A Nice Surprise
Earlier this week my sister and her friend took me for a drive in the lovely countryside on the east side of the Hudson River across from Kingston. They were looking for a western saddle (why would anyone want to ride Western?), so we stopped at a couple of saddleries over there. In one store I learned about some hunt kennels just up the road....well, next thing you know I had my hand stuck through a fence petting some gorgeous hounds.
The huntsman, a friendly gentleman who looked far younger than his years (well, he'd apparently hunted hounds for some 42 years or something like that so he couldn't be under 50) took a few moments out of his busy day to welcome me and tell me about the hounds and I was all ears of course.
It always amazes me how nice most folks are when approached in a friendly manner. It helps that we share a passion for hunting and foxhounds, of course. Still, meeting this professional huntsman and getting to see some of the puppies and bitches at the kennels just put me right over the moon, and my feet still haven't made contact with the ground. If you've never loved a hound, you just won't understand.
For me it was a pleasure that I rarely feel so far away from my beloved Wales and all the hounds I walked -- and chased -- over there.
I didn't take any pictures, though I would have loved to. There is an etiquette to follow, after all, and this huntsman had never met me before. Still, in our brief conversation we found some common ground and shared some connections, he was friendly, and didn't seem disturbed to have this intruder on the property. Perhaps it's the grey hair I now sport (redheads on the other hand...) -- how could I intimidate someone?
Of course I haven't forgotten his name but I am not going to write it here (not until he gives me permission, anyway). But thanks so much -- you know who you are!