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Book Reviews


Brag Dog and Other Stories: The Best of Vereen Bell

 

Now the second hour wore on. Some said Hotfoot was ahead, some said Sam. They were about even on birds, anyway; the rest of it was conjecture. Hotfoot had an inner fire that seemed to drive him like a demon, and when he pointed you had to swallow the lump in your throat to see such cocky perfection; he seemed to be posing, trying to lift his head higher than his tail, a living thing turned to cold granite; when he pointed he was no longer a dog, he was a statue that no sculptor could have chiseled.

At first glance he seemed truly immobile, for he never allowed himself to pant, mouth open, or to tremble. But if you watched closely you could see his upper lip shake with exhalations, and you could see the hide stretch tightly over his flaring ribs as he breathed, see the slow movement of his eyes as he looked slightly back to see if McGinnis was coming. Ambling Sam made up in handling and bird-wisdom what he lacked in youthful fire. When Hawthorne wanted Sam to turn, he squalled and lifted his whip; and Sam, a half mile away, turned as if he had a string tied to him and the old handler had pulled it. As Duff rode the fringes of the course, he was not seeing Sam but his dog, Judas. If I could ever get that old fool of mine to handle like that I’d have the best damn dog in the world…

Illustrated by Marguerite Kirmse, “Brag Dog and Other Stories” is a must have for anyone who loves bird dogs and field trials. For more information about these stories and Vereen Bell and to purchase the book, please visit our online Strideaway Store.

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ABOUT STRIDEAWAY

Strideaway is an online publication founded in 2008. We are dedicated to promoting the great sport of American pointing dog field trials, in particular American Field sanctioned trials for pointers and setters. Our objective is to present the voices and ideas of experienced trainers, handlers, breeders and other knowledgeable participants and enthusiasts from the past to the present — amateurs and professionals alike. Whether All-Age or Shooting Dog, Horseback or Walking Trials, we place particular emphasis on wild bird field trials and the dogs that compete in them. We present richly illustrated articles and stories, podcast interviews and other types of media on a regular basis with the hope of providing an ever expanding, searchable archive of information relevant to pointing dog field trials.Read article

This website is dedicated to our ever faithful friend and Strideaway contributor, Bill Allen, whose book The Unforgettables and Other True Fables we published in 2010.

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