“Every dog must have his day”

“Every dog must have his day”

(as published in the Mountain Gazette, July 18, 2013, p. 1)
(Quote by Jonathan Swift) Every once and a while a story comes along
that just warms your heart. You see the good in the world and forget, at least
for a time, all that is so troublesome. I heard such a story the other day from
my wife, which led me to call the people involved, and to put “pen to paper” as
it is.
Back in mid-June, Priscilla Emerling and John Hanf looked out their
window in Waterville and saw a man walking down Route 109 carrying a fly rod in
one hand and a deer fawn in the other. This seemed a bit curious, even for
Vermont, so they went outside to investigate.
The man carrying the fawn was Dalton Harben, a co-owner of Vermont’s
own Worth Skis (www.worthskis.com). Dalton and his dog, Bo, were fly fishing
the north branch of the Lamoille River when Bo started running around in a
circle and barking, like Dalton said he does when he’s playing with another
dog. Bo found a fawn. The fawn wasn’t sure what was going on and jumped into
the rain-swollen river at a section of water with some small rapids. Bo went in
the water right after the fawn. Dog and fawn were swept a couple hundred feet
down the river. Dalton said that Bo, who is a strong swimmer, caught up to the
fawn and was pushing his shoulder into the fawn to steer it towards land.
Dalton said you could tell the fawn was frightened and was trying to keep its
head above water. Bo then started pulling the fawn from the nape of its neck
towards shore. On shore, Bo sniffed the fawn, licked it a few times, best
friends forever.
Even a little fawn can recognize a good dog! Bo, a Plott Hound, with fawn
(D. Harben photo)
After picking up the fawn, Dalton started to look around and found a
doe, most likely the fawn’s mother, that had been hit and killed by a car.
While Priscilla stayed outside talking with Dalton about the rescue,
John went inside to call the State Police to see what they should do with the
fawn. The State Police contacted the game warden and the final verdict was –
set the fawn somewhere outside and “let nature take its course.”  That sounds good and fine, except that
nature’s course isn’t something you’d always like to think about when it comes
to God’s youngest critters.
John decided to bring the fawn up to a field where he knew there to be
a fair number of doe with the hope that the fawn would be adopted. So he, Dalton,
and, of course, Bo drove the fawn up to the field. John and Dalton set the fawn
in the field and walked away…followed by the fawn. John set the fawn down
again, lightly touching its head. He said as soon as he pressed on the fawn’s
head it lay down and stayed in place.
John came back the next day to check on the fawn. He located it about
40 yards away from where he first lay it down. He saw several does in the woods
near the field and there were fresh deer paths through the meadow. When John
tried to touch the fawn to check its health, it bleated and ran about 20 yards
and lay down. The does watched from the woods.
The third day John went to check on the fawn it was not to be found in
the field. There were lots of deer tracks and no signs of predation. So, since
I am the storyteller, we will assume that the fawn was adopted and everyone
lived happily ever after. In fact, several weeks after the fawn was released by
John and Dalton, Priscilla saw a doe with two fawns that were clearly of a
different age. Happy ending, I say yes.
Nature’s course isn’t always the straightest or most gentle path(D. Harben photo)
Special thanks to Dalton, John, and Priscilla for sharing this story
with me. Unfortunately, Bo still has not returned my phone calls, so I’ll have
to take Dalton’s word for his side of the story. I leave you with another
quote; this one from Gene Hill – one of my favorite outdoor writers. “Whoever
said you can’t buy happiness forgot about little puppies.” I’m not sure how it
is relevant, but it makes me smile.
Send me your stories and I’m still hoping to receive some photos, game
or regular camera. Send me your best photos with some background information –
general area the picture taken (unless it is a trophy animal), time of year,
etc. I’ll include the best ones in to the Mountain Gazette over the next
several issues. E-mail me at kristopher@sportingafield.net.

Please visit www.sportingafield.blogspot.com for
more news, musings, and interviews or to leave questions or comments.

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