A Poem for the New Dogs

Margory Cohen sent this, by the late, great, and much- missed Vicki Hearne:

The New Hound Puppy

Now it is time for her name –

Start the call.  The time may come
For her job, which is to run
Holes in the palpable wind

Hallowed by world and the world
Will collapse, follow this hound
Through meteoric  valleys.

Wolf-shag domains.  Here God says
Himself through the wolf until
A slenderness of hound bitch

With a speed like silk shimmers
At God, all arc and angle,
Revelations for voice.  So

It was in the beginning
And evermore shall be, so
Her arcs speak back to the light

Which is become an affair
Of luminous shadows, so
It was in the beginning

And evermore shall be in
Her temporal impudence,
Intended as litany.

Vicki Hearne

Tricks of the Light
University of Chicago Press
Chicago and London

Serendipitous semi-random hound meeting

This is a very preliminary photo batch, as we are having dinner with Joel, and photos are not yet all in. But Dutch Salmon invited us to meet him at the Owl in San Antonio (our S A, NM not  TX) where he was picking up a young female part- Azawakh from Marya. (I hadn’t seen him since his successful Deep Brain Parkinson’s op). We were barely seated when Sis Olney came in, with a phone full of SCENT hound pics (her unique Gascon crosses, now hunting lion in at least two states), trail hounds with French genes and heat- tolerant sighthounds & how & why &…

Two more random observations: we live in a culture where “PHONE full of trail hound pics” is natural; and, if I continue to be vain I must eat less…


Two of our beloved tazluki relatives got snakebit by what seems, judging from the fang marks to have been a large rattler, at Daniela’s. Incredibly, 15 year old Lahav got  the better of it, while grandog Shunkar seemed to have some eye involvment. Both better now– will pass on any news.

I don’t hate snakes but I hate snakes around dogs. Lahav above, Shunk below.

“In our time…”

“… which is a rather stupid time..” (Jose Ortega y Gasset): the latest on the California bill to ban hunting with hounds; and the possible loss of the historical and economically important Remington factory in Ilion New York.

On the hound bill, the concern of the antis is touching. “”It’s typically a high-tech hunt that results in an animal being shot out of a tree, which is unsporting”, says Wayne Pacelle of the HSUS– because, of course, he would be cheering on the hunters if it were “sporting”. Another backer worries about the hounds, who would be much better off neutered in urban dog parks: hunting with dogs “could also result in dogs being hurt or lost.”

They did quote a sensible voice or two: “”We do not want the challenge to be in the shot,” Brones added. “We want the challenge to be putting yourself in a position for the shot… We don’t want the animal to suffer.” I somehow doubt it will make any difference, though.

Money quote in the Remington article is priceless: ““Look, frankly, if we really want to keep jobs in New York, let’s invest more money in yogurt…” IF??

Two quotes from Dr John Burchard, in a recent letter: “Modern humans are in great danger of becoming totally disconnected from the natural world – with dire results for us as well as for “wildlife”.”

And: “There is a tendency in the modern world to want to eliminate all risks, even to
the most inattentive, uncaring and irresponsible individuals. A certain measure
of risk management is indispensable for the maintenance of an orderly society –
but the complete elimination of risk is first of all impossible, and secondly
not even desirable. “

Our culture…

As demonstrated in our social center, the Golden Spur Saloon (I have for the moment ignored ranchers and cowboys, though the Spur’s site doesn’t). Click or double to enlarge either photo.

Below, my late mentor Floyd Mansell in our front yard in 1986, with son Brandon, who now has his own kids, and a morning’s quarry. The big back and white hound, Blaze, is a “Cunningham”, a last remnant of a lost Texas strain of wolver’s hounds; the big dark dog is my old half- deerhound Riley. Betsy Huntington took the photo; within six months she was buried with the pelt of the bigger coyote, brought down by her “Baby Riley”– it is all in Q- The- Book.

Floyd, incidentally, was a lifelong Democrat, probably to Retrieverman’s left; also a Catholic convert, father of nine natural kids and one adopted one, an educator with a master’s degree, a naturalist, a former Golden Gloves boxer, the baseball coach, one of our mayors, and a chickenfighter.

The guy who put up the heads, and Floyd’s photo, is a Republican.

UPDATE:Our collaboration with the Spur, and Montana’s continuing work on its site, continues; this two- week old pic of us there just up:

Bad news for houndsmen…

.. and all hunters. David Zincavage reports, furiously, here.

From an unremarkable story, earlier:

“California Fish and Game commissioner Dan W. Richards travelled deep into the wicked terrain of Idaho’s Flying B Ranch to fulfill a long-held goal. “It was the most physically exhausting hunt of my lifetime. Eight hours of cold weather hiking in very difficult terrain. I told the guides I appreciated the hard work. They were unbelievably professional, first class all the way,” he said. Richards said he took the big cat over iron sights using a Winchester Centennial lever action .45 carbine. Asked about California’s mountain lion moratorium, Richards didn’t hesitate. “I’m glad it’s legal in Idaho.”

And now he is ousted from office:

“Although the kill was legal in Idaho, California has outlawed the hunting of mountain lions for decades. More than 40 state legislators called for Richards to resign in March, saying he showed poor judgment in killing the cougar when the practice is opposed by most Californians…[Michael] Sutton, an executive with the Audubon Society [who was at the same time elected Vice President of the Fish and Game Commission], said later that the killing of the lion and Richards’ comments defending it were factors in his decision to vote to replace Richards.”

Zincavage: “The president of the State Fish & Game Commission is supposed, in California, to be out of line when he uses his office to speak in favor of hunting.”

LA Weekly, though reporting that some comments against Richards were “pretty terroristy”, is flat- out exultant:

“Needless to say, he was immediately attacked by every shade of the left — from animal-rights crazies to some of the Legislature’s most mainstream Democrats… [really?!]… although Fish and Game commissioners haven’t explained specifically why they decided to vote Richards down from his throne today, it was clearly a symbolic move to kill the human who killed the beast… Let this be a lesson for all trigger-happy Republicans who dare to dream of swimming against California’s blue tide: We’ll eat your grin for dinner.”

Several churning thoughts: is hunting in Cal really that partisan an issue, or just in a few big cities? What do some of my friends who are Democrats and hunters say, in and out of Cal? What does this bode for the politics of hunting, and the nation?

For certain, it is a black day for the hounds. I wonder who they will call when a lion next stalks, or eats, a runner. Will they let them use hounds?… even end up begging for them, when nothing else works? I wouldn’t let my dogs step foot in California, where a coursing ban is on the agenda, and mandatory spay- neuter waits in the wings…

Dogs & age

An expansion from the comments below, from Chas’s staunch “8 is not old!” to Lane’s “8 is the new 4..”

I think it depends on the breeding. Atai’s family is incredibly long lived– here is a pic of her at about 3 months with her 15 year old mom, who lived to nearly 20, the day we met her in Almaty. I believe her grandmother, another compact little dog, also lived about that long.

Lashyn on the other hand, not yet 12, has been slowing down for years, and now has diabetes and cataracts. Lurcher Plummer is 2 years older and fat and a bit creaky but otherwise still thinks he is a pup.

But for the gray on her muzzle Atai could easily pass for 4– or 3– and still kicks butt!