Tuesday, January 5, 2010

P u p p i e s !


I live in Hunt Country, in Upstate NY, about 1 1/2 hrs north of Manhattan
People think it looks like England. I have not yet been to England. They ride beautiful horses and chase fox (coyotes too) on horse back following Foxhounds. They do not kill the fox and it is all about formal English riding skills.
They also chase rabbits with Beagles and Bassets on foot. On these hikes there are no guns or hunters. Sometimes the hounds do catch a rabbit. I am told that this is not supposed to happen.
It is a nice walk across private land and a chance to see part of the countryside that is usually not available. It is a good excuse for a social time with friends, with their own dogs on lease. I do not own a dog at this time.
Going out with hounds is like going back in time, when farming had the need to control fox and rabbit. It is a completely different energy. It is also formal, with a Hunt Master in proper clothing and a horn!
I do not hunt. I regret that I was a trapper when I was young and I now do not approve of wearing fur unless you are an Eskimo.  I did enjoyed reading "Where the Red Fern Grows" because I was a "boy in the woods".  Most often, I am happy with a quiet nature walk with my binoculars and camera.

My friend took me to the kennels to see the new pups. The kennel is home to two packs of about 20 Beagles and 20 Bassets When we arrived, two sets of older pups (3 month & 6 month) were out in the field. As they returned I lay on the ground with my camera and you can see how I was greeted!
I took over a hundred pictures during a second walk out with the young hounds. I was watching closely. Noting a creature that is not quite a pet and yet not wild. These dogs had different priorities than what a dog owner is usually familiar with.  Total attention to Betsy, the Hunt Master, but only within the context of the pack and the hunt. When they are hunting they show little to no interest in the human presence, but when back at the kennels, they are responsive, well behaved and delightful to be around. These kennels are also immaculate.

Below is a painting that I just finished from my day out. It was the concentration and readiness to Betsy that became my interest. Betsy returns the same level of attention, by knowing all 40+ dogs by name.   

9 comments:

Renee said...

Your painting is beautiful Dan. Wow.

Thank you for sharing the story about your Dad. How hard working and all for the love of his family no doubt.

Renee xoxo

Secretia said...

It does look like England. Looks really good!

Crescendo said...

Nice dogs and nice works !
Happy new Year to you !

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

That's a really beautiful work!
I love it!. SO vivid and gorgeous colours. I came across your site by accident and I just love your blog!

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

Thanks so much for your most generous comments on my blog.
Have a wonderful and warm week-end!

Celeste Bergin said...

Well, I like just everything about that painting! Beautiful design, colors and composition.

Sue said...

Hi Dan and a belated Happy New Year to you and Holly....your painting is wonderful....this dog is amazing being able to know the names of all the other dogs...You need to get yourself one....life is totally different when your a dog owner....Sue

Peg @ Bloomfield Farm said...

I traveled to your blog from the comment you left for Sue. I love your artwork. The murals look challenging and the dog painting really seems to capture their personalities. I thought I'd tell you about Artwork Friday at ddzine.blogspot.com. Every Thurs. night you can link there and perhaps gain more visitors to see your work. Deedee just started the linking during the holidays so it is very new but hopefully, it will grow. I'll check back often to see your art!

Renee said...

Again the pictures of your dogs are wonderful.

Renee xoxo