Larry Case: Squirrel dogs, their trainers and why we need them

Bo Wood, who trains squirrel dogs in the woods of West Virginia, shows off a few of his youngest students.

Here's a news flash for you: Things ain't like they used to be. Lately I'm making an effort not to read the headlines or watch TV news. I mean, could things get any crazier in this world of ours?

We need some balance. We need some old-fashioned, down-to-earth sanity and backwoods stability injected into our harried lives. We need the squirrel-dog man.

Time was when about every small town and community had a squirrel-dog man or two. He was the man you went to if you were in the market for a squirrel dog - or maybe a rabbit beagle - and he probably had a dog or two that could tree a coon.

He lived out in the country. He had to, because he usually had a mess of dogs. (That means he had a bunch.)