My brother Ken's black lab (Chopper) was my favorite of all dogs. He was so happy all the time and he loved to hunt with Ken and I. He was taught not to bark, but when I came to pick him up, he could not hold it in anymore. It was still dark outside as we went to the lake early in the morning. All the while he would wine out of excitement and then in one moment of pent up exuberance, Chopper would get close to my ear and let out a loud bark. We would both then get excited and oddly enough, I didn't need caffeine to wake up anymore.
About a year later, I took Chopper to the lake to hunt geese. I was to meet my brother Ken at the lake, he was just getting off work. It was dark as usual and the lab was sitting next to me whining his excitement about the upcoming hunt. In the meantime Chopper had his job cut out for him, he had to make his nose prints on the windshield all the while panting with excitement. On that particular day I brought some spiced jerky for Ken and I to chew on while hunting. My seatmate though had different plans for that meat. He kept eyeing the spice jerky in the sealed container, and then he would look over at me with a pleading sigh. Knowing what Chopper was thinking, I thought that this must be settled here and now. I said, "Don't even think about it Chopper!" He then looked away dejectedly all the while drooling on my dash. I knew at that point I had my work cut out for me in cleaning my vehicle up after the hunt.
As the miles rolled by I found that I desperately needed coffee in order to stay awake being it was 4:30 in the morning and still dark outside. Then the fatal mistake came, I stopped to get coffee on the way. I was in the gas station for about 5 minutes and when I came out to the vehicle, I could only see the remains of a jerky container lying on the seat. Both metal ends and a plastic seal lied there in front of me; all of the cardboard as well as all of the jerky were mysteriously gone. The only thing that reminded me of my precious jerky was a happy dog with spicy jerky dog breath. Oddly enough it gave him digestive problems of a gaseous nature. Later, he sat outside the blind for obvious reasons, and neither Ken nor myself got one goose that day. As we continually watched the geese veer off in other directions, the last thing I imagine they saw was a happy black lab with his tail wagging away, celebrating with his vaporous indigestion and a full tummy.