3o WILD SPORTS OF BURMA AND ASSAM
A good retriever is worth his weight in gold for snipe-shooting. I bought in i860 a nice-looking, well-bred, spaniel pup. The parents had been imported by Col. Pinsona a well-known dog fancier.
This pup soon attached himself to me, and as he showed a propensity for retrieving, I took to shooting birds and throwing things for him to fetch, but I had not had him out shooting game until he was about a year old. I was going across the Kabong river to a pet piece of snipe ground which was then only known to me, and to get there I went on an elephant, and took the dog on the pad behind me. Before long the dog was as sick as if he were crossing the Channel in rough weather for the first time, and by the time we got to the ground seemed to be all abroad. Where I dismounted there was a small Zyat. I left my tiffin-basket there, and walked into the snipe ground with the dog at my heels. I had soon several birds on the ground, and bid the dog fetch, but he showed no aptitude at retrieving at all, and would not leave heel. I was very fond of him, but utterly disgusted at his behaviour, as I had expected great things from him, so I went on shooting, and presently missed him altogether. I screamed myself hoarse calling him, but could find him nowhere, nor had the coolies with me seen him go away: so I thought I had lost him, and went on shooting till about twelve, when I went back to the Zyat to breakfast, and there I found my dog curled up close to the basket. I dona t know whether I was more pleased at finding him, or angry at his behaviour, but I made much of him, fed him, and took him out again, but it was uselessa he would not retrieve. So I thought I had been mistaken in him, and never meant to take him out again. He sat behind me on the pad going home, with 26 couple of snipe close under his nose ; he was not sick.
Whether he got used to the elephanta s motion and began to comprehend what was required of him from his close contact with the birds I cannot tell, but the very next time I mounted an elephant to go out snipe-shooting, he of his own accord jumped up behind me, and when I commenced to shoot, although rather wild at first, he soon settled down and retrieved as if he had been used to it all his life. In time he