Joe Lanham, Alaska DU District Chairman, learned to duck hunt because of his dog, Kimmik. Kimmik's passing last year inspired Joe to reflect on how Kimmik had impacted his life and led him to become a duck hunter and DU volunteer. Read Joe's story below and see the photo gallery on the Alaska DU website (http://www.ducks.org/alaska/photoGallery/) to see other dog memorials. Information on how you can make a donation to DU to honor your dog and have your dog's memorial published is found at the bottom of this document. Tell others how much your dog inspired you, with proceeds going to Ducks Unlimited!
Kimmik Lanham (Jan 2001- Dec 24, 2011)
October 6, 2012
DU started with guys putting coins in a can for ducks they’d shot. Well for some of us it is about the dogs, even more than the ducks. When my wife brought Kimmik home and said she had got a dog, I had never before in my life shot a duck. All the dog training books I saw with breeds that looked like Kimmik were about duck hunting. We were getting transferred for my work to Petersburg, Alaska, so I started training Kimmik to retrieve ducks. My first year with a single shot H&R, we, on eight outings got a whopping total of one duck. Kimmik had to suffer through all that. As the years went by, my shot and selection of shotguns improved, but I will never be as good of a duck hunter as was my first dog.
Almost a year later now, with my new dog, Silas, having already gotten his first duck and AKC hunt test pass, I still hurt for my first dog, Kimmik. It got me thinking: I would never have been a duck hunter if not for that dog. I would never have been a DU volunteer, an Area Chairman, or a District Chairman, if not for that dog. I have personal introduced over twenty people to duck hunting because of that dog. I have held, with the help of committees, six events for DU in two cities because of that dog.
If we all started by putting coins in cans for ducks, then for dogs we should put in big bills, because if anyone who loves wetlands more than ducks and duck hunters, it is great dogs. Dogs make me sit out there in the rain or the shine. Dogs make me spend more time and money shooting small game than big game for half the price. Dogs introduce people to the hunting legacy by showing the joy of an animal doing its job and living its life amidst the sacrifice of another animal. And dogs have unconditional love. There is an old adage: if you put your loved one and your dog in your car trunk and drove 2 miles, when you open the trunk only one of them will be happy to see you again.
I chose a picture of Kimmik (in his prime) hunting diver ducks because Kimmik was eternally tough. After the vet told him he would possibly never hunt again he retrieved 700 more birds. He got over 900 birds during his life with a metal plate in his leg. On the last day of his life, Christmas eve, he retrieved 15 diver ducks. Yes Kimmik inspired and caused me to do my part for duck hunting. So I thought we should start a memorial to honor our dogs. It is my hope that Kimmik memorials spread across all states as a way to honor dogs as a part of duck hunting and continue to fund the legacy of DU.
Love you Kimmik; miss you still.
Alaska DU Dog Memorial Guidelines:
Alaska Ducks Unlimited will post your dog’s memorial on the Alaska page of the DU website, for a donation of $100 payable to "Alaska Ducks Unlimited".
Submit the following by email:
1) Digital photo of your dog
2) Your dogs name, and dates of its life
3) Your message to your pet, or description of what made it special to you (200 words or less).
Emails to be sent to LCIbele@gci.net
Send check to: Alaska Ducks Unlimited, c/o Lyndon Ibele, 5650 Naknek Ln, Anchorage, AK 99516, or call 907-345-5467 to pay by credit card.