TWO GOOD POINTERS
I will tell you about a pair of pointers that I have shot a lot of birds over, both partridge and quail. These valuable dogs were owned by George Fisher, of Woonsocket, R. I. Mr. Fisher was one of my closest friends and he liked to hunt as well as I did and that is going some. George held a very honorable position with a knitting company; and he bought these dogs when they were pups from Billy Banfield, who was superintendent of the mill. George trained them himself, and he admired them as one would two high-bred trotting horses and well he should. Their names were Dixy and Sidney. Color, liver and white, Sidney had more white than Dixy. He was more nervous and apt to be a little rattle-headed, and it took double the training to bring him to his graduation pitch, consequently he required a little more work than Dixy, who was of a more quiet disposition. Allow me to say, both knew about every word George would say to them.
I began to hunt with them at the beginning of their second season in the brush and during the three bird seasons that I had the pleasure of hunting with that esteemed sportsman, Mr. Fisher, and the two high-class dogs of which I am writing. I dare say we covered thousands of acres of bird grounds and many a good bag of partridge and plump bob white we used to bring home from these pleasant outings, and it is safe for me to tell you that it had to be a pretty wet morning to bust up a trip that George and I would lay out the night before. Many a morning we left Woonsocket before daylight for our hunting grounds, five or eight miles away on the electric and perhaps a half mile walk after leaving the car.
How these dogs would tug on the chain after we would leave the car! But soon George would be placing them on a strip about two hundred and twenty-five feet wide. George and I would be about 75 feet apart, with a dog in advance of each about fifty feet, and mum was the word save what talking George did to the dogs in this manner, "Right, left, head" and so on, and they would switch back and forth and cover practically every rod of our strip and scl over and back on another one and a bird's chances were pretty slim in getting away, as George was an expert wing shot and yours truly played a close second.
One little incident I never shall forget. We had just finished our dinner on a fine October day. The dogs were on their chains. George set out for a sweet apple tree in one corner of an orchard about fifty rods away, while I gave George my order for a sample of the apples and lit another Blackstone and cared for the dogs. Just as George came in sight of the apple tree, up went a flock of partridges. Bang! Bang! and then he says, "Be on your guard; they are coming your way." And I could see them elevated above the sprout land and they were all separately out and only one came in my range and I pulled on her at eight rods and took her in very easy and just as I got back- to the dogs George joined us with three partridges as a result of his two shots and also his pockets full of apples that were very palatable indeed. Oh, how many times George has reminded me of that particular luncheon time on the happy hunting grounds of Rhode Island.
But the old saying is "Every dog has his day." Very late that fall I came to Maine to live and the next season the second trip George went hunting he had the misfortune to wound Sidney so bad that he had to kill him right away, and he took him and buried him in the best ef shape. This was an awful blow to George and also to myself. Many a time I have heard him refuse one hundred dollars each for them. Trouble seldom comes single-handed and George let Dixy out for his regular morning run late that same fall before breakfast and he never saw him after that. He put in lots of time and did lots of advertising, but all in vain, though my memory shall every linger on this wonderful pair of dogs.
Emerson P. Bartlett.
Oxford County, Maine.
Fur, News. Fur News, January 1916.
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