>“Good covey dogs are, as Lincoln said of Civil War generals, ‘as plenty as blackberries.’ Hardy, spirited rangers that will put up whatever there is to put up, and give you your money’s worth day in and day out. That is in good bird country.

But if you are ever fortunate enough to get your hands on a real single-bird dog, don’t forget to say your prayers regularly. It’s the only thing I’d steal without the slightest compunction of conscience–a really good one.

For a covey dog, give me a pointer–stamina, dash, derring-do. For a singles dog, give me a setter–patient, thoroughness, precision. Just one man’s experience, and if it doesn’t jibe with yours don’t sue me for it. All you could get would be covey dogs, anyways. Single-bird dog is in my wife’s name.

Also, if you care to, you can give me a setter that has been spayed. And I’ll take my setter with a little age on her. Rare old Ben Franklin advised a young man to pick an old woman to have his affairs with. The same consideration underlies my nomination of an oldish lady for singles hunting.

To carry the specification a little further, you can give me a slow dog, one that has plenty of time. There’s no such thing as a fast singles dog and a good one”….

The Old Maid by Havilah Babcock, PhD. from Tales of Quail ‘n Such

Edmund Osthaus

Arnolt Gustavmuss

Edmund Osthaus

Arthur Tait

Earl Maud

Grouse River Gretchen…my hopes of a single-bird dog…I’m on my knees praying!

6 Comments Add yours

  1. >Shawn, Good job! Brother, that was poetic. As for Ben Franklin, I think he wrote that piece about older women tongue in cheek. Farles, even with his speed, was a singles dog. I’ll never forget some of the times when he was running full bore, sniffed the bird, and then put on the brakes (sometimes in midair) into an intense point. In a word, electrifying. Only the good die young. Andy

  2. >Shawn, I just noticed that Havilah Babcock wrote that. It truly sounds like something you would say and write. Gotta love Havilah Babcock!Andy

  3. Dual Setters says:

    >Nice writing and pictures. Love the idea of folks feeling so strongly about what they want in a dog.

  4. >Good insight on the “Singles Dog”. My good friend had a setter that seemed to always find singles. She never had much style, but you could always count on her in the field. Nice pictures.Ryan

  5. DrGooch says:

    >Love the blog. Bought a Brit pup 6 years ago and thought I would hunt birds. The hunting hasn’t matured, but he’s the best do I ever owned.

  6. >Thanks for your comments you guys!Dr. Gooch…I just hunted scaled quail in CO today with a wonderful Brit…I’ll post about it soon! Thanks for your comments!Shawn

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