I'm happy to say that not one, not two, but THREE new reviews for Pointing Dogs, Volume One: The Continentals have come out recently.
In the July/August issue of Shooting Sportsman a very high-end US firearms and field sports magazine, blogger and contributor Gregg Elliot submitted his review of the book calling it "Part history lesson, part guide and part love letter, Pointing Dogs is one of the finest books about hunting dogs that I've ever read". When I read that my head expanded so suddenly that I lost my hat. But thanks for the props Gregg, I can always buy a new hat!
Another review that I am very proud of is found in a recent issue of Gun Dog Supreme, the news bulletin of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Club of America. Written by Joan Bailey the author of Gun Dog Supreme, the review is awesome. Joan is a widely respected writer and over 50 years of experience breeding, hunting over and judging gundogs. So when she wrote: "It is an amazing book on many levels. It seems that this is a man who is living his passion and it comes through time and time again." I was extremely flattered but even happier to know that a true hunter who has also been living her passion too understood the incredible joy and satisfaction a project like this can bring.
Finally, I received a review from William (Sandy) Gunn who has written for a variety of national and international dog magazines and is described as "a Canadian hunter, a breeder, and an active field trial and conformation judge with experience behind pointing dogs on five continents under numerous performance evaluation systems."
Mr. Gunn also wrote a very positive review, and I will include it in its entirety below. After you read it, you will understand why I will not only need a new hat to cover my hugely swollen head, but I may even need to widen the door to my house just to get across the threshold!
"It has been a while since I’ve submitted a book review but Pointing Dogs, Volume One: The Continentals by Craig Koshyk and published by Dog Willing Publications of Winnipeg, Canada really does have something to offer the dog fancy that is available nowhere else. I am extremely proud that it is written by a Canadian and published in Canada and should soon be known throughout the world for the incomparable reference source it is.
What Craig Koshyk set out to do had been done by nobody before him, and is unlikely to ever be done again. His investment of time, more than a decade, and travel, throughout Continental Europe and North America, has achieved his goal of examining, photographing, and describing each of the continental pointing breeds in detail, and from firsthand experience with each at work in the field.
While Mr. Koshyk’s work is done from the perspective of a hunter, for hunters, it would be an extraordinary waste were it not to be read by anyone with the audacity to stand in the middle of a conformation ring and pronounce judgment as to the merits of the exhibits in his/her sporting group ring. The breed standards for each breed should be the blueprint from which judgment proceeds, but for a fleshing out of the standards and to give them meaning, now we have a text that can truly help, most especially with the less frequently seen breeds.
Even those of us who judge not only conformation but field trials and tests of pointing breeds, and have done so on multiple continents, are unlikely to have seen all of these breeds in the flesh and at work, but Mr. Koshyk has and he has recorded his observations in an orderly and very readable way with a high degree of conformity from one breed to another. One of my greatest pleasures in life has been hunting with and observing pointing breeds at work and I find myself being jealous of this remarkable accomplishment, and wishing I could have been along for the ride!
The scope of this work is truly amazing. When, at the outset, the author compared his research with that William Arkwright had undertaken at the very outset of shows and trials, but chronicling only one breed, the Pointer, I felt that he was perhaps guilty of self aggrandizing. Arkwright wrote the bible on the Pointer. As I proceeded through ‘The Continentals’ I soon realized that my impression was not only unfounded but unfair. Mr.Koshyk’s work IS the modern day ‘bible’ on the continental pointing breeds, and its comprehensiveness is remarkable.
If my use of superlatives is off-putting I apologize but, when you are able to read this yourselves, and please do not neglect to do so, you will find my descriptions not only accurate but understatement, such is the value of this book to the serious student of pointing breeds. Nothing can replace being present and experiencing the thrill of a great dog, of whatever breed, doing his thing with the scent of game birds filling his being with purpose but we can now live that experience vicariously through Craig Koshyk’s marvelous book of photos and word paintings.
If I had to be critical and presumed to be able to offer constructive criticism of such a book as this, it would be only that the font size leaves old eyes like mine wishing for relief through magnification. That said, the present 365 glossy pages would have used twice the paper and have become not only unwieldy but prohibitively expensive had larger fonts been used. Though there will never be a substitute for the presence of this beautiful book in ones greedy hands, or on ones bookshelf, it would be great if a digital version might one day be available." --William (Sandy) Gunn