Branta's Grizzly Bear, aka Griz
September 1995 - August 2008
(Click on photos to enlarge; on some you may have to click a second time)
Branta's Grizzly Bear, aka Griz, a Chesapeake Bay retriever, was born in North Dakota in September 1995. It became clear early on that Griz would rather swim than walk and would much rather have a bird fall in the water than on land. He made so many memorable, unbelieveable retrieves that he is somewhat of a legend among our friends. He has dived into ice cold water and dodged ice floes to retrieve a goose. He has broken ice on a pond to swim out to retrieve a fallen bird. He has retrieved the heaviest of birds some weighing as much as 15 pounds and the smallest ducks that weigh ounces and are barely visible in his big mouth as he brings them back.
In May 2008 I submitted an article to the Real Hunting magazine, http://www.realhuntingmag.com/pages/index.asp, about a hunting experience Grizzy and I had in the fall of 2007. They said it was one of the most popular stories they had printed. They published that magazine--Aug/Sept issue, a few weeks before Grizzy died; it was a great tribute to Griz who suffered with advanced severe arthritis in his last years and developed cancer in his left shoulder in early 2008. That story is below.
Finally his spirit could no longer tolerate his weakened body and we buried him the evening of 31 August 2008, three days short of his 13th birthday. He was a gentle, stoic giant and we were blessed to have him as part of our family for nearly 13 years.