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HOME RANGE: Notes on Literature, Nature, Working Dogs, History, Martial Arts, Other Obsessions and Sundry Annoyances by Henry Chappell

When the Light Comes On

More on Leon from my buddy Randy Walker:

"I wanted a good shot of Leon showing his eyes ( bluer than Leo's ). He is Leo's nephew. Leon was a slow starter. He was two years old before he knew I was in the cattle business. He would go with me, but he was just on a lark. He was just running and being happy, while the other dogs worked. He reminded me of Marmaduke, in the cartoons. Then the last few times I took him out with the other dogs he started to work. The light switch came on."

Funny how that happens. How many potentially good dogs are wasted because of our lack of patience? Good for Randy for giving Leon time to grow up.

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Meet Leon!

Leon at work

Some of you may remember a post a couple years back about my friend Randy Walker’s fine Catahoula Cow dog being killed by wild hog. Yes, most working dogs are necessarily exposed to danger, but no amount of philosophizing can blunt the pain from the loss of a beloved dog. Randy took it hard, but like everyone who works closely with dogs, he had no choice but to get up the next day and go to work with his surviving dogs.

So his April 25 email, accompanied by a photo of another Catahoula at work, with the question “Does this dog remind you of another dog,” made my day.

According to Randy, “He is a nephew of Leo. He is not the dog Leo was, but there is still hope. Happy!” Of course no dog is ever as good as the great one that died too young. But I know Randy, and he won’t put up with a sorry dog. I’m betting Leon will make a good one.

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Leo, a tough, honest cowdog. He did it all and did it right.
Got some sad news from my old friend Randy Walker, a West Texas cowboy and dog man:

"Leo my Catahoula cow dog was killed Monday morning by a wild boar.This happened about 150 yards from my house in Mabelle. The boar cut his femoral artery. He bled out in less than 5 minutes. This was a really freak deal. I had let him out to exercise like I do every morning. The boar was in tall Johnson grass, Leo must have surprised him. He couldn't get away from him fast enough because of the tall grass. I assume all this happened this way because I could follow his tracks by the blood trail. It was like his blood was poured out of a gallon jug. He ran back to his kennel and died right there. I guess he was trying to get back home."

I blogged about Leo and Randy's other dogs back in 2009.

Leo will be missed. So often, it's the best dogs that get hurt or killed. My condolences to Randy and his family.

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