Letters to the Editor
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Dear Bay Weekly:
Wow! Did Kat Bennett’s article on the Chesapeake Bay retriever [Vol. xiv. No. 9: March 2] ever bring my younger life back.
Back in the 1950s, when I lived on the Patuxent River at Sandgates in St. Mary’s County, Butch was my dog, and what a Chessie he was. During the winter, I spread over 200 blackhead, redhead and canvasback decoys nearly every morning. Most of them were brought to me by Butch. Many days, even with ice on the river, Butch would heed to my command and fetch a loose decoy floating by. Many had two and three initials on the bottom identifying the old timer who carved them. Oh to have them now.
Then there was summer. Countless times when I was crabbing while standing on the bow of my skiff, Butch would send me into the water as he suddenly jumped off the stern to catch a passing crab. Often he would come up with a soft crab in his mouth and make a meal of it. Other times I would laugh when he would come up with a large hard crab that would have a hold of him with both claws. Catching crabs was not all Butch could do. He brought many quail back to me as he hunted with me in the fields of St. Mary’s County.
So many other things about him come back to me now. Big as he was, he still slept at the foot of my bed and warmed my feet, and nobody dared raise a hand to me or any member of our family in anger. He would quickly let them know he meant business.
I lost Butch around 1955 when he was hit by a car. We lived at a beach and everyone who came there knew, played with and loved Butch. They all mourned our loss.
Thank you for the article. I so much enjoyed it and am sending a copy of your paper to a good friend of mine in Idaho who has a Chesapeake Bay retriever. The king of dogs as far as I am concerned.
Richard MacWilliams, Owings
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Dear Bay Weekly:
My compliments on the Bay Weekly Home and Garden Guide [Spring, 2006, distributed in Vol. xiv, No. 15]. I had just pruned my crepe myrtle with the help of Dr. Gouin’s instructions in a past column and had remarked to my roomie that he should publish a book of those wonderful hints, several of which I have referred to. Suggested title: Help for the Half-Fast Gardener. That’s me.
Audrey Scharmen, Lusby