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my poor old girl.

10 May 2016
@ 08:14 am (GMT)

Thomas Kitchen

so as a few of you guys know i'm one of those mongrel pig hunters.

Tokoroa pine forest opened on the weekend, so i teamed up with a mate to go hunting, Saturday afternoon saw me meet up with him after his kids sports and head down for an afternoon hunt with his son.
had no luck and ended up coming out in the dark.

Sunday was an early start.
we left the gate about 15min before first light, we split up hunting different tracks hoping to push pigs towards each other and cut them off, between the gps trackers and two way radio it was looking like a good laid planned.
just didn't seem to be much around.

we meet back up and decided to try further out the back, it was getting on a bit but normal story, there might just be something around the next corner.
had no luck so started heading out.
as we were heading out my main dog now 8 years old was slowly getting further and further behind.
we would wait for her but when she saw us she would sit down.
i assumed it was worn pads slowing her down so carried on.
checked the tracker and notice she was 500 metres behind waited for a while but she got to 300metres and sat down.
i went back to check on her and we noticed it was in her shoulder more then her feet and she wasn't to keen to move much more.

not having much choice i got my mate to hold my mountain bike while i lifted her onto it, she has never been on a motorbike or anything but she seemed happy to sit on the bike while i pushed her out arriving back at the gate 13 and a half hours after we left, she even got lifted into the back seat of the ute for the ride home.

my mates dad has raced greyhounds for number of years and said it sounds like acidosis the symptoms match up, so trying some supplements hoping it works as the only person that would be happy if she was retired and left at home would be my wife


10 May 2016
@ 09:37 pm (GMT)

Sebastian Shand

Re: my poor old girl.
crickey mate 8years old! she must have brains to be alive and chasing pigs at 8.hopefully you can get her up and running again.
my mate has a pig dog around 8 or 10years old and he's got 3 teeth left but doesn't slow him down on the pigs.
we got on to a 150pound boar which killed his up and comer and scared off another big boof head my mate borrowed, and his main old boy took it down by him self without a scratch.
tell ya what tho seeing a hardcore pig hunter sitting on the beach holding his dying dog on his lap crying his heart out is a challenging situation to deal with
11 May 2016
@ 03:15 am (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: my poor old girl.
sure hope comes right soon. its a hard life being a hog dog but they get all we can give as they sure as heck give us everything and more.
Ive carried out a dog or two in the past and stitched em up too......not a fun job,finder bailers that know how to heel/ball a pig can make life easier and vet bills cheaper,in this day and age it still surprises me how many guys wont shoot a bailed pig....preferring to get dogs to hold.... with suppressors and/or lesser powered loads its piece of cake to put Mr piggy down for count without risking dogs or their hearing.
30 May 2016
@ 07:34 am (GMT)

Thomas Kitchen

Re: my poor old girl.
unfortunately in doesn't get any better

so she finally come right so me and my nephew went hunting in tokoroa pines. she was back to her old energetic self.
working hard but not having much luck, we tried another track and next thing a bail started up not far from us, i waited bit thinking the other hunter would be close, but nothing so decided to let my dogs help out as they needed the experience, all 3 took off but 2 came back pretty quick.

the other hunter came running down the road, so he went in one way and we snuck around another in case it broke, i heard my dog bail a bit.
he shot the pig so me and my nephew went to have a look around 125lbs but my dog wasn't there, didn't think to much of it as she was moving on my gps and is gun shy. but she didn't come so decided i needed to quickly find her, looking for her we found her and she had already passed away.

she had couple rips in the flank and one semi decent rip in her shoulder but it was a poke to the femoral artery in her back leg that killed her.
what a devastating blow it was i had raised her since 7 weeks old and it turns out she was just over 9 years old, had never been ripped or anything from a pig always thought she was to smart for that.
i admit she wasn't the best pig dog in the world but she worked hard and was nice to have around home, was easy to train and picked up things easily.

so rest in peace my old friend Raka

30 May 2016
@ 03:00 pm (GMT)

Mike Neeson

Re: my poor old girl.
I'm sorry to hear she died mate. At least she died doing what she loved and not in some bloody vets clinic.
30 May 2016
@ 07:49 pm (GMT)

Cor Nepgen

Re: my poor old girl.
Sorry to hear Thomas, they are special little ones becoming part of the family. Sounds like she had a good life. When one of our dogs pass away I try and reflect on the positive and happy memories and be greatful for the time I had with them.

