Tuesday, October 09, 2007

So many people have wrote in wanting to know about the Preacher and Slab Town Boogie Man. While history had a chance of being written last weekend. It did not happen. On a day when it seemed everything might come together perfectly; things failed to line up. Slab finished fourth proving himself to be part of our elites by placing in every trial every entered. He will not go down in history as the only undefeated dog to make FC in just three trials, but he will surely go down in history.
I thought I might make a few notes on beagles and the production of first rate rabbit dogs. I wonder how many people actually think about their average dog. I was talking to a friend this past weekend on how to improve my dogs. He remarked, "Scott your running three of the best little females I've ever seen. They'll just need more running to get even better."
I knew right off he had missed my point. I didn’t mean how to improve individuals, as I feel quite comfortable knowing how to prepare a dog for competition, I meant how to improve the average. How to make sure the product I produce is very consistent across the board. How will I make the next leap in breeding that most pups from a litter are field trial winners and extreme rabbit dogs?
I know I could pad the numbers by finishing more dogs. For me it is not about that. I'm not going to take a dog to a field trial unless I've spent some time in a pine thicket killing rabbits behind this dog. Two many beaglers never hunt and never find out what their dog is really made of. I could give you a list of FC's advertised in the magazine right now that we have owned and sold because they just did not meet our standards.
There is another group of beaglers out their as well. I call them mug hunters. These are the guys who want to buy a dog ready to win a field trial. They don't want to do the work it takes to breed and develop first rate dogs. These guys will buy a good dog and if they can't get it to win in a few weeks they are ready to sell it and find another. A person like this is not going to find what they are looking for in this sport. They may be better served to look into softball or possibly golf. Don't misunderstand, I know we all have to start somewhere. In fact I think it wise to buy the very best you can when you get started. But at some point you need to know a good thing when you see it and stick with it.
Alas, just like with all things it does take all kinds to make this game work.
Since I'm rambling on, here is another thing that strikes me as odd. Why all the complaining about a single field trial. Have you ever went rabbit hunting with a deer hunter. They always have a great spot for you to bring your dogs to hunt. You set it up, you give up going to your normal good place to go with this guy. You drive up and the trees are so thick you can't walk in them much less any sun light hit the ground for a briar to grow. The days usually turn out bad for rabbit hunting. The same think goes for a field trial. Trials are run by people, judged by people, and the contestants are people and their dogs. All prone to the ebbs and flow of normal emotional stress. To having a good day, to having a bad day. One trial should not be weighted like the world hangs in balance. Sure, I would have liked it better if my dog could have ran a little longer, but the fact remains, I'm not going to get up in the air over it if the judges decide to run him for 30 seconds. Sometimes it just doesn't turn out. It's a sport, enjoy it. The idea of going to the trial is to see what others have. Go to the trials, watch the dogs, learn what others are doing and stay on your course. If you can't handle that then chances are this isn't for you.
The picture is one I took yesterday with my phone of two little Cocoa Star females playing in front of the house.