Meet Sky, our new pointer…

Meet Sky, our new pointer
Meet Sky, our new pointer

A couple Saturdays ago, the latest addition to our team arrived. Meet out new pointer pup: Striking Elhew Sky.

Sky’s out of Superior Pointers. She’s half-sister to Lexi by the father. We’re thrilled to have her, and I’m more excited than ever to have another bird dog for this fall.

 

 

 

The Pointer Sisters: Lexi & Sky
The Pointer Sisters: Lexi & Sky
The Pointer Sisters: Lexi & Sky
The Pointer Sisters: Lexi & Sky

What a bird dog’s nose really knows…

Pointing a Spring Woodcock
Pointing a Spring Woodcock

If you spent much time with hunting dogs, you’ve probably wondered about their noses. A recent piece called  BIRD DOGS, SCENT AND FINDING BIRDS from the Pheasants Forever blog gave some insights into scent and into how dogs process it. It’s short, but talks about:

  • The Scent Cloud
  • Temperature & Moisture
  • Hot Spots
  • Dog’s Health
  • Bird Identity
  • Hunting Dead Birds
  • Up Wind, Down Wind, Cross Wind
“I spent a number of days this spring running my German shorthaired pointer, Trammell, through woods I know hold timberdoodle on their migration north. It was interesting to watch Trammell navigate the scent determining when to point and when to press. It got me thinking about the incredible ability of a dog’s nose, so I reached out to Bob West of Purina Dog Foods and a professional trainer with 50 years of experience to teach me more about bird dogs and scent…”

Lexi’s awesome summer finishes with a big win …

Lexi, back home again with me.
Lexi, back home again, and right back in my lap.

I’m not a big fan of the summer. Heat and humidity are my Kryptonites, so by the middle of June I’ve had enough of  it. Lexi was up at  Wild Apple Kennel in Dummer, NH, from end of May to last week. Her absence made the summer feel even longer. I work from home, and it was a lonely home without her. But enough of my bitchin’.

Here’s the good part:

At the New England Bird Dog Club’s Labor Day Weekend Trial, Lexi won Sunday’s Open Restricted Derby Competition. I’m super proud of her – – and very thankful for the great job that trainer Craig Doherty did with her.

This was Lexi’s third time in a field trial. Her first time was on August 29, and her second was on the Saturday before her win. So she’s 1 for 3. Not bad.

So am I psyched for October? You bet. It’s going to be an awesome fall. More to come on that.

BTW: Derby stakes are for dogs 6-24months of age and no more than 2 years of age. A “restricted” derby is for dogs that have not already placed in a derby stake.

Latest Lexi: An update on my pointer…

Lexi last winter, before the snow
Lexi last winter, before the snow

It’s time to put some more “dog” in Dogs and Doubles. It has been while since I posted any updates on my pointer Lexi.

Here are pics and videos to catch you up on her.

Lexi was born on April 31, 2014. We’ve had her since July 3. We’ve been thrilled with her since day one. Right now, Lexi’s up in northern NH with Craig Doherty at Wild Apple Kennels.

 

 

A little lap time last February.
A little lap time last February.
Lexi doesn't like riding "in" her box.
Lexi doesn’t like riding “in” her box.

I shot this video last March.

And these are  from last weekend up at Wild Apple Kennels.

Lexi at Wild Apple Kennels
Lexi at Wild Apple Kennels
Lexi at Wild Apple Kennels
Lexi at Wild Apple Kennels

Great read: Dad Saw Himself in Setters, by Tom Davis…

4X CH TEKOA MOUNTAIN JETTSUN
4X CH TEKOA MOUNTAIN JETTSUN

Tom Davis is a great writer, and always check out anything I come across from him. This piece from the Sporting Classics Daily blog is a good example of why he’s worth reading. It’s short, and in very few word Davis touches hits on why we fall in love with bird dogs. Do yourself a favor and click through to read the entire piece.

Dad Saw Himself in Setters by Tom Davis now

“I picked him up at the condo he’d rented on the Lake Michigan beachfront. It was more like March than May, a raw wind blowing off the lake, scudding clouds that spat occasional volleys of needle-sharp rain. He wanted to see my dogs run.

“Jesus, Dad,” I said, scowling at his low-cut tennis shoes. “We’re going to be in woodcock cover. Where the hell are your boots?…”

Read all of Dad Saw Himself in Setters by Tom Davis now

Goodbye to a great dog: Ch Beaver Meadow Benjamin has passed away…

Back when I first got into Pointers, Beaver Meadow Benjamin was THE hot dog on the New England field trial circuit. Even though an injury put an early end to Benny’s trial career, he went on to sire a bunch of winners. Born in 2001, Benny passed away a couple weeks ago. You can read more about Beaver Meadow Benjamin here on the Region 1 Field Trial Club site and in this string on the Cover Dog Field Trial Board.

