They grow up so fast

by Bret “T-Bone” Amundson

“Don’t you wish they could stay that way forever?”


That question was posed to me many times when my yellow Lab, Mika was still in the awkward growing-into-her-paws stage.   I’d smile, nod and lie through my gritting teeth.

Mika, that is not dog food.

She was, of course, a cute yellow lab puppy.  The kind you see in toilet paper commercials.  The kind that make women ooh and aah, and break down into baby talk the moment they stumble into the room.

What they didn’t see was the chewed up furniture, the endless energy and the accidents.   The tiny yellow ball of fury that would chew up and spit out anything that got in it’s path.

Today, however, I was able to say “I wish they’d stay that way forever”, and mean it.  She has grown out of that destructive phase and is a lean, mean bird-gettin’ machine.

The following pictures tell the story of the chase Mika put on a wounded mallard.

She stayed within about 4 feet of this duck for 150 yards before it started to dive.

When it dove, so did she.

At one point they got confused and the mallard started to chase Mika.  Hey, weirder things have happened.

Finally one more dive and up out of the water like Poseidon on a bender comes Mika with the melon of that mallard locked tightly in her grip.

She didn’t shortcut her way to shore like I thought she would.  After at least 10 minutes of furious dog paddling, she bee lined it right back the 150 yards directly through the decoy spread.

Signed, sealed and delivered.  I wish they’d stay that way forever.  I may not get forever, but since she’s only 20 months old, I should get another 50 or 60 dog years like this.  I’d say that’s close enough.

by Bret “T-Bone” Amundson


  1. It’s clear that you have done an amazing job training Mika, and it’s also apparent that she is incredibly smart. I so want to hunt with the two of you! She’s wonderful!

    And, the duck chasing her is hilarious!

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