In memory of Katie...
by Bill Byrd

I have shot and hunted since I was 15 years old. In my early childhood, I found some .22 long rifle shells in a bathroom cabinet at my grandmother's house which sparked a conversation with my dad about guns, shooting, and hunting.

In my later retirement years I have been fortunate to be able to go afield and hunt with light/ultralight shotguns for quail, Chukar partridge, Hungarian partridge, and even Pheasant.

One of my main joys in hunting has been getting to work closely with smart, beautiful, hard working dogs. One of the toughest things is to build a bond with a hunting dog, and then have to say "goodbye."

In the photo above left, Katie is the white Llewellyn lower right side of the picture. When I first met Katie hunting a couple of seasons back, she was getting old and she couldn't quite go at her usual speed, but her heart was very much still into hunting.

Her presence added balance to her young pointer counterpart -- Rocky. She ranged closer in and Rocky ran constantly looking for birds. Many times Katie would find close by birds through her patient approach. I was told by her owner that arthritis had taken its toll, and she was put down in November 2016.

So I simply recall her sweet disposition, her desire to hunt, and her going afield even when it probably hurt her after a couple of hours.

As we University of Georgia grads say...she was a "damn good dawg!"

You can meet Rocky -- the pointer I've hunted with so many times and Alex Becker (also image above left) who is co-owner of Etowah Valley Game Preserve in Dawsonville, GA. by calling 678-410-0983 and driving about an hour north of Atlanta.

For full information click on Etowah Valley Game Preserve's website.

- Bill Byrd