In this week’s Horse & Hound magazine (p98, 14 May, 2015) former master and huntsman Mark Hankinson explains why while electing to walk hound puppies may not be as easy as it initially sounds, it is vital that hardy souls step up for this important task if we are all to continue to enjoy many more great days following hounds in the future.
In the feature he quotes the famous poem by Will H Ogilvie, which is provided in full below.
Will you walk a puppy? by Will H Ogilvie
‘Will you walk a puppy?’ the Hunt enquired
Being sportsmen, we did as the Hunt desired
And in early June there arrived a man
With an innocent bundle of black and tan
A fat little foxhound, bred to the game
With a rollicking eye and a league-long name,
And he played with a cork on the string;
And walking a puppy was ‘just the thing’
But the days went by and the bundle grew,
And broke the commandment and stole and slew
And covered the lawn with a varied loot
Of fowl and feather and bone and boot
And we scratched in the garden a hundred holes,
And wearied our bodies and damned our soles
As we chased him over the plots and swore
There was ‘walking a puppy’ for us no more!
If he’s half as good in a woodland ride
As he is in tucking young ducks inside
And half as keen on the scent of a fox
As he is at finding my red silk socks,
It is safe to bet when our hound goes back
He will make a name in the ducal pack,
For he’ll empty a cover-of beef or brose,
And he’ll stick to the line-if it’s hung with clothes!
Will H. Ogilvie