“Son, your dog has started to lie,” my dad told me.
That accusation was as damaging to a squirrel dog’s reputation as a priest who posted everything he’d heard in a confessional in the local newspaper.
My squirrel dog, Butch, never had lied before or been accused of lying, but I certainly understood why my dad had drawn this conclusion. We’d been sitting under an oak tree for about 45 minutes, eating our lunches that we had prepared before daylight. We’d had a good hunt that morning, and all three of us—my dad, Butch and myself—needed to take a break.
Butch was on the ground beside me, dozing off from time to time. Once we finished our lunch, Butch walked about 10 yards from where we’d been sitting, put his feet up on a small sapling and started barking like he always did when he treed a...