By Chris Schultz Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal & Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Minn. August 16, 1999
Abbi and Angus
If you have been a consistent reader of this column, you know that my 14-month-old lab, Angus, has been more than a handful.
He can find trouble a mile away with one sniff of his nose and it seems the amount of energy he has is infinite. He jumps, runs, licks, and wags his tail more often and faster than the Energizer Bunny.
On the other side of this equation is my 17-month-old daughter Abbigayle. She is also full of energy and at times, is becoming more than a handful. She's not quite the Energizer Bunny, but she isn't far behind.
With Abbi and Angus being somewhat alike, you would tend to think they would be a good match. However, so far there has been no good answer to the equation.
Angus is just too big, and most of the time too active, to let Abbi play with him while he is loose in the backyard.
They play together in the kitchen, but in the backyard, when closely supervised or when I have Angus leashed and in hand.
Needles to say, the relationship so far has been a bit rocky with a few bumps, bruises, and screams from my wife mixed in.
To complicate the matter, Abbi has been and is completely hooked on Angus. After "Mommy," the next word to come out of her mouth was "puppy."
Soon after that, she sputtered out the word "Angus," and ever since then a good chunk of her vocabulary has consisted of something to do with puppy or Angus.
Angus' barking is bad enough by itself, but now, every time Angus barks, Abbi has to tell Mom and Dad that "puppy is barking."
On a good note, there is hope.
Abbi is learning and now seems to have a better understanding of Angus, and the same is true for Angus. He is starting to figure out that Abbi is fragile and needs to be treated with care - that she can't be jumped on, slobbered on, or knocked over.
Actually, Angus has improved his behavior with Abbi quite a bit in the last month or so. He accidentally smacks her with his tail once in a while, but that's about it.
It's my hope that the relationship between the two continues to improve and that Angus will become a good guardian and playmate for Abbi.
I sure hope Angus figures it out soon, because my wife and I have another little one on the way, expected to arrive in December.
A couple years from now, Angus may have his paws full.
- The September Canada goose hunt opens Saturday, Sept. 4. Hunters are reminded to have a permit, which is available at area license vendors, and all appropriate licenses and state and federal stamps.
- The 1999 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbooks are out and available at area license vendors. Licenses, special hunt permit applications, and antlerless deer permit applications are also available.
- The application deadline for deer antlerless permits and special hunt permits is Thursday, Sept. 9.
- Wildlife biologists and experts are predicting a good pheasant hunt and good pheasant numbers across the midwest range this fall. In Minnesota, roadside counts for pheasant and other game are done in early August. Those numbers should be out soon.
- Last week, the DNR announced proposed waterfowl seasons in Minnesota for this fall. The 1999 Minnesota regular waterfowl season is scheduled to open at noon on Saturday, Oct. 2. Read next week's column for more info. Also, a record fall flight of 105 million ducks is predicted. Look for great hunting in the Dakotas and western Minnesota.
- Quack, quack it's back: the Winsted chapter of Ducks Unlimited will hold its 16th annual banquet Tuesday, Sept. 14 at the Blue Note Ballroom in Winsted. Tickets are available at the Blue Note, or call Chip Biske at 320-485-3885 for more info.
- It's time to get your dog in shape for the upcoming fall hunting seasons. Slowly change his diet to something that contains a little more protein and energy and don't overwork him in hot weather.
- Don't put your camping gear away yet. September can be the best month of the year to camp. My wife and I are planning a September trip to Gooseberry Falls State Park along the north shore of Lake Superior.
- Enjoy summer while it lasts. Soon the days will be much shorter and the nights much cooler.