PHILIPSBURG, PENN­SYL­VA­NIA / 12:32 p.m.

Outdoor Life - - THE LIFE -

Bea­gles don’t re­trieve rab­bits. They eat them. Or at least, most bea­gles do. Duke (above) re­sists the temp­ta­tion and fetches dead bun­nies for his owner in­stead. He’s se­lec­tive, though: Duke won’t bring rab­bits to any other hunter.

“His re­triev­ing is more of a bond to me than it is an ex­pres­sion of his re­triever sen­si­bilites,” says Bob Ford, who cur­rently owns six bea­gles—all of whom live in­doors in­stead of in a ken­nel (see p. 108).

In Ford’s house, Duke be­comes “al­most an an­noy­ing cud­dler”; in the field, he’s a fo­cused vet­eran. If a bunny tries some­thing tricky, Duke is the one to pick up the trail. And if an­other dog reaches a dead rab­bit first, Duke will en­ter the fray and exit vic­to­ri­ous. ÑN.K.

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