Trip Report A "Bright Spot!"

Our new Lab-Shep mix rescue "Sprocket", chillin'.
View attachment 270504
We had to put two 12 and 14 year old purebred and lab mix rescues down in 2019 and 2020 respectively. It was painful. Now a younger Lab-Shep mix rescue "Sprocket"; the latest in a series of five rescue Lab-Lab mixes over a 38 year period who was left "intact", always kept outside, never trained, and finally abandoned without water or food for ten days when his "owner" went into the hospital, is now peacefully snoozing on a big comfortable bed after breakfast five feet away from me. We've got another often naughty but wonderful loving companion. Yep, been there.
I'd been sick in July; pneumonia from inhaling fungus or *bacteria when cutting down and limbing wild hazelnut and cherry trees on the property. After I recovered we replaced our fence and I had a lot of cleanup to do. Then Mrs Brian went out of town for 3 weeks on an urgent family matter. I continued the work around the property. But yesterday I needed to get out and catch some fish. Unfortunately after 8 mos "Sprocket", probably due to his previous owner's neglect, doesn't like being outside for extended periods even with a big fenced wooded lot and a nice dog house that has a comfy bed. Plus he loves enthusiastically greeting other people (bothering them). The biggest problem with taking him along is he isn't fully "emergency recall" trained. He does OK with long lead training but take the lead off and he still "lives in the moment" keying on what he sees and smells. All this means I couldn't just leave him at home, and had to go somewhere remote, and lonely. So I took him to a "Curtis Creek" that is at the end of a dead-end logging road. I have fished it for over 20 years and have rarely seen anyone else, and never anyone fishing. The upper reaches where there was an easy access point has many-many trees down over the stream after severe snow runoff several years ago so I now bushwhack down into the steep ravine a ways downstream.

I put a doggie backpack on him so he could carry some food, a dish, leash, etc... I kept him on a long lead until we got to the stream. I unsnapped the lead and put it in the cargo pocket of my trousers. He took a long drink from the stream then began wandering off following his nose while I took temps, rigged up my T-rod, and kept one eye on him. Air temp was 76°. The water temp was 62° in the sun, and 58° in the shade. When he was about 100' away I blew the whistle on my sling packstrap. He quickly stopped and looked back at me. I said "Treat?". He immediately ran back and got some chicken jerky and a heartfelt "Good Boy!!" as a reward. That set the tone for the day; he was almost always in sight and I never really had a problem with "come". The backpack seemed to work like the training lead signaling "I'm working". He also wasn't getting in my way, or wandering through any water I was trying to fish.
2021 Sep 08_0012.JPG
This was the first little run-pool I fished that is almost narrow enough to jump across.
20210908_132611.jpg
It quickly produced this.
2021 Sep 08_0011 (2).JPG

Sprocket was about 30' downstream on the bank and was oblivious to the splashing in front of me. I called him and he came over. I pointed to the net and he took a look at the fully submerged fish.
2021 Sep 08_0010.JPG

He reacted with a "meh", and he walked back down the bank to investigate some elk droppings. I fished for two hours and landed half a dozen fish.

As I mentioned in another thread, Rescues are such a dichotomy. Early on we struggle with their behavior, and spend endless hours trying to train the feral out of them. For sooo long there will be many @&^$* then suddenly a bright spot; maybe a breakthrough-highpoint, then more @&^$* . We learn how to work with their unrefinement and see results we're hoping for. At some point we both mellow and learn to live together in a state of equilibrium.

Yesterday was another real bright spot!
 
Last edited:

MGTom

Living at the place of many waters
WFF Premium
Nice read, glad your better and got out. Our's is a rescue too, but she'd never do that, that is really neat.
 

Canuck from Kansas

WFF Premium
As I mentioned in another thread, Rescues are such a dichotomy. Early on we struggle with their behavior, and spend endless hours trying to train the feral out of them. For sooo long there will be many @&^$* then suddenly a bright spot; maybe a breakthrough-highpoint, then more @&^$* . We learn how to work with their unrefinement and see results we're hoping for. At some point we both mellow and learn to live together in a state of equilibrium.

Yesterday was another real bright spot!

@Brian Miller, I admire you for your efforts with Sprocket. Sounds like a wonderful and rewarding day, with hopefully many such days to follow.

We were wary of getting a rescue dog, cause you really don't know what you're getting, especially temperament wise, and with 2 other pups, we didn't want to risk; that was until we met Coco, a rescue from "Herd U Needed a Home", saw her, fell in love with her, and had to bring her home. She and Maggie are BFFs. Sometime you just gotta tale that leap, though I have to admit, she was still just a pup, so not a lot of bad stuff yet ingrained.

cheers
 

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
WFF Premium
For the first 18 mos of their life labs are maniacs and a real pain in the rear. After that, the best dogs you could ever hope to have
@Brian Miller, I admire you for your efforts with Sprocket. Sounds like a wonderful and rewarding day, with hopefully many such days to follow.

Yup, "Sprocket" is the latest in a series of five rescue Lab-Lab mixes over a 38 year period, and only our 2nd male. The Rescue org said his previous owner listed him as 6 yrs old. The Vet said his teeth indicated he was about 3. All but one of our rescues were over 18 mos old when we welcomed them into our family. We've had two that were "obedient", one that I'll call "very compliant ", and one that we got as a pup was stubborn but always loving and friendly. Sprocket and I go for 2 mile walks 3 - 4 X per week and he's come a long way for being "intact", untrained, and neglected for at least 3 years.
 

ClarkiiClarkii

The guy with a rod locker on his truck.
Great story. My dog Lola was a rescue as well. At first it was a real pain getting her used to fishing. Now a few years later she knows the word “fishing” and whines at the door ready to go when I say it. She’s a bit nervous so she never really wanders too far from me as you can see in the pictures!
 

Attachments

  • 60491EA2-1C46-4FBA-8147-EBF0B069683D.jpeg
    60491EA2-1C46-4FBA-8147-EBF0B069683D.jpeg
    2.9 MB · Views: 15
  • 8389F73F-2A04-4CCE-9429-347C66166315.jpeg
    8389F73F-2A04-4CCE-9429-347C66166315.jpeg
    1.7 MB · Views: 15
  • EDE16944-6F3B-4793-9772-0F383F2270F9.jpeg
    EDE16944-6F3B-4793-9772-0F383F2270F9.jpeg
    5 MB · Views: 15

Support WFF | Remove the Ads

Support WFF by upgrading your account. Site supporters benefits include no ads and access to some additional features, few now, more in the works. Info

Latest posts

Top