Dog Days of Summer and Hunting Dogs

Hunting dogs cause quite a bit of controversy among outdoorsmen.  I have friends on both sides of the debate.  Whether it be chasing squirrel with curs, rabbits with beagles, or ducks and dove with retrievers, these guys are passionate about their dogs.  On the other hand, there are folks that just dont care for dogs.  Some go so far as to say they will shoot any dog they see in the woods (not a good idea as shooting a dog is generally illegal).

In any event I love dogs, but understand they can cause problems.  Much like whiskey.  Have any of your read the Whiskey Speach by Noah “Soggy” Sweat?  In an eloquent display of fence riding, it went like this:

“My friends,

“I had not intended to discuss this controversial subject at this particular time. However, I want you to know that I do not shun controversy. On the contrary, I will take a stand on any issue at any time, regardless of how fraught with controversy it might be. You have asked me how I feel about whiskey. All right, here is how I feel about whiskey.

“If when you say whiskey you mean the devil’s brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster, that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean the evil drink that topples the Christian man and woman from the pinnacle of righteous, gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, and despair, and shame and helplessness, and hopelessness, then certainly I am against it.

“But;

“If when you say whiskey you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and laughter on their lips, and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer; if you mean the stimulating drink that puts the spring in the old gentleman’s step on a frosty, crispy morning; if you mean the drink which enables a man to magnify his joy, and his happiness, and to forget, if only for a little while, life’s great tragedies, and heartaches, and sorrows; if you mean that drink, the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars, which are used to provide tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitiful aged and infirm; to build highways and hospitals and schools, then certainly I am for it.

“This is my stand. I will not retreat from it. I will not compromise.”

The Clarion Ledger, Saturday, February 24, 1996, Jackson, MS, p. 3B. 

If ol Soggy was still around to debate the virtues and lack thereof of dog hunting, I suspect his speech might go something like this:

My friends,

I had not intended to discuss this controversial subject at this particular time. However, I want you to know that I do not shun controversy. On the contrary, I will take a stand on any issue at any time, regardless of how fraught with controversy it might be. You have asked me how I feel about hunting dogs. All right, here is how I feel about hunting dogs.

If when you say hunting dogs you mean the feral animals that breed unchecked, chase the deer from our food plots, suck eggs from our chickens, growl menacingly at our children and otherwise ruin our turkey hunts, then certainly I am against them.

But;

If when you say hunting dogs you mean man’s best friend, the pup that retrieves our doves in the summer heat, chases squirrel for our children, braves the icy January wind to fetch up fowl, brings home the morning newspaper and otherwise provides companionship and loyalty that is generally far superior to that which can be provided by any human, then certainly I am for them.

This is my stand. I will not retreat from it. I will not compromise.

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About randywallace
I am a husband, father, attorney, outdoorsman and cook.

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