by John Jeanneney
While my beloved monitor (that's Jolanta) was napping on the couch, I had a chance to sneak out on a deer call. With Tracking Dog Tommy on the seat beside me, we hit the road driving south. It sounded like a stomach shot, back in the "rear ribs", but you never know.
When we got to the hit site, thirty miles away, it was mid-afternoon, 23 hours after the deer had been shot. The woods were dry. At the Kleenex marking the first blood, which I couldn't see, Tommy's tail said "Yes!" and he started off, slowly and carefully
Tommy saved the day. There was almost no blood, but he worked patiently, through one difficult check after another, for 500 yards. We had an audience of the hunter and three others wondering why we saw only two tiny drops of blood over 500 yards. Could you trust a dog that much?
Then Tommy showed us the buck lying in the thick stuff. He hadn't been dead long; the venison was still good and this time the coyotes had missed their banquet. Tommy got his reward of deer heart, and Old John felt 20 years younger.