The Field



I write in response to

David Tomlinson’s article, ‘Companion or competitio­n?’ [Sporting dog, October issue]. The family dog of my childhood was a black labrador named Boson, as was my father’s childhood dog (black lab again). He has become a family legend and benchmark for all dogs since. I will give you a few anecdotes to illustrate the measure of the creature. He had only one master (my father). Rhubarb and lettuce were the only foods refused or not stolen; he could scale a 4ft fence with a bucket of horse feed in his mouth. Fences could not keep him in and we were surprised and a little embarrasse­d when he returned from a jaunt one Sunday with a whole roast chicken in his mouth. He behaved with puppylike energy and sprit most of his adult life, bypassing a respectabl­e middle years to go straight to old age.

At this point my father brought home a Jack Russell puppy, a bitch called Trippy. Boson loved, adored and was besotted by her. She either slept between his front paws or on his back. He followed her everywhere, despite his legs only being able to manage a stroll round the garden. She was especially drawn to the pheasant pen in the opposite field and it was only after he had past and (I like to believe) his good influence and guidance not present, that she one day rampaged through it.

I do believe Trippy kept his spirit going longer. He was the last of his litter to go. Trippy also went on to a good old age, eventually only eating if she was hand fed with roasted chicken or pheasant.

Teresa Kiteley, by email

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