We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
A fellow hunter at the lodge this weekend had his Spinone with him. (Pic of his pup below) This was a new breed to me. A pointer. They seem to run 70-80 lbs. His owner says that if you want one, make sure you buy it in Italy, not in the US. Relatively slow, methodical, and errorless hunters, it seems, with a style which sounds similar to that of the Munsterlanders: they do not run crazy, but search carefully and relentlessly, at a steady human pace.
It's all in the genes. (You would like this dog, Craig.)
His dog was very well-trained (in Italian commands, eg "Posto!"). He told me that they say in Italy that the face of a Spinone should look like an old philosopher. His dog had that look, and insisted on slobbering me with drooling kisses - perceiving, as any wise philosopher dog would, that Bird Dog is a dog guy.
The breed is said to be an ancestor of all of the pointers, with a pedigree dating to c. 500 AD. The fur is thick and wiry.
I could use a spare Spinone around the place (although they look like tick magnets). A good excuse for another trip to Italia.
A good Spinone is a wonderful dog, but there are some examples here in the States that are aggressive to other dogs and have some health faults as well. When I was showing my shorthair we met a fellow from Maryland whose Spinone tended to win a lot, but the classes were pretty small, while my dog had to beat 20 other fine dogs to finish his championship. This fellow's dogs were just the sweetest dispositions, very calm and easygoing. I guess you could say they were philosophical.
I've got two Spinone Italianos. Fabio - white and Primo -Roan. Fantastic dogs and in my mind represent the best of the Italian People (and I'm not Italian). Gentle. Intelligent and Family oriented. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=114948438524287&set=a.100179253334539.155.100000273931537
There's actually two Munsterlanders - the Large Munsterlander and the Small Munsterlander. No relation between them, they are just from the same region in Germany. The Large Munsterlander is very like a German Longhair. The Small Munsterlander looks a bit like a leggy Brittany or Springer, but has more of the personality of a German Longhair.
Highly recommend checking out the Small Munsterlander. Especially if you want a hunting dog that is also a family house dog who is happy curled on the bed or couch with you. Wonderful dogs.