April 25, 2018
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Feathers ‘n Fins

By Tom Hennessey

Like many bird hunters who receive senior citizen discounts, I’ve noticed that my dog’s bell doesn’t ring as clearly as it did back along. Allowing that I had become a bit tone deaf, I took the advice of another hearing-impaired bird hunter and bought a couple of dog bells made by Mike Flewelling. The Holden hunter, dog trainer and field trial enthusiast – his four-year-old English pointer, Clifford, recently won the Grand National Invitational championship held in Rhode Island – began making dog bells of varying pitches five years ago. And for good reason: dog bells available in stores all sound the same.

Consequently, when a brace of dogs collared with store-bought bells compete in field trials, it’s difficult to distinguish between the two. Small wonder, then, that word of Mike Flewelling’s dog bells hasn’t fallen on deaf ears. Thus far, he has produced more than 600. Fact is, the bells, with pitches ranging from high to low, have been heard as far away as Hudson, Colo., where Dogs Unlimited, a company specializing in sporting dog equipment, sells them. All told, whether your feather hound is strictly a hunting dog or field trial competitor doesn’t matter; success in bagging birds or ribbons depends on hearing the dog’s bell and the magic moment when it stops. For more information, contact Mike Flewelling: (207) 989-6700.

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