The Field - - Opening Shots -

As soon as I read the first para­graph of David Tom­lin­son’s ar­ti­cle [Cel­e­brat­ing 150 years of the golden re­triever, Septem­ber is­sue], I be­gan to nod vig­or­ously. I al­ways be­lieved golden retriev­ers to be big, soppy, fam­ily dogs. How wrong I was.

Walk­ing our two labs on New Year’s Day on the tow path on the River La­gan off leads, I was ap­proached by a woman with two young chil­dren and a re­triever off lead. No prob­lem, I thought. As we passed the re­triever and my black lab had a brief set-to, af­ter which my lab was limp­ing. I called the ‘on call’ vet and met at the surgery to dis­cover the re­triever had ripped open his lower fore paw on both sides, sev­er­ing the ten­don and nar­rowly miss­ing the nerve. I men­tioned my sur­prise at the re­triever’s be­hav­iour to the vet

but she said sev­eral that came to the prac­tice had to be muz­zled be­fore ex­am­i­na­tion. Bud is now fully fit and look­ing for­ward to the new sea­son.

Ian Mur­ray Lis­burn, County Antrim

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