My husband’s best friend died last week. His death was tragic and unexpected. He was 87.
Doug Little was a unique person. He hailed from the north of England where he grew up developing a love of hounds and hunting. He was a talented stonemason.
Houndsman Douglas Little. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Rose.
After serving his National Service in the Army in England, Doug immigrated to and stayed with family in Canada. Doug remained very close to his aunt and uncle and cousins: Alec, Andy and Stephanie. He soon found friends at the Toronto and North York Hunt in the form of Fred Pickford, his soon-to-be wife Veronica Beatty, and Clive Rose. Doug eventually went into hunt service as kennel huntsman to Major Kindersley at the Eglinton and Caledon Hunt, where they enjoyed a good working relationship for several years.
In 1968, Doug went to Ohio to be huntsman to Mrs. Gilbert Humphrey’s Woodfield Beagles. Doug loved his beagles; he knew all about each one just as he should - their breeding, personalities and hunting ability. Veronica soon joined him and they both enjoyed hunting the beagles. He hunted them for about 20 years in Ohio, Kentucky and Florida. When Doug retired from hunting professionally, he always kept in touch with his hunting friends in the US and Canada. He was always interested in hounds and hunting.
After moving to North Carolina, he soon starting collecting and showing his chickens and other birds. Veronica bred rabbits and there were always some puppies around. Doug began hunting with Joan Thiele and her Weymouth Bassets, eventually becoming joint Master. He loved to take the horn and hunt them, showing great sport.
Doug was a true countryman. He was an amazing woodsman and could tell you what tree a piece of wood came from. He made top quality sticks and hunting whips using carefully-chosen sticks and stag horns. His whipping of the thongs was excellent. This soon turned into other woodwork and he was making bowls, candleholders, ring holders and wine bottle stoppers, to name a few.
Doug had an incredible memory; his stories of the past were interesting in that he could remember every detail. He made us laugh, yell at him and remember.
Doug was an artist. He was surprised several years ago when I told him he was an artist and it showed in everything he did.