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Dogs and barbed wire. It has to be fate.

The chances of getting two overeager Labradors through an entire pheasant season without a visit to the veterinarian is precisely zero. It has never happened, at least not for my dogs and me.

I distinctly remember telling a hunting buddy on the last day of the hunting season, “We made it through the entire year without a scratch—no barbed wire cuts, no raccoon bites, no sharp sticks to the eye.”

“You just jinxed it,” he replied.

I’ve never believed in jinxes or curses. (However, karma probably has some degree of validity.) Things happen, but not always for a reason.

As we were making our way through the last field on the last hour of the last day, we had to cross a small stretch of barbed wire fence. I didn’t even think about it…until I heard my youngest dog, Winnie, let out a familiar high-pitched yelp.


The rusted wire tore a small, but mean-looking gash in Winnie’s tender underbelly. As expected, the wound would require an emergency visit to my veterinarian. Fifteen staples later, along with a bottle of antibiotics and the cone of shame, she was ready to come home.

I still don’t believe in jinxes. But I am starting to put much more stock into fate. It’s just like a barbed wire fence in a field—you can’t avoid it.

Three roosters on the last day of pheasant season

Three roosters on the last day of pheasant season

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