Part­ing shots

Do gundogs have an af­ter­life? Robin Scott, for­mer Sport­ing­gun ed­i­tor-at-large

Sporting Gun - - Contents -

Man’s an an­i­mal, so why do we think we’re the only liv­ing crea­tures with souls? If there is any sort of life af­ter death, I’d like to think the dogs I’ve had will be there in the happy hunt­ing ground when my time’s up, ready to go to work again.

And why not? Dogs, like us, are ca­pable of thought, re­spond to emo­tion and dream while asleep. So they have a sub­con­scious. They also pos­sess an unerring devo­tion and loy­alty that puts much of mankind to shame. They’re Man’s best friend for good rea­son. Their spirit could live on.

Some time back, a rel­a­tive of my mum’s went to a spir­i­tu­al­ist in the hope of con­tact­ing her mother, and a fa­ther who’d worked all his life in the Forces. The only de­tail she gave were their names.

Af­ter talk­ing a while on the space tele­phone he be­gan to de­scribe her fa­ther, how tall he was, the colour of his hair and the uni­form he was wear­ing, all in minute de­tail. Then he re­marked on sev­eral dogs that were with him, their breed and their mark­ings. Ev­ery­thing about her dad’s dogs was spot on.

There was also a woman stand­ing be­side him who, said the spirit man, was called Anne, a school teacher. “Then you’ve got the wrong cou­ple,” she said dis­ap­point­ingly, “my mum’s name was Cather­ine.” Mes­sage over.

And there it would’ve ended had my mother not heard the ac­count, years later. “School teacher?” she asked. “Then that would be Anne…”

Ac­cord­ing to mum, Anne had been the of­fi­cer’s first true love but her fam­ily strongly dis­ap­proved and put an end to the ro­mance. Mother was the only one in the fam­ily to have met this par­tic­u­lar girl­friend, and she re­mem­bered her well.

So if my past labs and spaniels are en­joy­ing eter­nity, then the only thing I want to know now is whether you’re al­lowed guns up there as well…

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.