Saturday, January 7, 2017

Mo and Me

Everyone needs down time. As I've mentioned before, I love rabbit hunting. For that reason, I look forward to November-February all year long. But there's a certain aspect of this sport that is especially fun for me.

God made human beings with a desire and responsibility to manage creation. Genesis 1:28 reads, "subdue [the world], and have dominion over...every living thing that moves on the earth.” Like God, in whose image we were made, we tend to have affection for certain "living things" over whom we have dominion. And for me, dogs occupy the top position among all others. They don't call them "man's best friend" for nothing. And the kind of dog I love the most? The lowly Beagle. They're full of energy, shed a crazy amount of hair, and bark extremely loud whenever someone comes to the door. If you don't train them well, they are quick to develop hard-to-break habits like getting in the trash, running away, and escaping all means of restraint. And they're not good guard dogs (beyond sounding the alarm). But amid all these less-than-favorable traits, they shine out with some extremely good ones. They're among the sweetest, funniest, and most fun little dogs ever (in my opinion). It's always time to love and play! And they are relentless hunters. That's what I love as much as anything. In the field, a good Beagle will exhaust themselves finding and pursuing rabbits.

After opening his present on
Christmas morning, Mo found
a private corner behind the
tree to enjoy his new bone.
Yes, he's wearing a sweater.
Our Beagle is named Mo. Dara wanted a Lemon Beagle for years before we finally gave in and got her one a little over three years ago. There are different definitions of a Lemon (we've always considered a bi-colored white-and-tan Beagle, a Lemon). They're not the most desired color combination for hard-core rabbit hunters, because hunters feel they're more camouflaged making them more likely to be mistaken for a rabbit and accidentally shot. Most hunters prefer tri-colors (black, white, and tan) that have a lot of black. Mo is also a small Beagle. Hunters usually like having both small and large ones in a pack. Mo got his name because he has white stripe, a mohawk, that runs down the center of his head and neck. Mo is short for mohawk. Of course Darla started calling him Mobley. Now in addition, he's called Moby, Mobsy, and "The Puppy" (as compared to Sparky the old dog). The latter moniker is fitting, as he, like most Beagles, is a perpetual puppy.

On Friday, Mo and I took Brian Havely hunting with us. I've had a hard time getting Mo around rabbits so far this year. Brian had found some grassy areas and power lines in the Cherokee National Forest near Tellico. We hunted several different places where there are fields and grassland where rabbits usually love to hang out. We saw two groups (flocks? gaggles? rafters? gangs? musters?) of turkeys, squirrels, and lots of deer and boar sign, but no rabbits. That's been the refrain so far this year. Darla always asks me when I get home if we got any rabbits. This year my reply has been, "No, but I sure had fun!" And it's true. There are few things more fun than hiking and seeing new land—with a real chance of shooting a rabbit—with my friend and my dog.

You can see Mo in the middle of this picture.




















I always forget to take more pictures. It was beautiful. Especially as the snow began to move in to East Tennessee. And it felt like we had the whole world to ourselves. A good day. Afterward, Mo and I chilled out on the couch, and Dara snuck this shot. In fact, Mo's here beside me now as I write. Beagles. Words do not suffice.





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