Right now, the Patriots are beating up on the Redskins something fierce. (There has to be some kind of politically incorrect pun in there to be found.) But the reason for posting an extra post this evening was inspired by visiting Dan at shotonsite.com and seeing his reference to this post by Pat Burns at Terrierman.
Sadly, the bird-dog crowd seems rife with duffers with bum shoulders, lame dogs, poor bird conditions, and a litany of excuses for why they can't quite make it out the door to go chase birds these days -- but who are somehow capable of recalling the miracle grouse seasons of the early 1940s and who were, at that time, in possession of mythically-powered, long-dead bird-dogs and a shooting ability to rival Lord Ripon.
Needless to say these were some of the same duffers who told me that hunt tests, whether AKC or NAVHDA, field trial or hunt test, were populated with poseurs with genetically-botched show dogs that don't deserve to be called bird-dogs. Their comments reminded me of a great passage in Phil Drabble's It's a Dog's Life about some of the folks who get attracted to bird-dogs:
This Rolls-Royce-and-runny-nose brigade, who think their money buys respect, turn up in their flash cars with a labrador retriever in the back to tell the world that they are not just common rough shooters who need a spaniel to find their game.
And while I have seen some evidence of this, my experience at hunt tests has been of folk who were largely motivated simply to give their dogs a fun time in the woods -- even if their dogs were incapable of finding a box of KFC chicken wings in a paper bag. But then again, maybe it's just a Vizsla thing.
The Unholy Rouleur has made a few related observations about 'pathletes' -- the clowns who will race you on a bike-path, claim moral victory without ever declaring actual competition, and who will never pin a race-number on their jerseys.
And so, while I cross my fingers and hope for a Red Sox sweep of the Rockies, I will also raise a bottle to you, my favorite iconoclasts.