G. Sam Piatt
PDT Outdoors Writer
“What kind of dog is it?” people invariably ask upon seeing my little dog, Belle.
“Well, she’s yellow, has curly hair – soft hair, not wiry – and facial whiskers,” I answer. “And, as you can see, she keeps her somewhat bushy tail curled up over her back.”
“Her hind end sets up higher than her front shoulders, don’t it?” someone will invariably notice.
And someone else will observe that she walks with a swagger, like a gunslinger from the Old West carrying a six-shooter on each hip.
If pressed, I’ll admit that this is the dog that ate my Beltone hearing aids. I’d left them on the night stand beside the bed, you see, and she thought they were some kind of tan, hard candy.
She didn’t swallow them. Just spit out the little pieces of hard plastic, or whatever they’re molded of, and wires, on the floor.
And, to be perfectly truthful, she did destroy a third one. This replacement hearing aid I’d gone to bed with still in my ear – listening to TV. I went to sleep and it fell out during the night onto the bed covers. She worked it over a bit so that it never worked again.
But she don’t eat them anymore. Won’t even look at one.
Not that I whipped her for it. My screaming and crying, upon discovering the pieces on the floor – especially the third one — alarmed and distressed her so that she won’t go through that again.
Honestly, she doesn’t eat hearing aids now. You can come to my house and take your hearing aids out and lay them on the arm of the sofa, she’ll never touch them.
SHE BITES PEOPLE
There’s another quirk Belle has that I haven’t mentioned, though I know any stranger – and some friends and family members, even little grandchildren – who’s visited my home, or perhaps tried to make up with her in public, already knows about her:
She bites people. Maybe we should say bumps people, since she’s never drawn any blood. She gets pants legs, shoe heels, and skirt tails. Pretty indiscriminate about it, too, she is, nipping people from age 2 to 82.
There was Ms. Merrybottom down at the post office the other day. I usually have her on a lease in a place like that, but that morning I forgot it, and she jumped out of the car behind me and followed me in through the post office door.
As the lady approached us, saying, “Oh, what a cute little dog,” I quickly picked Belle up and held her mouth closed as Merrybottom patted her on the head.
Later I sat Belle down as I had to sign a slip for the clerk. As Merrybottom was going out the door, Belle – quick as a rattlesnake – zipped across the floor and was at her heals.
“Oh, she tried to bite me,” the good-natured, dog-loving lady said.
“Did she get you?” I asked.
“No, she just bumped my ankles,” she said, and went on, looking back as she left.
This is usually Belle’s tactic. When a visitor to our house who she doesn’t know gets up to leave, you can almost hear the little dog, who appears to be on her best behavior, mumbling under her breath, “I’ll nail her (or him) when they hit the door.”
And she will, unless I’m holding her.
It’s all, I assume, in her business of protecting me and the home.
But don’t worry. I’ll put her on a lease if you come to visit.
OHIO RIVER CATCHES
Roy Lore of Ashley Corner near South Webster stood on the Ohio River shore on the Portsmouth waterfront late Friday morning and suddenly found himself into as much fishing action as he could have expected had he driven to one of those virgin lakes in far off Canada.
Casting a lead-head jig adorned with a curly-tail chartreuse soft plastic grub, he landed hybrids one right after the other, four of them measuring more than 20 inches in length.
As suddenly as it started the action ended, with the school of fish moving on. He continued casting with great anticipation of the school circling back, which they often do.
The hybrid, recognizable by the dark horizontal strips on its side, is a man-induced cross between the white bass and the striped bass.
River anglers are also catching whites and a few stripers. The horizontal stripes are not so pronounced on the white bass, while on the striped bass (also referred to by some anglers as rock fish) the horizontal stripes are broken up and uneven.
The fishing on the Ohio is red hot right now. In the Greenup Dam tailwaters, off the riprap below the fishing pier – in boats and from the shore – fishermen are landing good catches of sauger, as well as hybrids.
Crankbaits and spoons are good producers. Live shiners and shad are best, if you can catch them.
Honey holes are also found at the mouths of feeder streams from the dam down to the Kinniconick.
The ramps on the Portsmouth waterfront are mud-covered and practically unusable as the river level is dropping and leaving soft mud behind.
A volunteer fire truck or two with a pump and a hose would surely be welcomed by fishermen.
The ramp at Shawnee State Park, seven miles below Portsmouth, is in good shape.
The Wheelersburg ramp, three miles below the dam, is in pretty good shape mud wise, but the concrete dividing wall is underwater, presenting an obstruction to be wary of as you launch.
As Ohio deer hunters wait for the Buckeye state’s gun season opener set for Nov. 26, Kentucky hunters are experiencing a big harvest of whitetails, whose numbers were estimated by state wildlife officials at near 800,000 before the 16-day season opened on Nov. 10.
In harvest totals reported by the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources through this past Friday, hunters had telechecked 79,489 deer statewide, with 59 percent of the kill being bucks and 41 percent does.
Northern Kentucky counties reported the largest kills, with Owen leading the way with 2,262 followed by Pendleton with 1,812 and Shelby with 1,464.
Next came the east central counties of Ohio, Webster and Muhlenberg, all with more than 1,000 each.
Locally, here in the northeastern corner of the state, results – with the percentage of bucks in the kill shown in parenthesis – showed:
Lawrence 930 (50)
Carter 920 (58)
Lewis 746 (62)
Greenup 716 (65)
Boyd 572 (58)
Rowan 406 (66)
Elliott 359 (66)
G. SAM PIATT can be reached at (606) 932-3619 or Gsamwriter@aol.com.