Monday, September 14, 2009

It's Monday again. Can you believe the middle of September is here. I thought I'd just share a funny story that unfolded in front of my eye's today. My friend Brad Wilson (no relation) came over to help me work on some fence line this morning. Brad arrived about 9:15 this morning and naturally it was one of those days where summer time just asserted it's power over fall. A little hot in good ole south Carolina it was. We packed up the tools on the Kawasaki mule and drove down by the dogs. I turned out four little females to get some exercise and bunny chasing in while we worked. Today I turned out Goldie, Hootie,April, and a young female I call Dinah. I opened the kennel doors and they were instantly out of site. Brad and I drove over to the trailer where I have the fence material stacked up. We loaded three hundred feet of fencing and the necessary supplies on the mule and headed to the area I wanted to get up today. We just got started gooded when the report came in. We heard the four little females singing in harmony, announcing loud and clear that Mr. bunny had been located and all was well. Brad and I worked along..... listening to the girls run the rabbit. We were pulling and hammering....Let me say right here, Brad is a salesman by trade and I'm glad he's good at it. He would have a devil of a time trying to make a living driving fence staples. :) Any way I am thank full Brad came to help and he was a huge help.We had a about half of the second roll all clipped, tied, and stapled when that bunny rabbit came bouncing across the road. We were working along the paved road and the dogs had all ready pushed the rabbit acroos into a patch of woods. Well, Brad spied the rabbit as he crossed back and we paused to watch the dogs work as they came up to the road.That rabbit had crossed over right on to a red clay road bed that I plowed up last week. Now it hasn't rained one drop and that ground was about like powdered sugar.Those girls worked and worked and finally got the rabbit off the plowed ground and in the weeds (mainly due to the determination of Hootie.) By this time the rabbit had had a few minutes to get ahead of them and they were just down grubbing and pecking at the track. I didn't have a lead with me but I was only 150 yard from their kennel and tried to call them to me. I was gonna walk them to the kennels for some water and put them up. It was about 11:00 o'clock by now and it was getting pretty warm. They refused to take a break from their work and just kept toiling on that dusty ole track. I decided to just let them be and we went back to our fence work. We were working down the line one post at a time, tiying and pulling. It wasn't long until the beagles started back down through the weeds towards the road. The weeds are real thick here and they were just pecking.To tell you the truth I thought the race was all but over. Now I was just about half paying attention to those dogs because my main concern was getting this role of wire up tight and then going for lunch. The dogs pecked on getting closer to us when all of a sudden that rabbit shot across the bush hogged path I had cut for the fence. He was heading back across the road to the shade. You should have seen that rabbit when he hit that apron fence. He was completely surprised!!!!! Now this took place less than a hundred feet from where Brad and I were working. He ran down toward us a few feet and then saw us and spun around. About that time Hootie was the first dog to emerge from the tall weeds. She spotted that rabbit and the race was on. Now let me tell you. A rabbit is fast but on open ground is no match for a rabbit dog that has him in her sights.He made it about 40 feet and she caught him..... He was so close to the ditch which would have bought him just a little time. Oh no I thought, there goes another rabbit! I suppose as Hootie collapsed on the rabbit and it stopped running she paused for just a second because the rabbit jumped from under her and hit the ditch. Across the ditch and into the paved road it went. Now at this point the rabbit should have shot straight across as the other dogs were now getting in on the sight chase.Of course rabbits can be dumb and he head back down the road towards the spot he would have went in if the fence hadn't redirected him. He made it to those saw briars and bramble just in time! Those dogs settled right back in and had been running him (hit and miss mind you as it was hot today) about another hour when we finished what we were going to do on the fence. Brad and I headed to the house parked the mule and jumped in the truck for a trip to Dan Scott's big league brbq. After a nice lunch I returned home to find the four little beagles laying inside the garage, no doubt enjoying the cool of the concrete floor.Day's like this makes me thank full for a lifestyle that enables me to enjoy this way of life and a job that allows me just enough spare time to share it with others. I know it's great to read all about beagles on the Internet but if you want to learn about dogs, really learn what qualities make the race better and which ones don't, you got to run dogs. If you could train dogs on the Internet some guys would have some real hum dingers.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I cant believe it's been almost three weeks since I wrote in my blog! I'm falling behind. You wouldn't believe how hard it is to force your self to do it. My biggest problem is getting in the mood to blog.

Since my last entry the World Beagle Extravaganza has come and gone. I think a lot of people had a good time. I cooked a pig on Friday and everyone enjoyed a free dinner on the the beagle club. Let me thank Mike Newman and Pete Peace for all the help with the pig. I'll try to have a couple pictures form the extravaganz posted.

I spent a some seat time on the the John Deere today. I was working on my fall feed plots. I disk in all the millet getting ready to plant some grazer rye and winter peas. Hopefully I can help the bunnies a little. You have time to let you mind wonder when you just riding around on a tractor. I got to thinking about beagles and improving the breed. I remembered what Bill Watt said to me many years back when the UBGF was really starting to grow. He said " if they really wanted to improve the comformation of the beagle they would have the show then take the top five to the field." While I'm not advocating that it did make me think of all the faults people will knowing breed.

I saw in one of the hound magazine a dog advertised as the "greatest dog alive." Now I happen to know this dog has gotten breed a lot. I also know this dog has a bad bite and is very shy. So shy that he got out of the kennel at his owners house and it took three days to get him caught!

To make it worse, many of his puppies are also shy and some have bad bites. This isn't mentioned in the add anywhere. I wonder why any responsible or ethicle breeder would promote a dog like this? These are the type faults that should have caused the dog to be culled before he ever went in the starting pen. The best I can figure, the only reason a person would breed to this type animal is because they are unethical or irresposnible. If they haven't taken the time to find out about these issues and they breed then they are certainly irresponsible. If they know about it and breed, well....

I just feel sorry for the unsuuspceted new or inexperienced folks who buy puppies with out knowing all the facts. Beagles shouldn't be a way to swindle people out of a few dollars or try to bring fame to yourself.

If you are thinking about breeding dogs, remember those pups will be dogs. Remember we have a responsibility to the sport we enjoy to make it better than the way we found it. We need to work to make it easier for new beagles to enjoy our sport. Anything we can do to help them have a good time early on is important.