Henry and Ian
"the dog in my arms in the picture is 13-year-old Ian, from a line of Border Terriers out of County Durham, England, and our "finisher" and catch dog when we were digging to groundhog, coon and possum with terriers. Anything Ian could get his teeth in was a caught critter. Stone deaf and a full time house and yard dog now."HSJ
Long ago when I was just a young-un I was with my Dad somewhere on the Kentucky/Tennessee line traveling to and from a heavy equipment auction I believe. It was late and we were on our way back to Alabama when we stopped at a truck stop for Dad some coffee. I stayed in the truck and Dad went inside, it was cold and spittin snow. All of a sudden this big ole curly dog came up to the truck and reared up on his hind legs and looked in at me. I'll never forget that face, it was that classic stoic terrier gaze that says, look at you there, what you thinking about, where you headin, I think I might go with you, or maybe not. He got down went over to the sidewalk and just sat down and looked off into the night. When my Dad came back I had a pretty good 8 year old discourse prepared in why we should take that dog home. But, "and although I think I touched a nerve with my Dad" he still said that kind of dog would have a home and he looked smart enough that he thought he would find his way. I was tore up when we drove off and honestly I didn't now what kind of dog it was but Dad said it was and Airedale and up around here men use them for Bear and Boar.
It was one of those moments that you mark down cause I knew someday I would own and hunt an Airedale. When I decided to get a new pack of dogs together a few years back I started lookin for Airedales and Plotts as I had had a similar incident with Plott dogs up in Tellico Plains Tennessee not long after I saw my first Airedale. ( I'll write about that someday maybe) So, although I had owned Walkers, Redbones and Black and Tans these had all come to me from friends and family as I didn't have enough money to go out and get what I really wanted but these were some really good dogs as well but over time Hound Hunting faded out of my realm of priorities replaced by school, cars and girls and trying to support these habits not necessarily in that order of importance drained my funds. Also I had had a bad time with a litter about that time when Parvo took the pups as well as a couple older dogs, so now with a little different set of circumstances I started lookin for Airedales and Plotts.
During my search/education into what was out there these days I came in contact with Jagdterriers from Richard McCorkle and Jay Wholeb, so have ended up with three so far and then a pair of Plotts were found in Texas that met my desires for now
so I have started with these and others. I sat with Henry on his back porch with several of his old Border Terrier friends and we pretty much filled each other in on a little personal history and decided we liked each other, I 'm pretty sure. I spoke of my Dad and he of his, of their time in Wars of the World, I and II, and our families, then we went on to dogs and hunting. My current bunch are all still young and I am still looking for the Airedales to go with them but in finding Henry I think I am going to come right in that regard. So here's to Henry Johnson who showed me much hospitality and shared good thoughts, experiences, knowledge and a good hand shake. He's going to be a friend from now on and I am sure I will be writing more about our talks and visits, if he gives me permission that is.
"My father's war was WW-l. He was a First Lieutenant commanding E Company, 11th Infantry, in the Verdun Sector in 1918. When I was nine years old he taught me to shoot with the Government model 1911 .45 he brought home from that war. My son David has that gun now in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and I think is never without it."HSJ
2007. "Border Terrier Bullet, in my lap, was about six months old at the time. I was a lot younger then myself too."