Hunting dog – English

Having a dog = having a furry best friend

I grew up in a house with dogs, and like all other animals, I have loved our dogs. After I became a hunter, it has been part of the considerations to get a hunting dog, but you can rarely predict what will happen in the future 😆

So – a little over a year after we moved to Sicily, we actually got a dog. A hunting dog yes, even a Sicilian hunting dog, used for rabbit hunting on Mt. Etna. A Cirneco dell’Etna… a rescue dog. He had been put on the street by his owner and left all by himself to live – or die. This is unfortunately the sad fate of many dogs in Southern Europe – also hunting dogs.

Rusty was about 4 years old when he came to us. My good friend Lucy was feeding him outside of her house for 8 month (!) before he finally trusted her enough to let her catch him. He was simply too scared to trust anybody. Until the day, when one of Lucy’s female dogs were in heat… and suddenly he found his way into her garden – and shortly after he moved in with us.

Rusty shortly after finally being caught

Rusty probably doesn’t have the best experiences with hunting and he will never (again) be used as a hunting dog. Firstly, he is terrified of loud noises, thunder, fireworks – and probably also gunshots. He does not associate those sounds with anything good. It has made me see hunting and hunters here in a different light – and we will not be hunters in this part of the world. It is an ethical choice on my part.

Rusty is a purebred Cirneco dell’Etna – and they are part of the Greyhound family. In Denmark you are not allowed to hunt with dogs of the Greyhound family. But it really doesn’t matter… we have ourselves a dog – a wonderful dog! And I’m fine with him being a lap dog, a cuddle bug, a bed companion 😅 and my best friend 🐶❤️

Hunting dogs – and their owners!

I guess I only know dog owners, including hunting dog owners, who treat their dog with respect and with lots of love. I wouldn’t be able to accept anything else. I have nothing but contempt and disgust left for people and hunters who doesn’t treat their animals properly. It actually came as a shock to me when I discovered how in Southern Europe hunting dogs are often treated quite horribly. It is particularly bad in Spain, but here in Italy we also see some bad cases, for example with our own Rusty.

How you can mistreat your own animals, treat them like garbage, keep them in small dark rooms, cellars or even cages in large numbers without enough food and water, how you can hang them, abandon and torture them – and then leave them on the street or far out in the countryside to certain death… I will never understand it. I feel sick at the thought of these hunters, galgueros and like-minded people mistreating animals like this.

Rusty – a loving soul and my best friend

These dog owners are in no way part of my “hunting family” or part of any good and proud hunting tradition. It’s a terrible way to behave and I hate everything about it. Unfortunately, it is precisely these galgueros that help to cast a very bad light on hunters and hunting in general. The ones, who knows and have seen how e.g. the Galgos in Spain are treated, are 100% convinced that all hunters are bad people. This is when I feel ashamed of being a hunter.

I am a hunter, but I love animals. I hunt sustainably and I always try to do this in a way that no animal suffer. AND – I love my dog very much. Rusty is part of the family, and he is fed good and well, he is showered with love and care – and he eats and sleeps with his pack – us ❤️ This is how most hunters I know treat their dogs – and how they keep their dogs. I can relate to that – and this is how it should be.

The fact that I put this up on my website is because it is so deeply anchored in me to treat animals well. I have seen the absolute opposite here in Southern Europe and I am feeling sick about it. My contempt for these people is never ending, and for that reason I will never hunt in regions where this is a norm.

Take good care of your dog – you are the most precious thing they have.

Rusty and me on Mt. Etna ❤️
© 2018