Sunday, April 12, 2009


I'm generally a very optimistic, positive person but I have to admit the last couple of weeks have really gotten me down. Its been a long cold winter and I've been climbing the walls waiting for spring. A couple weeks ago we finally got a little taste of spring and I took Lu and Molly out to look for woodcock. I ran Lu first and in spite of laying around all winter she ran well and had a very nice woodcock find that required two relocations. The bird was running well out in front of her and she finally got it pinned on the edge of a bog. I put it to wing and she stayed steady to wing and shot. A great start. Molly was next and was off like a shot at breakaway. After her ACL surgery last September she was so excited to finally be hunting again. She looked great and had two woodcock finds. On her second find I found her standing some 50 yards into the cover. Her tail was at twelve o'clock and she was incredibly intense drinking in the scent. But as I approached her I saw that she was holding up her left rear leg, the non surgical leg. I flushed the bird and she watched it fly away. When I released her she ran three legged. Yes, an ACL tear of the other hind leg. How could that happen! The surgeons at Michigan State assured me that last falls ACL tear was a traumatic accident and not a deformity in her leg structure. They told me that in 50% of the cases they treat, the other legs ACL tears as well but in Molly's case it was very unlikely to happen. So, after $4500 worth of surgery and rehabilitation its happened again. Most of my friends and knowledgeable dog people have advised me to put her down. But when she nuzzles her head in my lap and looks at me with with those loving eyes I just can't do it. She'll have surgery again this coming Wed. April 15th. At least this time her rehabilitation will be during the summer when the pool will be open and she can swim. Damn............ If there is any good news it's that LoBank is open. Lizzie and I drove up yesterday to get my truck to take to the field trials. There is still snow on the ground and the piles from the snow plowing are still waist high. BUT, starting next weekend we'll be going up. Fishing season opens the last Saturday of April and our town of Lovells will be brimming with excitement and the traditional opening weekend festivities! With the market since last October, the cold snowy winter and Molly's leg its been a miserable six months! I think I should be due to win the Lotto or at least catch a 20 inch brown.


Shawn K. Wayment, DVM said...

I hope you catch that 20 inch deserve a break and a hog!

Craig Peters Warrens, WI 443-206-1091 said...

I went from fly fishing to bird dogs while living in State College but I often wonder the sanity in that choice. With fly fishing the worst we can do is fall in! Goofy spring for us all. But should have pups mid-summer, maybe a new start is needed for us? Keep me posted on your progress and fall plans.

Andrew M. Wayment said...


I had the exact same thing happen to Dusty after we had his ACL repaired. I think it is very common. I'm sorry to hear about Molly and hope the surgery goes well.


Andrew Campbell said...

Dale: sorry to hear about Molly. That's rough stuff for both of you. I gather it's a case of symmetry: they repair the first ACL back-to-new and it puts additional stress on the older, midly worn ACL.

You've probably seen our version of the veterinarian bail-out plan.

best wishes from here

Mike Spies said...


I am very sorry to hear about Molly's misfortune. Although it is expensive, you are doing the right thing for her.

I am looking forward to the trout season here, and awaiting the delivery of my new hollow-built cane penta rod. My fly boxes are full after tying all winter.

Ted has earned two more placements in Open SD stakes this season, but we are nearly done with trialing until Fall. My club will be putting on a USCSDA open championship in November.

I am thinking VERY hard about another of Lacy's pups this year. That would be five setters. Not sure my wife is ready.