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of them. After this outing Talbot said I had better take Laddie back. Laddie went into a crash course in steadiness. When Talbot wanted a dog to work he had Spitfire. Laddie's crash course in steadiness worked and I had no big problems after this episode.

The day Scud made his big breakthrough was one of my most memorable experiences with a young dog during my time at Saighton kennels. It was late October or early November. We were out with a shooting party and I was asked to go with head keeper Gerald and under keeper Gwynne to the far end of a hedgerow, which was on a farm bordering Presaddfed. The idea was to work the hedge towards the estate. The guns would get some shooting and hopefully some of the pheasants that were not shot would be pushed back onto Presaddfed. Usually I would have Spitfire with me on shooting days along with a couple of young dogs. If there was a situation that a young dog could not handle, or if there was a situation that I did not want to use a young dog, I would work Spitfire. On this particular occasion I did not have Spitfire with me as Talbot was using her. When I saw the hedge I wish I had her with me. The hedge was mixture of bramble, gorse (a very prickly evergreen shrub), and blackthorn (a bush with sharp thorns about 1 inch long). To get into the middle of the hedge a dog had to cross a shallow ditch and climb up a nearly vertical bank 5-7 ft high. It was a most intimidating hedge for a young dog and I wasn't at all sure that any of the three young relatively inexperienced dogs I had with me were ready to tackle this hedge.

"It was a tremendous show of controlled power, speed, and style."

I decided to try Scud. I found an area of the hedge that was not too thickly covered. Scud scrambled up the bank and started hunting. Luckily he soon flushed a pheasant, which was missed. I gave Scud the command to hunt on. As we went up the hedge pheasants were being steadily found. Scud really turned on. Soon the whole hedge seemed to shake as he powered his way through heavy cover. Sometimes he'd come flying out of the hedge after a pheasant. If the guns shot it I'd send him for the retrieve. After he delivered the pheasant I'd cast him back into hedge. Scud would scramble up the bank and through the thick cover as if it was nothing. If he started to get too far ahead I'd give him the hup whistle and he would hup instantly. When we caught up I'd send him on. By the time Scud finished working the hedge 15-20 pheasants were flushed. Six or so were retrieved. It was a tremendous show of controlled power, speed, and style. He hadn't put a foot down wrong. I thought to myself, "I've got one hell of a dog on my hands now." The next day Talbot said to me, "Your dog must have been working that hedge well yesterday as Gerald even commented it did a good job." Gerald rarely made comment about the dog work. This was one of the few occasions I recall hearing that Gerald commented that a dog worked really well. I don't think I would have gotten a bigger thrill from that performance had I won the Championship.

Saighton's Scud

Scud became one of the best marking dogs I ever had at Saighton kennels. He made it look very easy. I remember it seemed whenever I sent him for a retrieve he would simply go straight to the fall and pick up the game. There was one incident with Scud I will always remember. From time to time we would have a drive through the small woods near the kennels for a few pheasants. One gun was standing near the kennels and shot a pheasant that dropped in the pen next to the kennels that used to house a wildfowl collection. The fence was extended with chicken wire, so it was about 7 ft. high. I had Scud with me. After the drive I went to pick up with Scud. He winded the dead pheasant from the pasture. Seeker, his father, was a tremendous jumper. I never let my dogs jump fences unless I had to, for fear of having them injure themselves on the barbed wire. On this occasion I thought I would see how good Scud was at jumping, as this fence didn't have barbed wire that could rip Scud. I gave him the command to get over. Scud jumped at the fence and bounced off. The same thing happened on 3 or 4 attempts. Finally the upper part of the fence started to lean inwards slightly. Scud made another determined leap at the fence. He got high enough up the fence so that he could climb to the top and got over. I would like to be able to say he picked up the pheasant and leaped back over but he didn't and I didn't encourage him to try. I went to a gate and took the bird off of him. It was the highest fence I ever saw a dog get over. I thought, "This dog has got some determination."

What I found very unusual about Scud was his inconsistency. One day he would work like he did on the hedge. The

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