Frank Deford's NPR commentary on Thoroughbreds and the American emphasis on speed and power in nearly all sports got me thinking about pointing dogs. Modern pointing dog field trials stress speed and style above all other qualities, including hunting ability. As a result, we're seeing too many dogs with more "run" than "hunt." My own beloved Maggs descends from a long line of great trial dogs. She's a blur in the field. And she's injured more often than not because her delicate body just can't take the pounding she gives it on the rough West Texas badlands. She also has marginal hips. At five years old, she no longer wants to jump in the bed of the truck. At two, she'd jump over the tailgate. Yet she still runs flat out in the field. On warm days, she consistently outruns her nose.
But she looks damned impressive doing it - when she's within sight.