During the last two nights, heavy frost had sent the leaves to the ground in showers. My friend thought a minute or two, smiled, took from his pocket a little brass bell, and attached it to Prince’s collar. The mystery was solved. At the first tinkle the pup was himself again. The early season foliage had been heavy and Prince had never been hunted without a bell. He considered it a necessary part of his hunting kit and saw no sense in going to work without it.
To turn to the subject of eyesight, Jock’s ability to see moving objects is superior to yours. With motionless objects it’s just the opposite. Choose a time when he is busy burying a bone in your newly seeded lawn, step out onto the front porch and stand perfectly silent and motionless until he looks up and discovers you. Unless he catches your scent he probably registers mild curiosity or a trace of uneasiness perhaps, then goes on burying his bone. It’s obvious he not only doesn’t recognize you; he isn’t even sure you are a human being. But make a move, however slight, and he’s all attention in an instant, and your first familiar gesture or one word spoken in your natural voice brings him bounding to your side.
This looks like a case for an eye specialist; but here’s another side to the picture. Two bird dogs, a setter and a pointer, competing against each other in field trials, race at top speed through ragweed or sedge, the judges and the handlers of the two dogs following on horseback a full quarter mile behind. Suddenly the handler of the setter stands in his stirrups, blows his whistle sharply and waves his widebrimmed sombrero with a big sweep to his left. The setter hears the whistle above the rustle of the sedge, recognizes it as that of his handler, leaps into the air, head up, to catch the signal given with the hat, and swings to the left. The pointer goes on about his business, paying no attention whatever to the whistle, because he knows it’s not the one his handler uses. Yet to you or me the two whistles sound precisely the same.
Dog of day: English Cocker Spaniel