Shooting and fishing:
“Lots of pressure,” smirked Linda, producing a shaming photo of master and dog
To the Scottish Game Fair at Scone with Crumpet the cocker spaniel, who proceeded to behave quite disgracefully.
I had warned her that she would have to be on her best behaviour as there would be important people there but of course, it was like taking a child to a drinks party.
All they do is paw and nag that they’re bored and want to go home. Pointing at all the other well-behaved dogs trotting to heel only makes things worse. So, although she rarely jumps up, on this day, one of the wettest and muddiest in living memory, she jumped up on every conceivable occasion and particularly targeted women in pale clothing.
And she looked miserable and worried by all the legs and other dogs and the smells that she was not allowed to pursue. So then we fell in with Linda Mellor the Fife-based field sports photographer who said, “Oh why don’t you go in for the gundog scurry?” which was exactly what I had said I wouldn’t do because it would almost certainly turn out to be a hideous embarrassment after telling the world that Crumpet was quite possibly the best gun dog in the world.
“Oh go on,” she said, “it’s just a bit of fun,” which indeed it is and we said OK and paid our £3 to stand in line behind a black lab and slaphead owner with tattoos who were completely hopeless. The dummy was thrown out to the bang of a starting pistol and off went the lab in a crazed zig zag eventually pursued by the owner blowing a whistle. The next dummy was no better.
“Well, really Crumpet,” said I, “if this is the standard of the competition we’re in the money.” She sat obediently and just as the gun went off and the dummy flew through the air she turned round to check I was still there and never saw it land but dashed forward expectantly all the same. The anticipated instant retrieve failed to materialise. And the second dummy was no better, ending up with me walking half way down the field waving my arms and shouting “Out”. My excuse is that Crumpet was by this stage of the day wet and fed up and, anyway, is used to retrieving green dummies not orange ones.
“Lot of pressure,” smirked Linda producing a shaming photograph of master and dog grinning stupidly. I must say we were not the only ones. One spectator’s dog got so bored it jumped the fence and retrieved another dog’s dummy. So I am afraid we came home rather with tails between legs and generally discouraged. Well I did. I don’t think Crumpet gives a monkey’s.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North