Have you ever dreamed of inventing something people would just have to have and love to have it when it was available? Maybe you have come up with an idea that would be worthy of a patent and would eventually, hopefully, make you a nice tidy sum…only to procrastinate so long that someone else came up with the idea and is now flying all over the world, enjoying the good life. Well, I may have come up with just such an idea and sharing it with all of you will probably cost me my opportunity to become a Thomas Edison of the 21st Century.
My dog gone good idea for a novel, helpful and useful product didn’t begin with a dream in the middle of the night. It didn’t percolate over time. It came like a flash of lightning while sitting in a ground blind while deer hunting one afternoon.
Dorothy, the ever-encouraging better half, suggested that I take one of our dogs with me on the afternoon’s deer hunt. How many hunters take a dog with them to the deer stand? After 43-plus years of marriage, I didn’t even let on how ridiculous that idea sounded. I smiled and whistled for Junior to come with me.
Imagine the sight of the mixed-breed dog, a miniature version of a yellow lab. According to the dogbreed.com website, there are three distinct colors, “black, chocolate, and yellow, that result from the interplay among genes that direct production and expression of two pigments, eumelanin and pheomelanin, in the fur and skin of the dog.” Well, Junior is semi-infused with the genes of the two pigments, the rest of his genes being either Levi Strauss or Wrangler, or some amalgamation of Heinz 57.
Junior was abandoned as a 2-month-old puppy at some apartments near our house. A kind-hearted lady saw the pitiful pup and called, saying, “Brother Wiman, I know you love dogs because your yard is full of them. Would you come get this puppy and try to find his owners?” I confess. I have a tender heart when it comes to dogs, especially abandoned, mistreated ones like Junior. The poor thing is scared of every loud noise. If I sneeze, he tucks his tail and runs to the other end of the house to hide.
At one point I wondered if the yellow lab, olfactory genetics had gifted him with the ability to track a wounded deer. Low and behold, he has found several deer for us over the past few years, but his gift isn’t always working. Junior will follow a trail, keeping me in sight, and if and when he finds the deer, I can tell instantly that he has succeeded. He will come running to me with ears laid back and tail between his legs. He is terrified of dead deer, but he will approach very cautiously to some 25-30 yards and then stand and stare.
Back to the afternoon deer hunt, Junior was excited to be running wild and free. When we reached the ground blind, the sound of me unzipping the entrance frightened him. It took quite a bit of cajoling to get him inside the blind, but once inside, he found a comfortable spot and laid down for a snooze.
As I sat in the peace and quiet watching for deer, I began to think about Junior. If a buck appeared, and if I decided to shoot, Junior was going to have suffer a bout of apoplexy. That’s when the idea for a great piece of outdoor equipment came to mind. I ought to invent hearing protection, something like Walker’s Game Ears, for dogs. On the other hand, I may be the only deer hunter insane enough to take a crazy canine deer hunting. Either way, I still think it was a dog gone good idea!
Believing that hearing protection for dogs might be a good invention may be a long shot for you, but…whatever you do, don’t be afraid to go with the long shots. Live life to its fullest every moment and be ready!
Rev. Richard Wiman is the pastor of First
Presbyterian Church in Belzoni and an
accomplished, much-published writer.