she loves. I hope my bird dogs dies chasing a crippled quail.
 

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I would let her tell you what she wants. If she wants to hunt then definitely take her. That’s probably her happiest place. When my dogs die I also hope it’s doing what they love, chasing hogs through the hills. She might be slower and less efficient but I think it’d be more enjoyable for both of youns.
 

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Best story I ever heard about bird dogs was an old timer that was talking about the best bird dog he ever had. Said the dog had gotten so old he was mostly blind and totally deaf. Couldn’t run anymore and just spent most of the day in his bed. The end was near and hunter knew what he had to do.( back in the days when people took care of putting dogs down on their own). He took his dog on one last hunt. He jumped out his young dogs and they took off like a blur. Heading across the road ditch and out into the field. He reached into the box and lifted the old dog out of the truck. When he set him down he hobbled across the road and went on point in the very ditch the young dogs ran past. He thought, as good as time as any, and pulled the trigger. When the shot went off a covey of quail flushed from just in front of the dogs nose. He said he broke down and cried.
True story and the way a bird dog should go out.
 
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Dogs love to please their owners. If she has the heart and ability I'd let her hunt. Reminds me of this scene in Open Range.

 
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I used to hunt KS, MO, SD and MT. Hunted behind a 13 y.o gsp with my dogs one year in S.D. The old dog was slow and deliberate, but pointed and retrieved plenty of birds. He had a blast doing it, at his pace. I know my dogs lived for it and would have been miserable, like most of us, sitting on the couch wishing we were out doing what we love.
It would be a tough call, but I know for myself I hope to go out doing what I love instead of laying in a rest home staring at the ceiling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks all I appreciate all the responses! She still has the killer drive and she’s in good condition it would be hard not to hunt her this year. I will probably hunt her but may be a little more picky where we go. The day she got hurt was 8”-10” of snow on the ground. It was a brutal walk and had to be very tough on her. Before she got hurt it was one of the coolest hunts I ever been on, it was dense fog and snow everywhere. She pointed 3 roosters and a covey of quail in the hour before the leg gave out and even still was still at it on three legs until I pulled her out of the field. She’s a warrior, the field is where she belongs
 

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I just went through this, but it was age, not an injury with my dog. I hunted him for a long time (13 1/2 yrs) because I knew how bad this dog loved to hunt. He literally would rather die than not hunt. I didn't hunt him this last season when I knew it was over for him and had him put down a short time later. In summary, when in doubt, let the dog decide. When there is no doubt, use your head and do what you know is right.

And congrats on having a once in a lifetime dog. If you are lucky, you will be blessed with a second once in a lifetime dog.
 
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