by Forest Harvey
With squirrel season open or to open soon, I looked back through a number of short stories that I have written but never did anything with them. I found this story. The story happened about August 1953.
My boss and good friend, Ed Weaver, was looking to buy a good squirrel dog. During the Saturday route we found him, we thought, in Moodyville, Tennessee.
A man by the name of Mr. Moody, sold the dog to him for $25.00, no tax. We put the dog in the dry cleaning truck with all of the dirty clothes that we had collected that day.
That was the stinkiest dog that I had ever smelled. The clothes that we had picked up had to be run twice through the cleaning fluid to remove the smell. I got the job of bathing the dog. After he dried I powdered him for fleas then poured an entire bottle of Bay Rum shaving lotion all over him. It was his first Kentucky bath.
We named him Moody. He had black and gray long hair and whiskers near his mouth. He was of the Heinz 57 variety. A few days later we took him on his first Kentucky hunting trip to try him out. We got permission to hunt on a man’s land down Wisdom Boat Dock road. Ed took his Browning and I carried my old 16 gauge Iver Johnson.
We were not in the woods fifty feet until Moody had treed. We were both excited. If we did not have the best tree dog in the woods we had the best smelling one. We looked up in the tree. That dog was tearing the bark off the Hickory tree. We could not find a squirrel..or had he treed something else? We called “old Moody” off that tree and took him deeper into the woods. It was not long until he had treed again. This went on for an hour or so but we never saw a squirrel.
We were not the dog masters who had trained him. Did we not understand him? Was he just trying to please us and tree? If so, he was doing just that.
On the way home Ed said “You know, he sure is a good tree dog”. After a few more hunting trips we both decided that all we had was a good tree dog. Ed sold him to a man from New Castle, Indiana who was looking for a good tree dog. He sold him for $35.00. After all you do not get much of a tree dog for $25.00.
Moody was in three states in three months. He was also a traveler.