Those of you who have been reading ASO for a long time know about the Teddy Bear. Those of you who don’t he is my 12 year and 3 month old American bred Labrador retriever. A year ago last June 11th of 2017 we discovered Teddy had a cancerous tumor in his abdomen area. It was an experience to say the least but thanks to Doctor Dan Bergerud of Cass Veterinary Clinic in Virginia Illinois we got an extension of life for the Teddy Bear. At this time Teddy is doing as well as can be expected. He is an old dog but his appetite is good and overall is in pretty good health.
The last year or so Cathy and I have enjoyed having him around but know it won’t last forever. You all know how important pets are to us for they are a big part of the family. The average age for a lab is between 10 and 12 and we have beaten the average and I’m happy about that. Teddy is a large lab and bigger dogs usually don’t live as long as a smaller one. Why he is doing so well is a mystery but one I can live with.
The beginnings of the Labrador retriever date back to the 1600’s as do most dogs have a long historical beginning. It was the English who refined the breed in the 1800’s. They came from Newfoundland and were a mix of a number of breeds including pointers, curly coat retrievers and others. There are a number of books on the development of the breed to many to mention but one that tells as detailed account is a book called The New complete LABRADOR RETRIVER by Helen Warwick. It is available at most Libraries’ and explores the detailed development of this wonderful breed. There are a lot of smart dogs in the world but you won’t find a dog of such diversity as the Lab. They are used extensively for seeing eye, search and rescue, drug sniffers and virtually any other application where they need a smart well-mannered dog for the job.
We have to praise those who developed this dog. They bred into them the best qualities that they had and today the Labrador retriever is one of the most popular dogs for the sportsman and family. I am happy that men from our recent wars are now allowed to bring back their canine compatriots and give them a permanent home.
I have a real hard time saying goodbye to such a close friend as all of us do for they are even closer to you than most things in life. It hurts like nothing else to let them go. They love you unconditionally; they depend on you for everything. I have gone through this too many times but you haven’t lived a complete life if you never had a loving pet. They bring the best out of us every day and make life so much fun and fulfilling.
I have a blind friend named Bryan who told me last month, I cannot imagine Harry Canterbury without a dog and I replied, “Your right.” I will have another for they are man’s best friend. Till the Teddy Bear is no more we will still have that love affair of man and his dog and wish it would last forever.
Now a short story about one of the old Rednose members who is rarely mentioned but needs to be told. My Great Uncle Lee Canterbury my Grandpa Harry’s brother was an interesting guy. Uncle Lee was the youngest among the family born in 1907 in Peoria. As most know we were livestock dealers at the Peoria Stockyards. My Great Great Grandfather Asa came from Cantrall near Springfield Illinois in 1885. When he was a young man he bought cattle for the Union Army throughout central Illinois.
Uncle Lee is how I got my middle name and Grandpa is where I got my first. Lee was the cattle salesman for the company. He liked whiskey, playing pinochle and shooting Geese actually more than ducks. Had no children but adopted a girl and raised her. A handsome guy who looked a lot like Errol Flynn and had a personality to match was a true gentleman.
I’ll never forget working at the yards in the cattle alley when I was 12 and he said go in that pen and kick the steers out. I didn’t know a steer from a heifer. I said Uncle Lee I don’t know what a steer looks like. He always wore Acme cowboy boots and a Stetson hat and I always thought man that’s what I want to be is a Cattle salesman. I always remember he would say “ How Do” to all those he met whether he knew them or not. Wore a big diamond ring carried a big whip and to a kid he was a very cool guy.
He loved to shoot geese either Canada’s or snow’s and would pass a good day in the duck blind to sit in the goose pit. I remember he would go to the pit with Frenny Courtney our Pusher and Geese would be all over the decoys. He would go to sleep a lot and it was frequent. He didn’t cook much but set the table and if he found an imperfect plate he would through it out in the woods.
He was a good friend with our local game warden Jimmy Curless. Him and Jimmy were bourbon drinkers and could drink it like water. I was there when Jimmy showed up one day and he told Lee that the feds were around and be careful not to shoot over your limit. Lee said hey Jimmy you want a few ducks and Jimmy said you bet and Lee went out in the woods and brought back a mess of ducks and then they had a good stiff drink. Lee had a great sense of humor, laughed all the time and was a pleasure to be around in business or hunting.
A kind a generous man he died in 1971 of liver disease due to his drinking at the age of 64. I am proud to be named after two men who I admired and wish they were here today. It’s nice to remember Uncle Lee for he has probably been forgotten by most. This was another memory of the old Rednose Gun Club gone but not forgotten.
It’s election time and get out and vote. There are some great candidates out there and locally here in Central Illinois Mike Unes, Darin Lahood, Dave Lahood and basically all Republicans on the ballot. It appears Rauner is in trouble and it looks like JB will get elected. Not from my vote but from the city of Chicago. He is anti-gun and wants Illinois to be taxed even more. The county of Peoria has a rain tax and now they’re thinking of a road tax fund.
Illinois is the highest taxed state in the Union even bumping New Jersey out of first place. Nearly 40,000 people left Illinois last year and in my home town of Peoria we have lost 15,000 in the last few years.
Where does it all go? Eighty percent goes to pensions and they get a 3 percent raise every year. Some of these Government workers get more retired than they did when they were working. That’s great for them but what about us who pay it. I don’t get a 3 percent increase every year. Harvey Illinois is laying off safety workers and thinking about bankruptcy.
It’s coming soon, now is the time to fight back and vote Republican it’s a matter of life and death.
Keep Your Powder Dry and Your Worm Wet… Harry