I finally got around to reading the November issue of Earth Dog - Running Dog magazine. As always, some good, informative, and interesting articles, but particularly amusing to see the title of Dave Sleight's piece on poachers and pretenders. The piece was about the lifting of bunnies and pheasants from professionally keepered estates, but I got to wondering what a serious running dog man like Sleight would make of Americans in Penny loafers showing up to chase plastic bags next to gravel parking lots. Sure it's fun for dog and owner alike, but is it "work" under any definition that a true working dog man might salute? I suspect not.
Other articles in the November issue of the magazine are on lamping rabbits, coursing fox and deer, and of course there's always a piece or two on terrier work in the U.K.
"Oh, but there's a ban on hunting with dogs in the U.K. don't you know."
Right. Apparently the ban in the U.K. is such an effective deterrent for pretenders that it has become a global excuse for those who have never hunted to stay at home.
As for real working dog folks, they can be found in field, forest and fen, in the U.K., in the U.S. and the world over, same as always. No laws need be broken. You do, however, have to get off the couch!
Those interested in ordering Earth Dog - Running Dog (an excellent Christmas present!) can sign up here. Those who are interested in digging their dogs in the U.S. can learn a bit about that here.