Wednesday, June 29, 2016


Finally…I can breathe again.

Returned from Argentina last week –Thursday, I think. The experience was awesome and brought home, once again, how fortunate I am. This was a duck/dove hunting trip with my dad and some of his friends. I was reminded of those fall days in my early teens than were spend obsessing about wind directions and decoy patterns. Wondering if the feeding or hail call was going to bring them in was how I passed the time in the blind back then. There were hardly any ducks back then to begin with, but my dad took me and I went. The only thing that has really changed is my appreciation for those mornings spent in a duck blind with my dad. It was a great trip.
All good Swank adventures need a little bit of adventure and ours was dealt a cancelled flight from Santa Fe to BA on the day we were to fly out. I thought to myself that a little bit of Spanish might be good for me as I wondered around the airport, waiting for something to happen. Eventually, we found a guy that called a guy with a van and we made the 6-hour trek to BA, arriving with time to spare for the evening flight out. It felt great to NOT be in charge of that TSA moment for a change. So, long flight with a couple of layovers and I made it home mid-day feeling a couple days behind.
I think I worked some on Friday and realized that I needed to go fishing to take a break. My wife was heading out of town and I had the two dogs and the little fishy Googan for the weekend, and Salmonflies were out on the Yellowstone. We opted for an evening float and camp. Nice evening with a few fish and smack-talking little whitefish whacker in the front of the boat.
I awoke Sunday morning to a funky smell in the tent only to realize that the older dog had crapped all over the inside of the tent. Not the coolest thing I have ever witnessed. However, I also looked in his eyes and realized that my dog was pretty much gone. We opted out of fishing on Sunday and headed home with the hopes of resting the dog while cleaning up the righteous mess he left behind,
Turns out that rest wasn’t enough for Tao. He left the world and my life on Monday afternoon. He was truly my best friend for 14 years. The only thing on this planet that I could always count on to be happy to see me, no matter my mood! I’m sad, but grateful to have had him and to have shared so many amazing adventures and moments with him. I could go on and on about how much that dog has meant to me, but chances are that you already know how much a dog can mean to one’s life and that sums up how much he meant to me.

So, things have settled and I’m getting caught up with reality. The little Googan goes to Texas tomorrow and I am flying solo for a week or so. Anticipating some shoveling water coming my way in the very near future and looking forward to the season that is finally here.

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