Asian Hounds

Our friend Lane Bellman has just produced the first litter of Taigans, the high- altitude Kirgyz version of the Eastern sighthound, just north of here. Stay tuned…

 

“The blood of the  Eastern Dragon”: Vladimir Sghakula,, Kazakh Russian,
dog breeder, refuge administrator’ biologist. and alleged war criminsal,
who still prefers Mazar el Sharif , where there  is a price on his
head, to the dubious charms of Tajikistan. on the taigan.

My pick of the litter

Old dog

The tragic thing about Scottish deerhounds is their short life span- even HALF deerhounds, like my old dog Riley (left), may only live nine years.

His brother Ruffus, even bigger- he killed an antelope once- lived to only eight.

So it is with great pleasure that I announce the thirteenth birthday of Margory Cohen’s Stella. She looks great, too. Congratulations to you both…

New Dutch

Dutch Salmon has a new collection of outdoor tales: Country Sports II: More Rabid Pursuits of a Redneck Environmentalist.  (Available from High Lonesome Books, PO Box 878, Silver City NM 88062).  I think it is his best and most varied yet. I don’t think I can “review” it any better than to use my introduction, which I volunteered- for free, for the record.

New Coursing Book

To See Them Run: Great Plains Coyote Coursing, with text by Utah folklorist Eric Elaison, splendid photos by Scott Squire, and a long introductory essay by me, is finally out from the University Press of Mississipi… and about time! Our efforts have seen us, for about five years (more?) right through a couple of academic presses and out the other side, as Plains coyote coursing was seen as too retrograde for modern audiences, or, even sillier, presses demanded material on non- existent “Native American Coursing”. (A quote: “I was leading my greyhound and whippet. As I passed two Native Americans, my wife, who was following, saw them pointing at the dogs and saying ‘there goes dinner’.”

It is a really beautiful “Coffee Table Book” AND a thoughtful text– a great gift for hunters and students of dogs and the Old Ways, for Christmas or birthdays. I can truthfully say we are all proud of it as well as relieved that it is finally a book. I will add more photos later but wanted to get this post out. One complaint: Amazon will not let me list it under my name, on my page, although those who have introduced my books routinely list them on their Amazon pages. Perhaps a word to the publisher?

The Hounds

The book is done, at 44,000- plus words– I like it, very much, and hope not to have to rewrite it. As it is a very personal book it may seem quirky to some, but I hope the editors can use their judgment and let it stand, more or less as is, with its melancholy and occasional obsessiveness…

My first page has a frontispeiece, of mad Riss and silly Tavi and stout old Ghaddi dancing, and an epigram– THE epigram- from Federico Calboli, which somehow sets the mood for the whole book, for me. Other photos will simply have a separate folder, but I thought that the mysterious hounds, dancing in black and white, deserved a special place of their own. Let us see if I can reproduce the effect here…

Taigans!

Jutta Rubesam lives in Germany and has been a constant presence here through her Nhubia and Taalai, the two talented canine dancers who often grace our Weekend Doggage. In times past she visited New Mexico and took some of my favorite photos of my own dogs.

Now she has been to Kyrgizstan and the shores of lake Issyk- Kul, where she shot this portfolio of the Kyrgiz herders and their hounds. I am delighted to see that they have not standardized and  still retain their physical diversity, from near- tazis to “aboriginal Afghans”.