If you run a beagle, your ears delight in the yelping and howling of the little hounds as they chase rabbits in and out of cover and eventually back to the spot where they first jumped them – usually at a hole – where, if they get there first, disappear.
Many a dog has cut their teeth on rabbits (so to speak) and not all of them were hounds. Seamus chased a rabbit or two in his time, not to hunt, but to have a good chase. Now, after a time of maturing, he thinks about chasing a bounding bunny now and then, but contains himself and opts or birds instead.
Most bird dogs are quiet as they go about their work, but Seamus, in a fit of excitement, yelps when he finds a covey of birds. The covey has to consist of three or more before he lets out with a yelp, but it’s a definite yelp of excitement.
The sound I like to hear and anticipate when it stops is the sound of the sleigh bell Seamus wears on his collar. I searched high and low to find just the right bell, and finally found it in the Orvis catalogue. I debated spending the money on them, but as time got the better of me, I gave in, paid the money and haven’t been disappointed.
I’ve had dozens of bells over the years for my hunting dogs: Jake, my yellow lab had a cowbell the size usually worn by cows. Duke, my Brittany before Seamus, had a small tinker type bell that worked well for several years. Seamus, however, lost as many bells as the other dogs had put together. That is, until I found these New England Dog Bells.
I know it sounds trite, but they are a necessary part of following a hunting dog.
The Bells, the bells, I can hear the bells.