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Rescue dog: Albie is a 'dog that won't hunt' – or swim

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Courtesy of Peter Zheutlin

(Read caption) Albie, the Zheutlin family's rescue dog, inches into the river to retrieve a doggie treat, but still won't swim in the river. In Louisiana, Albie would be a "dog that don't hunt."

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Those of you who study license plates know that Louisiana bills itself as the “Sportsman’s Paradise.” It’s also a libertine’s paradise, but that’s another story.

When we were in the process of adopting Albie, our yellow Lab-golden retriever mix who came to us from Louisiana, we learned that one reason Louisiana and many other southern states have huge populations of cast-off dogs is because those that prove sub-par for hunting are simply let go. Retrievers, whether of the Labrador or golden variety, are supposed to be, well, retrievers. You blast some innocent waterfowl out of the sky with a high-powered weapon, and the retriever is supposed to jump into the water with enthusiasm and retrieve your trophy.

Hey, it’s not tennis, but then who am I to judge? (For the record, Albie is very good at retrieving tennis balls, which explains why so few retrievers for adoption come from Forest Hills.)

This week, as we continued to puzzle over why anyone would let a dog as sweet as Albie go, we saw evidence that, as they say down south, “that dog won’t hunt.” Oh, he’ll take off after a rabbit, and spend several futile hours trying to catch a housefly in his teeth. (Believe me, it’s much more interesting to watch than beach volleyball.) But into the water? We’re pretty sure he either can’t swim, or doesn’t know that he can swim. It even made me wonder: Is this dog really from Louisiana or is he from New Jersey?

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