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Poetry Corner, Tom Word


Scout

Scout_1

He was quite simply the best
Best I ever saw in the grouse woods
And his life could not have been better suited
To his God-given talents

As a pup he came into the hands of Kevin
A Minnesota forester and master woodsman
Who moved through the aspen like a ghost
At work counting trees or in October guiding bird hunters

I first saw Scout when Kevin released him from the dog box
He took ten steps in the woodcock cover and froze
A white Adonis
The Woodcock flushed and fell

Scout scooped up the bird and took it to Kevin
Joyous in his work
That day and the next he found pointed and retrieved
Countless grouse and woodcock for us

As if by magic
My son Scott’s setter Meg
Came into season that week
We bred her to Scout

That union produced Gayle
Named for Steve’s wife and Little Moran’s hostess
Gayle the dog proved a worthy daughter
She is twelve now and near the end
Scout was put down by Kevin last week

There are many dogs born
To be called good by their owners
But there are precious few
Worthy to be called great

Scout was one of those precious few
In fact the very best I ever saw
And I have seen more than a few
In sixty years after grouse
And fifty following field trials

Scout had it all
Nose conformation style and manners
Drive and determination to find and point grouse
A compass built in and unbridled love for Kevin

Theirs was a partnership
Designed by The Master
A perfect matching of talents and opportunity
Set in the north woods where in October it all comes together

Birds dog and man
Among riotous colors
The whirring of wings
And the crack of gun powder

Scout and Kevin
Were a perfect match
For their time and place
In God’s grand scheme of things

Scout_2

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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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