It’s easy to miss—a bronze statue of a black and tan hound on the Johnson County Courthouse lawn in Warrensburg, Mo. But the dog, called Old Drum, has a legacy that will last longer than that statue of metal and stone. The death of Old Drum, you see, inspired a typically loquacious lawyer to deliver one of the finest speeches ever about the loyalty of a hunting dog, and in doing so coined the phrase “man’s best friend.”
Recently I’ve received a few e-mails from newbie gun dog owners who have just picked up their pup. The common theme among the emails is simple: “What next?” Well, that would require that I write a book, and there are plenty of good books on gun dog training.
I’ll be the first to admit that my gun dog is a bit spoiled. In fact, one trainer, while gently telling me to be a little tougher on Pritch said, “Dave, she lives better than some middle income kids.” Well, she eats good dog food, has a warm roof over her head, gets plenty of exercise and training, and is the center of attention. Yes, she’s got a good thing going.
If you’re like me, the recent events in Haiti are hard to fathom. This is a disaster that won’t be truly quantified until we’re months down the road. It’s also a disaster where every second counts, and as a dog guy I was buoyed by the number of search-and-rescue canines that were deployed immediately after the earthquake.
Okay folks, after four months the electronic doors have closed. As of January 1, no more new entries were accepted for the Gun Dog Photo Contest. Now the real fun begins.
In a little less than a month we’ll announce the winner of the Remington Model 1100 Premier Sporting 28-Gauge with nickel receiver and gold inlays (valued at $1400). And the best part is, the editors have no say in deciding the victor. That job is left up to you. And a job it is.
In the training game, the conventional wisdom is that a man or woman will own one great gun dog in their lifetime. (Maybe two if the good Lord smiles kindly on them.) I’m not talking about your run-of-the mill family pet, but a truly great gun dog—with all of the drive, talent, instinct, and smarts you could dream of. And like life in general, you never know when you’re going to hit it big with a pup.