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around the same age. Early in September I started taking about ten puppies, 12 to 15 weeks old, including Scud and his littermates, to this field first thing in the morning after doing the morning kennel chores. By this time pheasants would start drawing out into the field. I would run down the road with the puppies following, climb over a wall and give the puppies about 30 minutes of hunting. The puppies had a blast flushing the occasional pheasant, hunting scent and flushing some sort of field birds, which the puppies hunted as if they were game. Then I'd climb over the wall and run the puppies back to the kennels. I had to be a little careful not to get too near large numbers of pheasants, as there wasn't any real control of the puppies. Their quartering was natural and they were not independent enough to wander too far. Had they gotten away from me and into a main cover, I would have been in big trouble with the keepers. The wrath of Gerald (the head keeper) was something I always tried to avoid. I soon had learned to take note of what Gerald said regardless of what Talbot may have told me I could or could not do.

"It was always my goal to get a young, trained dog to work consistently at the level of the flashes first seen while they were very young and didn't have any training inhibitions."

It was during these early outings that I would see flashes of talent and style. It was always my goal to get a young, trained dog to work consistently at the level of the flashes first seen while they were very young and didn't have any training inhibitions. It was during these outings I started to develop ideas of which dogs had trial potential or not. I remember thinking Scud's litter looked very promising, with Scud and one particular littermate looking very promising, indeed. I don't remember when exactly I gave Scud his name, but I must have thought he was a good one as I took the name from Micklewood Scud. I never knew this dog, but thought he must have been a good one to win the U.S. National Open twice during the 50's. I must admit I had no idea at the time how appropriate that inspiration was to be.

Every morning, like clockwork, the puppies would be run down to the field for their outing. I knew once sheep were put on the field I wouldn't be able to use it for puppies, so I needed to make the most of it while I could. It must have been sometime in late October that I made a trip to Paris with a gundog, which had been sold to a Frenchman. The Frenchman was to take me to a shoot in the south of France and I would show him his new dog working. On the morning after I came back from this trip, I happened to see David Jones. He asked if I had heard what had happened while I was gone. I said I hadn't so David related the following story to me. He said he had driven through the local village when a farmer stopped him and asked if he had his gun in the vehicle. There were some dogs chasing sheep that needed shooting. He looked into the field that the farmer was referring to. David recognised the dogs chasing the sheep as my bunch of puppies. Immediately he went after them, and with great difficulty managed to round the puppies up one by one, throwing them into the back of the land rover. He said that he had never seen such a demented bunch of dogs. I don't think David felt I appreciated what effort it took him to catch all of the puppies at the time. Certainly had David not come along when he had the history of American Springer Field Trials may have had to do without Saighton's Scud in it.

No one was quite sure how the puppies ended up chasing sheep in a field nearly a mile from the kennels. From what I could deduce the pen where the puppies were kept didn't have the gate closed securely and it got pretty windy. The puppies got out - and since no one had taken them for their daily outing - they decided to go on their own. Instead of turning left into the field I would take them to, they turned right when they saw sheep. I decided I wouldn't take them down the road after this, as I didn't want to risk them getting after sheep again.

The pasture next to the kennels.

Adjacent to the kennels was a large pen of an acre or so, which had housed an ornamental wildfowl collection, but was empty now. The puppies were put in the pen for exercise. Also adjacent to both the pen and the kennels was a pasture, which happened to have a flock of sheep in it. I can't remember exactly how it happened, either the puppies found a hole underneath the fence between the pen and the pasture or they made a hole in the fencing. What I do remember was seeing one puppy getting into the pasture followed in seconds by the other nine puppies. The next sight left little doubt that the domesticated dog is related to wolves sometime in the distant past. I saw

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