Different perspectives

A paragraph from a book stood out for me the other night and I’ve wanted to share it.

One of the quite frequent critiques of a pointing-dog man is that the spaniel seems “out of control”, that there is no time to get ready for the shot, etc…In fact, one of the first professional trainers I ever worked with, when asked what they thought about spaniels in field trials, hunt tests remarked that ‘the dogs just seem to run around! I don’t see how you can even judge what they’re doing!’

I beg to differ:

One of the delights of working a properly trained spaniel is that, just before you send him into cover, you can keep him sitting for a few seconds and you make sure that you are ready; you can keep him sitting and feel the tension of his gaze, the tension of his whole being in those eyes fixed on you unshiftingly and longing for the sign that will unleash the quivering tautness of his frame into the rapture if the hunt. There is, I suppose, something of the pleasure of power in this, but there is also something of beauty in the stillness of it all and in its frozen strength. It is like those Greek sculptures that somehow manage to capture latent energy in motionless stone. Laurence Catlow, That Strange Alchemy: Pheasants, Trout and a Middle-Aged Man

Different perspectives


  1. Excellent quote. I love a spaniels energy - especially the trial dogs. That fire and enthusiasm always makes me smile.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Dogs & Doubles


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