Monday, June 20, 2016

You need to speak the language, if you want to play the game!

Silly me!  I thought (first problem) bird dog hunting and field trial terminology was pretty much interchangeable.  Wrongo, Batman! For example, the other day I was perusing an online ad for a French Brittany puppy.  Being a Brittany guy, myself, I like to look at ads and bloodlines and prices.  Just keeping myself abreast of current events.  Well, this little pup, apparently, has a very strong "prey drive"!  OK, I think, prey drive....humm, well, that can only mean the puppy gets really excited around birds and wants to go hunting.  That's a good thing, then.  (Is that an issue?  Aren't French Brittany pups "bird dogs"?)  So, I got to thinking about terms and phrases that might be two different ways of saying the same thing.  I think "prey drive" to the Pinot Grigio, tofu-eating, Prius-driving, brie-slurping crowd really means: birdy.  As in, "Bubba, that there dog sure is one birdy little pup! Where'd you say you got him?  France? Shucks, what's he do, point and surrender?"  Or words to that effect.  

Or, here's another one.....Honor.  As in, "honor a point".  I have trouble using that term in conjunction with bird dogs.  The tailgate, beer-drinking, walking crowd would refer to a dog "honoring a point" as "backing".   Coming across two dogs stopped, the handlers may ask the judge, "Which one's pointing and which one's backing, Judge?"  Which brings up another term, The Find! Of course it means, "point".  You can see how the language gets cumbersome when you hear Griswold ask Smithson "Which dog is Finding and which is Honoring, my good man? And, by the way, that was an excellent, smokey Brie you served last night at the Lodge!" 

Here are some more equivalents: 
AKC-Dog Manners                            Redneck- Biddable
AKC- Fancy Table Spread                 Redneck- Tailgate
AKC- Steady to Wing/Shot/Fall        Redneck- None

Redneck- Retrieve            AKC- None
Redneck- Water Retrieve  AKC- None
Redneck- Dead Bird         AKC- None
Redneck- 28 ga. SXS        AKC- None

AKC- Brie                        Redneck- Sardines/Saltines
AKC- Nice Wine              Redneck- Bud (Wealthy Redneck- Bourbon/well water)
AKC- Course                    Redneck- Cast 

Finally, along with the language, some of the accouterments are just plain different, as well.  Where I might see an aluminum horse trailer with living quarters and two Tennessee Walkers pulled by a Range Rover for the AKC crowd, I'd look over and see a classy outfit consisting of a newish (1990-2010) F-250 pulling a Jones Trailer piloted by an old guy and his teen grandson toting  20 ga. semi-autos.  Those AKC types may be running Vizslas, Weimaraners, Pudelpointers, or Braque du Bourbon (or some such).  Those rednecks will be off loading English  Pointers, English (some Llew and Gordon) Setters, German Shorthair Pointers (if they really want an off-brand), and Brittanys- with a smattering of GWP's (German Wirehair Pointers).  

I hope this helps the translation problems while you read the ads for your next bird dog.  It may also help to get some instruction in suitable wines and cheeses for the field.