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Original Issue

An Old Dog, a New Trick

The dog leaning against Fred Boudeman of Kalamazoo, Mich. (left) is a 12-year-old German shorthaired pointer named Tippy. Tippy has a keen nose, staunchly holds a point and eagerly retrieves shot pheasants. There has always been one rather glaring imperfection in Tippy's otherwise superior performance in the field—for years he has stubbornly refused to give up his birds (below) without a struggle. Boudeman has tried everything. He has attempted to pry Tippy's jaws apart. He has shot over the dog's head, tweaked his ears and blown into them, stepped on his paws and even ignored him. No use. Then one day last fall, on the spur of just such a frustrating moment afield, Boudeman unceremoniously turned Tippy upside down and shook him (opposite). Tippy immediately dropped the pheasant. This novel release technique has worked every time since, and Tippy seems to enjoy it. All of which proves that it sometimes takes years—11 years in Tippy's case—for an old dog to teach a hunter a new trick.