Red was a gift to us in Odessa, TX in 1994. My husband, Sean, had hunted with some fellows in New Mexico for several years. Robert was one of the men. He was a neat guy, who has since lost his teenage son in an automobile accident. I always feel bad for any parent that loses a child, it must me the most horrible pain.
Robert bred German Shorthair pups. He had one litter with 2 left over males no one had taken. I guess Robert had taken a liking to Sean, so we got a call and he was gonna give us one of the pups. Sean headed off to New Mexico and came home with a 3 month old, "Red".
We were pretty excited, especially Sean. That dog was a nightmare in so many ways... over the years he ate through a wooden fence, well, more than one actually. Then while we had him chained in the front yard, you know, with one of those stakes that you screw an entire foot into the ground? Well, he was staked in the front yard while the new cinder block fence was being installed... He actually pulled that entire stake out of the ground and was gone. He returned hours later, still dragging that 20ft cord attached to the muddy stake!! He was an escape artist. He escaped more times than I can even count. Once we moved to Montana he was in an 8 foot tall chain link Kennel - he quickly learned how to climb the chain link. So, he was cabled inside his kennel - can't tell you how many times we could come home and there was Red, on the outside of the kennel, chain attached, just standing there because there was not enough slack to do anything else. Wish I had pictures of that!!
He HATED cats with a passion. Once we came home from church and he had pushed the unlocked sliding door into the house open. The first site that greeted me was the living room - all couch cushions off the couch, chairs upside down or on their side, EVERYTHING in disarray. I found the poor Kitty on TOP of my bathroom door - very precariously trying to keep all four paws on that 2 inch wide spot, and Red right there at the base of the door still waiting... BAD DOG!!
OH and his health - He had "acne"?!!! At just a few months old, he was going through what the vet called something "rare" but does occur - I should have known right then that we might have a few extra vet bills than we were expecting to come our way!! One day while I was loading the dishwasher, he sauntered over and ate the spot free rinse agent, he also ate rat poisoning more than once... can't even remember how he got that, I think he broke into the garage. This dog was HARD to contain I am telling you!! Once he escaped and was gone for 2 days. We didn't know if we would see him again, but he came back - covered in cigarette burns all over his body. That broke my heart. I just do NOT get how anyone could do that. We live in a sad world.
As wild and crazy as he was, the second he jumped out of the truck on a bird hunt, he was ALL business. He was an amazing hunting dog. Sean had so much fun training him. He was his best buddy. I had never seen Sean be so attached to an animal - and Lord knows we have had too many to count over our 21 yrs of marriage.
In June of 2006 when Red was 11 years old he made his Great Escape. We had gone over to Butte to celebrate Reagan's 15th Birthday. There was a play she wanted to see and we just decided to stay overnight in a Hotel and let the kids swim and play, etc.... So, that afternoon we left for the play, leaving Red in the room. When we returned he was just gone. I personally do not believe he could have pushed that handle down and walk backwards and open that door, but after reading the things I just wrote about all of his escapes, maybe he did... We will never know. We searched for days... We went back to Butte off and on for months. We ran adds and people called that had seen him, but we never found him again. When we go on trips, we never pass through Butte that we don't stop at the shelter and check "just in case". He would be 14 this April.
Red, we miss you buddy, but we will never forget you.