Duncan was one of those rare dogs that did everything well. He handled his birds with aplomb, you could read the bird he was working by observing his tail and body language. He stood his birds well.. no running to a point before the dog broke. He retrieved when he felt like it, but that was OK!
In the off season, he was a trail dog nonpareil, but he took keeping the pack together very seriously! We once hiked into a pond where some neighbors stash a boat. Anyone can use the boat, the only caveat is that the boat be returned and hidden. My son decided to go out onto the pond in the boat. Duncan was visibly upset by this. He jumped into the pond, took the bow line in his mouth, and towed my son and the boat back into shore. One of the most amazing feats by a dog that I've ever seen..
It was during a trip to the firetower on Wakely Mountain that he suffered his first distinguishable seizure. I had previously thought these were glycemic events, or "sugar shock" as sweets always pulled him out of it. We had cookies, and it worked this time also. Duncan was at this time getting older, and my Vet advised me to take it easier on him.. As if the dog would have it!
To take it further, Duncan was much more than just a birddog to me. I would have been more than happy to have finished out my gunning career with only him.. Just the two of us together..
I hope, if there is an afterlife, that he's there waiting for me.. I've never forgotten him, and I hope he hasn't forgotten me..