A farewell to Duke…

Frequent Blog contributor, avid hunter and dog enthusiast Ian MacDonald had an extremely difficult weekend…

We was forced to put down his favourite hunting dog Duke – a decision our friend Ian came-to, no doubt, with heavy heart.

Here is Ian’s story…


Put my old dog down today, that was tough.

I’ve been a dog guy since I was 15 years old. Every dog I’ve had has been a good one. They say you only get a good dog once in your life.

Duke was the best.

There was not a ground hog or racoon he could tolerate. He did not have much respect for coyotes either. He was unbelievable on pheasant and ducks. I went pheasant hunting one time with a fellow who said he had a good dog. There were 3 of us and we had 12 pheasants put out, Duke flushed all 12 and retrieved all 12.

I ‘ve seen him chase a duck 3/4 of a mile across the lake get out on the other side of the lake and bring the duck back.

We used him for chasing deer the few years we did not have a hound. I always knew when there was a deer around.

My new dog has big feet to fill…”


Ian’s old pal Duke was also the star of his own story in a Blog article from October, 2012, entitled My Favourite Hunting Companion:




11 thoughts on “A farewell to Duke…”

  1. Ian

    I’m so sorry to hear of Duke’s passing. I remember your earlier thread “my favourite hunting companion”. I read it with great interest because we had just got our own lab pup at the time. You have so many great memories of Duke to sustain you as you mourn his loss. Rest in peace Duke.

  2. Sorry to hear of Duke’s passing Ian. The camaraderie of a buddy in the woods doesn’t have to be a human. I can only imagine the memories you have of him.

  3. My condolences, I had to put my big girl down on march 3rd due to mouth cancer. she was my best friend and loved the woods and as soon as she saw me get out a shotgun or rifle her mood changed right away to daddy’s gonna get some wild game, she would start to salivate even the thought of a car ride to the forest would make her pant and get really excited. I still have a hard time sleeping as every jingle i hear sounds like her collar jingling , my wife and i will get another one but she was our best girl, always happy to see you and loved sneaking in the bed before i got in, She would look away to make her think you couldn’t see her. Ian, just know that your doggy is in heaven peeing all over and playing, makes it a little easier on the heart.

  4. My sincere condolences on your loss. It’s been a year since I put my best friend down and there hasn’t been a day I haven’t thought about him since. Walks in the woods are just not the same and the many amazing memories of the times he surprised me will not soon fade. He absolutely understood English and his abilities were only limited to what I introduced him to.
    We enjoy the friendship and loyalty of many good dogs in our lives, but maybe only one that’s perfect in every way. Take comfort in the fact that you were lucky enough to have found yours! I know I do.

    1. Growing up in QC, and not being a waterfowler, I was never exposed to hunting dogs..I am envious of the bonding and memories you’ve had. As a total dog lover, I can only imagine the camaraderie you have felt hanging out in the woods (or water) with your best friend, Duke!


  5. Hence my name. had the best (to me) hunting dog any one could imagine a beautiful almost red Chesapeake bay retriever she was retrieving geese at 4 months old. once she died the duck seasons in me died as well. no other dog will compare to her . I know the feelings all to well to loose a dog especially a hunting dog, to many days in a cold blind on lake ontario….I hope your dog is in the same place mine as been for many a year … her name was hailey ( harlequins misty echo ) was here ckc name … god i miss her …… so sorry for your loss

  6. I know the feeling Ian. About a year and a half ago I had to put my 12 year old English Yellow Lab down. He was a very good hunter and even a better family member. It’s one of the toughest things I’ve ever done. I didn’t bother replacing him with another Lab because I don’t think it could be done. I took on a couple of my camp’s Beagles but it’s not even close.

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