Interviewed by Leslie Criss | Photographed by Joe Worthem
As an expert in fishing, hunting and dog training, animals are a part of Aaron Barton’s everyday life. He talked to us about his first heartwarming encounters adopting his own family dogs.
“Bringing home a dog is a special ritual I’ve had the privilege of doing only twice. Both times it was to get a boy, and both times I had a pretty girl make the trip with me.
The first dog I brought home is the dog by which all future dogs are measured in my family. A Brittany named Decker. My fiancee at the time, now wife of a dozen years, and I picked up a mold-breaking pup an hour away and brought him to our little box made out of ticky-tacky in suburban Fort Worth. We had read, researched, bought all the gear, and were ready and committed to be dog parents, despite not being actual parents. The joys and tears that first ride home resulted in are some of my most cherished experiences.
Fast-forward a decade — different job, state, home and two kids. I got to bring home another puppy, this time with my nearly 4-year-old daughter. Dees and I embarked on a 24-hour, four-state adventure to get a 7-week-old wirehaired pointing griffon from Dubuque, Iowa. Just like that first ride home, the love and laughs this current bird dog brings are something I wouldn’t trade for anything.”
Aaron Barton, owner of Barton Outfitters in Oxford, is a hunting and fishing guide. He also offers Versatile Hunting Dog training for wirehaired pointing griffons and German wirehaired pointers. VHD are bred to point game dependably and to track and retrieve on land and water. Barton and his wife Whitney live in Oxford with daughter Landry Dees, 9, and son Cal, 6.