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The Good And The Bad

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This past weekend my wife Bobbi and I loaded up the gear and our two dogs Buddy and Caddo, then headed to one of our favorite Western Arkansas smallie streams. We took separate cars to allow us to run our own shuttles. After arriving Saturday morning, we set up camp at a nice but little known campground along the river, then drove my truck w/canoe up to the put-in for the 7 mile float back to camp. Bobbi caught a nice little 14 incher just down from the put-in and I followed it with a slightly smaller one.The action continued with several fun but small fish. About a mile in the dogs decided to jump from the canoe and go for a swim (never fails). They made their way to the nearest gravel bar while Bobbi and I fished the deep pool we were in. A few minutes later I felt a tug and set the hook on a beautiful 19 incher. After a great fight I landed the fish and cheesed for a photo. Just as I released the fish, our dog Caddo (named for the river he "found us" on a couple of years ago) fell to his left side at waters edge and began wailing hysterically while holding his right-front paw in the air. Bobbi looked at me and said "Oh s#!+ I think he got snake bit", so we paddled over as fast as we could. When we got to him he wouldn't let us touch his paw. Within two minutes he wouldn't let us touch anything on the entire leg. We guessed it must have been a very small cottonmouth or copperhead because we couldn't find a bite wound. At that point, we got the dogs in the canoe and headed for camp. Within 20 minutes or so his front right leg was twice the size of the left one,but when we got to camp an hour and a half or so later he was actually starting to put weight on it. We drove to a nearby mountaintop for cell-phone service and made some calls to people in the know who said due to the lack of a visible bite wound it probably wasn't severe -- give him benadryl and keep an eye on him, so we did. as time went by he started to put a little more weight on it. He slept in the tent with us that night and snored a lot. By morning he was getting around a little better but was limping and the leg was still pretty swollen, So Bobbi opted to run shuttle for Buddy and I and then get Caddo back to Ft. Smith and the comforts of home. Day two consisted of lots of small to medium brownies (except for the 18+ incher that broke my line on a root wad in a swift run),a 17 inch largemouth, and some spotted bass that are in my belly as I type this. Caddo is

still limping and a little swollen, but was moving pretty fast when I called them in while this mornings storms approached. Quite a weekend. :rolleyes: Dan-o



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