Horse people and dog people have a lot in common. In fact, most horse people are probably also dog people in one way or another, since horses and dogs tend to go together. Both animals are on the move and they like going places. If you are on a trail ride, taking your dogs along can make it more entertaining, since you can watch them enjoying themselves. People who go foxhunting often say that one of the primary reasons they love the sport is that they get to watch the hounds work.
If you look back in Aiken’s history, you will find that a number of the people who were prominent in horse sports in the era of the Winter Colony were also influential in the canine world. For instance, Lulie Hitchcock was famous for her beagles. Claudia Phelps was a well-known breeder of English Pointers. She has also been credited with bringing West Highland Terriers to America.
Because the dog world and the horse world do intersect, we often come across interesting dog stories, and we have written quite a few of them in this paper. For instance, we wrote about the dog rescue run by Ron Danta and Danny Robertshaw, who are prominent horse show riders and trainers. We wrote also wrote about the field trial dogs trained by Mark Fulmer at Sarahsetter Kennels – this story didn’t have much of an equestrian connection, beyond the fact that people follow their field trial dogs on horseback. But we liked the story, and we loved the pictures.
In fact, we have come across so many great dog stories that we have decided to dedicate more space to dogs in our paper. We also want to help support the rescue and education efforts at the Aiken SPCA as well the work being done by Friends of the Aiken County Animal Shelter. So, starting with the December/January issue, The Aiken Horse will contain our new venture, The Dog and Hound, a fourth section dedicated to dog stories, dog people, and pretty much anything canine. We are planning to produce this paper four times a year: Winter (with our December/January issue), Spring (with our February/March issue), Summer (with our Summer issue) and Fall (with our September issue.)
The Dog and Hound will follow the model of The Aiken Horse, with the best writing and photography we can give you. We know there are a lot of interesting stories out there, and we can’t wait to tell them. Of course, we will also include a separate calendar for dog events, as well as a separate news column for what is going on in the canine world. We are planning to donate a significant amount of space to dog rescue groups, and we hope that the dog people in the Aiken area and beyond will consider us their newspaper, just as Aiken’s horse people welcomed us as theirs.