All the best
31 May 2016
@ 09:01 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: my poor old girl.
Sorry to hear this Thomas. It is such a sad thing.

My old boy is near his last winter also. He has been a reliable worker for many years. When we first launched the site and were really struggling, I had to hunt possums (night shooting) to keep us going / funding research, then carry on during the day with gun and website work etc. Boz was (still is) an excellent retriever. He was also good at finding downed game after a long shot.

Never a mean bone in his body, While sitting out glassing for pigs, I once found him tucked up with a wild goat kid that had gotten lost and walked to him.

But- he was a showoff when clients were around. Some very funny stories - he could be so bad, not mean, just bad. He always thought he was the great brown hunter and that humans were pretty shitty at the whole hunting thing. Used to have a few arguments over whether I had hit the possum or not too.

He hit his last after finding a downed boar in a cliff system, then in his typical showoff fashion, decided to take a short cut to beat clients back down the hill- and fell off a cliff. He could not walk for 3 months after. The vet wanted him put down but I carried him to the toilet each day, took him for rides each day and massaged his hips (must have been a lower disc) and attempted spinal manipulation each day- just gradually. I tell you, holding a lab while he goes to the toilet is not the easiest affair but we got through it. Then one day, he finally stood up.

He is now retired. Goes for small walks and the occasional possum with Riley.

02 Jun 2016
@ 06:24 pm (GMT)

Thomas Kitchen

Re: my poor old girl.
thank you all for your kind words.

it's great to be part of the hunting community i have had texts,call,emails from all sorts of people giving there condolences its been really appreciated.

i managed to track down there other hunter just find out the weight of the boar, my estimate was way off it tipped the scales at 180lbs

Nathan the time, kindness and perseverance you show to your pets (the horse with skin graft included) is incredible.
some dogs are just specially and worth every effort made.

Raka was one of those happy go lucky goofballs, she was brought up when my nephew lived with me so always loved kids and people.
i would occasionally take her for a walk to the botanic gardens and while everyone else's dogs would be playing together she would be harassing the other owners for a pat.

the cruelest thing i ever saw her do.
i had a dog that would bark in his kennel a bit that was a habit long before i got him, one day it was getting real bad and being in town i fitted one of those anti bark shock collars to him.
next thing i hear whimpering and Raka's deep hunterway bark.
thinking this is odd as Raka never barked much i looked out the window and there's the other dog cowering in the back of his kennel and Raka got her in head through the mesh barking at him so he gets a shock.
16 Jun 2016
@ 06:25 am (GMT)

Jon Short

Re: my poor old girl.
Geez that's a really smart dog aye Thomas. Must've had a guts full of the constant barking too. Make him pay!!! he he.

I had a black GSP (Lex) from a pup till he was 15. Great all round gun dog, pheasants ducks, rabbits & deer. (If I knew how to post a photo I would) Was my best mate really. Unreal that my first dog was such cracker. I reckon it's like loosing one of your kids when your dog moves on. I had to let him go because his back wheels had become quite arthritic & his front wheels were following suit, loosing the ability to look after himself properly. Sad to see the fella get old. They just don't last long enough!

Regardless he had a great innings for a larger dog & I have great photos & memories of him, in particular shooting a Sika over him in the Kawekas. I buried him on the skin from it. Was one of the hardest days I can remember.

There is one thing I love about dogs, they give you everything & hold nothing back. Your dog was well loved & had a great life hunting & at home with you.

Good onya man.


We are a small, family run business, based out of Taranaki, New Zealand, who specialize in cartridge research and testing, and rifle accurizing.