Wouldn't you know it? Back in February, the family went to a medieval reenactment event down near Hampton, GA. (For you NASCAR fans, near Atlanta Motor Speedway. And, no, that is NOT the other name for I-285!) I was the event coordinator and showed up early Friday afternoon to get things setup, etc. Later that afternoon, I noticed a yellow Lab wandering about the camp. The Lab would be very friendly with anyone who would pay him attention and I asked the camp caretaker who he belonged to. He told me that the dog was a stray. If nobody took him home that weekend, he went to the pound on Monday. Friday evening my wife and four daughters showed up and settled in the staff cabin and went to bed. The next morning we all woke up and I went about the business of making sure the event went smoothly. My daughters, meanwhile, discovered the Lab and fell in love. Charlie, as they started calling him, followed them everywhere, even into court. (Middle Ages reenactment, remember?) Other people fed him scraps and gave him water. Sunday morning, my wife and I had a long discussion about Charlie. The general conversation amongst everyone who had met him was that he was a sweetheart and should be rescued. The clincher was my 6 year old (just turned 7 Monday!) daughter, Rosie. Rosie has always been scared of ALL dogs, including little ones. Charlie, on the other hand, is a 75lb. Labrador Retriever that Rosie just ADORES. We decided to take him home with us. Well, Charlemagne (his full name) has integrated fairly well into the family. He spends most of his time with me when I'm home. I even got to the point where I considered teaching him to retrieve birds, so we could go hunting together. Well, my bonus came in last Friday and I trotted off to the local gun store and bought the Remington 870 Wingmaster that I'd had my eye on for awhile. Took it home and showed it off to the wife and eldest daughter (16 years old). Wife had an errand to run that evening and I had NO kids other than the eldest to worry about. As Jerri (the oldest daughter) and I sat in the living room watching Stargate SG-1 with Charlie, I decided I'd go get the 870 and a silicone cloth and wipe it down and give it a good inspection. (It's a used gun.) As soon as I racked the slide, Charlie panicked. We had to physically restrain him to keep him from running out of the room at full speed. Even then, he literally shook with fear. I put away the gun and we both talked soothingly and told him what a good boy he was and how much we loved him. He finally calmed down and I left the gun in its case in my closet. Thinking back on his reaction and remembering his slight limp he's occasionally shown with his right front leg, as well as the small patch of fur that appeared to be shaved off on that leg, we came to a conclusion: Charlie had, at one time, been shot. Whomever owned him at the time took him to the vet to get the bullet/shot out of his leg, but must have decided they didn't want a gunshy dog and abandoned him. Any ideas on helping Charlie overcome his fear of guns? I could really care less if he never hunts a single day with me, but it's really frustrating to have a dog you care about become absolutely petrified when all you're doing is cleaning the gun! (I took out the gun this evening to touch up the blue on the magazine tube and Charlie freaked out.) In this household, he needs to get over that particular fear, as there are just too many guns to scare the devil out of my poor hoplophobic dog. Pictures of Charlemagne PS: The two girls in the pictures are Jerri, the 16 year old and Katie, the 9 year old.