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The Dog and the Bobber

I have always been a man who enjoys the peace and tranquility that only a sport like fishing can bring.

Some days at the river or lake, all you need is the beauty of the surrounding wildlife to bring peace to your soul. This was not one of those days. This was something all together different.

In the days before children, my wife and I had a Jack Russell terrier named Simon. A stout, square, little dog that topped out about 14 inches and weighed all of about 10 pounds. He was by far one of the smartest beings I’ve ever encountered on this planet, but he also happened to be one of the most stubborn.

While we were packing to go fishing one morning, my wife decided with no vote from me that Simon would go fishing with us for the first time. The trip was quick, although with Simon bouncing from front to back and barking like a mad man it seemed like an eternity. Upon arrival we were pleased to find the little pond was all but abandoned. Perfect! Simon was off like a shot and quickly entertained by the prospect of a fallen log that may or may not house squirrels. Either way, it was his duty as a Jack Russell to investigate the situation very thoroughly.

I fixed up my trusty Walmart pole and attached a very attractive worm topped off with a round, red and white, classic-looking bobber. As soon as my perfect and lengthy cast hit the water, Simon followed at an amazing speed. He glided across the pond like a mini seal, reached my bobber in mere seconds, retrieved it and brought it back to shore ... line and all.

Upon landing, he ravaged my poor bobber into several useless pieces before I could come to its aid. Now tangled in my line and spitting out broken bits of fishing tackle, he bounced with joy, invigorated with the adrenaline from his kill.

I moaned to my wife to stifle the little beast so that perhaps I might catch a fish if there were any left in our area of the pond.

She decided to tie his leash to the cooler handle. Being full of beer, soda and ice, the thing had to weigh 50 pounds, so Simon was tied and now under control.

I tied and cast the new bobber into the lake. At that point I heard the grinding of something being dragged across gravel and dirt — a sound much like nails on a chalkboard. I looked over to see Simon dragging a bright red, fully loaded cooler across the dirt road toward the pond. No worries ... there was a shallow root in his path. The cooler would never clear that ... And that thought held true. The cooler slammed to a halt but Simon didn’t. The cooler handle snapped off with a loud crack. Before I could even comprehend the events that had just unfolded before my eyes, Simon was returning with my bobber, and his celebration ensued once more.

Again my wife contained this 10-pound hound from fishing hell. He was securely fastened to the tow hitch on our truck.

“Ha! Escape now, you little fiend,” I thought.

I was down to two bobbers, but the situation was under control. A quick glance back assured me Simon was indeed still captive. I cast the bobber. Still no problem. Ahhh, now to relax and wait for the fish. Such joy in the quiet air of the mountains, I thought as I scanned the sky for clouds.

Then I heard the splash of a Jackie hitting the water. Half the leash dangled from the hitch. He had chewed through his tether and once again killed my bobber.

Irritated, I broke my line off and headed back to my tackle box. Simon jumped at me to get me to celebrate his victory with him. In utter disgust, I snatched at my final bobber and in doing so accidentally let it slip trough my hands. Oh, God, no! It no sooner touched the dirt than it was pounced upon and cracked into a 100 pieces with precise devastation.

I picked Simon up with bits of bobber still raining down from his snout and tossed him into the truck. I managed to get my one-handled, beaten and bruised cooler loaded. My wife rolled her eyes at my childish tantrum but nonetheless loaded up.

We took Simon all over Oregon during his years with us, but we never brought him fishing again.

Jeff Keith lives in Eagle Point.

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