Death of a friend


New member
A very close friend of my died last night after what I hope was a good life. He died at age 14. He was a little over weight and had some health issue in the later part of his life.

I picked him in Hillsboro, Ohio on my birthday 14 years ago this past January. He had 11 bothers and sisters. The first time I met him at 6 weeks old he walked up to me and sat on my left side, and at that moment I knew he was the right one for me. It was a snow day that I picked him up and took him home. My wife held in the back seat becasue he was crying.She petted him and comforted him until we got home. That night in our basement he walked over to me and want to play. so I got a ball out and I rolled it across the floor and he ran after it and brought it back to me.

I worked with him over the spring and summer teaching him right for wrong. Then came fall his first season. We start hunting in the early season when it was still warm. The first bird I shot over him was a wood duck. Which match him name Woodie. He looked at me and I released him and he swam out and picked up the bird and brought it back to me. I took it out of his mouth and patted him on the head. He walked around and returned to my left. He was a ture retriever from this point forward in his life. Over the years him and I had some good day and not so goods. On the bluebird days he would just lay down knowing that there wasn’t going to be anything to retrieve and he would fall asleep until I picked up the spread and returned they to the bag. He was alwasy helpfull here too, If he was really bored he would swim out pick decoys up too. He has such a soft mouth he never put a tooth mark in the decoys or a bird he retrieved for me.

It was the fall over 1996, We had a strange fall that year, in October is was warm and windy. I was out that morning setting up the decoys in the dark and I walk off the edge and went into the channel. I went from ankle deep to 20 foot deep water. My waders start filling in water, I could feel the cold water socking into my clothes. My headlight was still on and I could see that roots and sticks pocking out of the side of the channel. I start to pull myself up the side and I heard splashing in the water and then nothing. as I got close to the top of the water. I reached up and felt his head. I grabbed his collar and he helped pull me up out the channel. I was on my hands and kness in ankle deep water caughing and gaspping to get air back into my lungs. He start licking my face to ensure me I was okay. I got back to the shore, my cell phone had a message it was my wife, she called to tell she was pregant with what would or son. I guess she had gotten up early shortly after I had left and took the test. I look back on that day and wonder did he know before we did.

In his life he was a joy to be around, always happy. Never complain about anything. I wish the time we had together was as joyfull to him as it was for me. The memories that pop into my mind and the stories of out trips will never be forgotten. The cups of coffee shared before daylight, the warmth he gave me on those colds days in January hunting geese in the fields.

My God bless his sole and I will never forget him the rest of my life.
You have my sincere condolences for the loss of your close friend. Looks like he was one of the best.

Your fond memories will keep him alive in you, always.

Brian F.

That was a hard thing to read. My heart goes out to you in this time of grieving. Thank you for sharing Woodie's story.

Eric Patterson
I don't know what to say other than, I know he did have a graet life of family and hunting with you. Great story, Woodie will be waiting for you.
Jim, very sorry for your loss. I can't imagine the loss of mine, when it comes my way. Sounds like you had a fun fullfilled 14 yrs. Remember those great memories.
Gary March
Jim..what a moving tribute to your friend!!Sorry for your loss.

I lost my first "puppy love" girlfriend when I was 14 yrs old.(50 years ago)
Your moving post brought back somes old but very strong memories.

My prayers are with you and your friend.
I think you were blessed to have him, and he, you. May your memories bring a smile to your face and warmth to your heart.
Jim - Very sorry for the loss of your friend and companion. Woodie sounds like a dog all of us would love to hunt over and share a day with........your tribute did him proud.