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Magazine Flip

The Look – They Don’t Speak English, They Just Give us the Look

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428 – The Annual, 2017-18

BY CHRIS ROBINSON

We’ve all done something that causes our canine friends to question our intelligence. they don’t speak english, they just give us ‘The Look’.

Anyone who has ever owned a dog has, at some time, been the recipient of “the look” from the dog. You know which one I mean. If you have sporting breeds, it’s the one you get when you miss a bird that the dog has found and pointed or flushed. If you have any breed, it’s the look you get whenever you do something that the dog either disapproves of or that disgusts the dog. Some even carry their annoyance with whatever you did or didn’t do a step farther than just “the look” and actually impose some sort of punishment for your sins. Since hunting breeds seem to have not just the greatest propensity but also the most opportunities to give you “the look,” their examples will be the ones featured in this story but certainly dogs in the other groups also have their moments when “the look” was the only appropriate response, at least in their view.

My old master hunter Brittany, Sparky, was one whose pique was never sufficiently assuaged by a mere disapproving frown. She was a true prima donna and, for that matter, may very well have believed she had absolute monarchial authority. A most loving, kindly dog around the house and in non-hunting situations, she turned into the wrathful Queen of Hearts from “Alice In Wonderland” whenever she hunted. The Queen’s “Off with their heads” mantra certainly suited Sparky and like her alter ego, she frequently went around in the same “blind fury” that Lewis Carroll ascribed to his fictional queen. Carroll’s words, “The Queen had only one way of settling all difficulties, great or small. ‘Off with his head!’ she said, without even looking round” are a perfect description of Sparky’s attitude to- ward anything that offended her and the list of things to which she took offense was indeed a long one. However, she re- served her special choler–Off with their heads right now and there is no appealing this sentence–for whenever her hunting partners failed to perform to her standards, particularly when the bird involved was a pheasant rooster. (She somehow knew when the pheasant was a rooster just by scent and she would tend to ig- nore hens, or at least not impose punishment when we didn’t shoot one that she’d pointed, unless we happened to be hunting on a game farm where it was legal to shoot hens. Then, after the first hen was shot, she’d point hens with the same intensity as roosters and mete out the same punishment for a miss.)

Click here to read the complete article
428 – The Annual, 2017-18

Short URL: http://caninechronicle.com/?p=137644

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