Today was a non-pupil day for our three oldest children that attend secondary school. I seem to recall they had one around this time last year. So Bert, Alfie, Florrie and me got the work at home done up quick this morning and we loaded up Henry, his daughter Bumble and Bumble's maternal Grandmother Millie, and headed to Kingsford Hill to have a brisk walk up through Northcote and Upcott woods which is just under 100 acres of woodland owned by the Woodland Trust www.woodlandtrust.org.uk.
Bumble is from our first cross litter of Cavalier/Brittany and is now nearly six months old. At Poundlane we are trying to breed a Cavalier type spaniel more healthy and with the Blenheims (orange and white) getting them back more to their origins of the Marlborough spaniel, who like the Blenheim spaniels that followed on from them at Blenheim castle were small cocking spaniels, used for flushing wildlife out of tight covers towards lurchers and hounds or nets and latterly guns.
Spaniels were used in packs like hounds are used today. I know someone who has seen a pack of Cavaliers being used for hunting in France. This person was a very prominent lady in the hunting fraternity. She told me about the Cavalier pack some 25 years ago, because our Cavaliers if they happened to wander, would pass by her home and on a couple occasions take a young hound she was puppy walking on a baptism of fire for their first hunting experience. She told us that she loved to see our Cavaliers working up through the valley below us and on one occasion retrieving them from her, she told me of seeing a pack of Cavaliers being used for hunting in France. She told me it was one of the most fun days she had, had out with a pack. I'm would not know if the pack still exists, I would be surprised if it did. I have tried to see if any mention of it can be found on the internet and have come up with nothing for it, but struck a bit of gold and found this You Tube clip, proving that you can take the Cavalier out of the hunt, but you can't always take the hunter out of the Cavalier.
“The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you,but he will make a fool of himself, too.”
― Samuel Butler
Me (Jane) with Puddin' and Teagol, waiting patiently to flush a patch of kale, December 2019
Hello, I am Jane!