A Tribute to
Kiwi ( Mitch Jankuloski)
fate has a way of taking over, and you do things you had no
intention of doing, because suddenly it just seems right. I hadn’t
planned to breed “Kiwi” that day. My bitch “Tigger” was in season,
and I was thinking of putting my second in charge male “Bones” (a
Border Collie cross Mastiff) over her, but for some reason I let
my main dog Kiwi, who could find, bail and hold, out of his pen to
breed. Needless to say, he was very impressed. Kiwi was just six
years old but had some hard times of late: six months previously,
he’d been blinded in his left eye while hunting, and with his
Great Dane/Bull Mastiff/Bloodhound/Bully breeding, he keeps going
just as hard, causing injuries to his blind side. But as in all
pig hunting dogs, as soon as you put the cages on the truck or
jingle those keys, any soreness or pain seems to disappear at the
thought of a chance to catch pigs again.
After Kiwi’s hot date, I thought I’d take the males for a hunt
Monday night to an area I hunt regularly. The pigs seemed to
moving with the cooler weather, so I thought I’d make the most of
I put the dogs up. Kiwi stood on carpet that I’d tied to the
bonnet: it would give him full advantage to pick up the slightest
scent, while Bones and “Moose” (Mastiff/Kelpie) would stand on the
Not to far up the track, they jumped out and got a couple of
smaller pigs, but they were still keen so I thought I would try
for some more. No more than half an hour later, Kiwi sniffed,
jumped off, and disappeared into the night with Bones in tow. Then
about 10 minutes later I received his message. I know when my dog
has a good boar, because his bark seems to be that much stronger.
I listened to pinpoint the bail, and then with a sudden surge of
energy I get when I hear dogs, I took off, I heard the fight and
then only silence. “Good”, I thought, “He’s grabbed hold”.
When I arrived Bones and Moose were bailing but no Kiwi. It was
dark and I couldn’t make out the pig, apart from the white tusks
chomping at his opponents. Then, there he was, 80kgs of cranky
boar. Bones and Moose were trying valiantly, but with their
lighter build were having trouble controlling this boar.
Meanwhile, no Kiwi, I switched on the tracking system and knew he
was down in the overgrown gully behind the action. He wasn’t
moving anywhere and neither was the pig.
For over an hour, Bones, Moose and I tried to out-manoeuvre and
outsmart this boar, but to no avail. By this time the dogs had
gone in time and time again only to be bashed up against a tree or
ripped by the boar’s protruding tusks. Finally realizing that they
were not going to be able to do this alone I called them off and
went back to the truck for reinforcements.
If I was to get to Kiwi I had to get through this pig first.
Reinforcements came with my mate Ralph and his three dogs. It had
been about two hours, and Ralph had his doubts about this pig
still being there. But I figured this pig wasn’t scared, and sure
enough, there he was, waiting for round number two. Now, with five
dogs and two of them holders, we finished it in about twenty
minutes. All five dogs had to be stitched, and two of them cost us
a couple of hundred dollars at the vet. Where was my dog?
Putting on the tracking system, I started at the top of the gully
and Ralph at the bottom. My Heart sank when I heard a quiet
“Mitch, you better get down here”. The time between Kiwi’s first
bark and my arrival would have been no longer than five minutes.
As I write this, “Tigger” is giving birth to (so far) seven pups;
five of them are black brindle like their dad. If they have the
looks, that’s great, but they’ll have to prove the heart.
Some more photos from Mitch
(click on image for larger picture)