Desert Dogs: Another great photo essay by Craig Koshyk…

Here’s another great photo essay by writer, photographer  Craig Koshyk. He’s the author of : Pointing Dogs, Volume One: The Continental, one of the best books around about pointing dogs. If you want to learn more about dogs like the ones you’ll see in his pics, be sure to check it out

Desert Dogs: In Idaho with the WPCGA

Desert Dogs: In Idaho with the WPCGA, by Craig Koshyk
Desert Dogs: In Idaho with the WPCGA, by Craig Koshyk

Prairie Dogs: A must-see photo essay by Craig Koshyk…

Craig Koshyk is the author of one of my favorite dog books: Pointing Dogs, Volume One: The Continental. He’s also a talented photographer, and, of course, a passionate upland hunter. His photo essay Prairie Dogs: Under the Broomhill Sky takes a look at the people, horses, and dogs that make the Broomhill Field Trials so special. The pictures are beautiful, so click through and give yourself a treat.

Prairie Dogs Under the Broomhill Sky, by Craig Koshyk
Prairie Dogs Under the Broomhill Sky, by Craig Koshyk

A couple must-reads about birds dogs…

Pointing a Spring Woodcock
Puck pointing a woodcock in the spring

I used to read the magazine Sporting Classics regularly, but in the past few years I’ve stopped. Judging by the quality of these two stories, perhaps I should pick it up again. Both these stories are quick reads and, if you love bird dogs, well worth your time.

There’s Hardly a Man Who Can’t Be Improved By a Good Dog: By Robert Matthews

“At the time, I vowed that I wouldn’t get another dog. Life’s thread had grown too short, the grief too deep and the task too burdensome, I reasoned. And I knew for certain that I would never find another dog like Sam. A dog like that comes along only once in lifetime….”

“We think of ourselves as hunters, and of our pups as gun dogs. Yet as important as the hunting is—and make no mistake, it is important—the time we spend afield is only a part of it. There’s a bigger picture. It’s the tail thumps when we walk into the room, the gentle weight of his head on our knee, the absolute trust that shines in his eyes, the way that our hand seems to find his ear of its own volition. It’s the fact that, as every attentive dog owner knows, our dogs define the term “unconditional love.” Hell, if we had half their innate capacity for love—if we had a quarter of it—this magnificent world, which we treat with such studied indifference, would be a paradise.”

What’s better: neutering at 6 months or holding off?

From the 8/20/14 issue of Sporting Classics Daily
From the 8/20/14 issue of Sporting Classics Daily

One of the first questions my vet asked me when he saw Lexi was: When would you like to bring her in and have her spayed? When he found out that I was planning on holding off, he asked if I planned to breed her

“Not necessarily,” I said.

My breeder suggested holding off on spaying, and I’m reading more studies that indicate that doing it may be wise.

ting

Gundogs: To Neuter or Not to Neuter?

ting

Gundogs: To Neuter or Not to Neuter?

Tom Davis just published a piece called  Gundogs: To Neuter or Not to Neuter? in the 8/20/14 issue of Sporting Classic Daily. It does a good job of laying out both sides of the story. If you have a young dog, I suggest checking it out.

Here a few more resources to look at, too:

Long-Term Health Risks and Benefits Associated with Spay / Neuter in Dogs

Basis for Position on Mandatory Spay-Neuter in the Canine and Feline

According to a mounting body of evidence, the practice of neutering at an early age may increase a dog’s risk for developing a laundry list of serious health problems. In particular, neutering prior to the attainment of sexual maturity has been linked to a higher incidence of hip dysplasia, canine cruciate ligament (CCL) injury, hypothyroidism, geriatric cognitive impairment, and certain cancers, including lymphoma, osteosarcoma, and hemangiosarcoma. – See more at: http://sportingclassicsdaily.com/issue/august-2014/article/gundogs-to-neuter-or-not-to-neuter#sthash.TrwIjTZR.dpuf

According to a mounting body of evidence, the practice of neutering at an early age may increase a dog’s risk for developing a laundry list of serious health problems. In particular, neutering prior to the attainment of sexual maturity has been linked to a higher incidence of hip dysplasia, canine cruciate ligament (CCL) injury, hypothyroidism, geriatric cognitive impairment, and certain cancers, including lymphoma, osteosarcoma, and hemangiosarcoma. – See more at: http://sportingclassicsdaily.com/issue/august-2014/article/gundogs-to-neuter-or-not-to-neuter#sthash.TrwIjTZR.dpuf
According to a mounting body of evidence, the practice of neutering at an early age may increase a dog’s risk for developing a laundry list of serious health problems. In particular, neutering prior to the attainment of sexual maturity has been linked to a higher incidence of hip dysplasia, canine cruciate ligament (CCL) injury, hypothyroidism, geriatric cognitive impairment, and certain cancers, including lymphoma, osteosarcoma, and hemangiosarcoma. – See more at: http://sportingclassicsdaily.com/issue/august-2014/article/gundogs-to-neuter-or-not-to-neuter#sthash.TrwIjTZR.dpuf
According to a mounting body of evidence, the practice of neutering at an early age may increase a dog’s risk for developing a laundry list of serious health problems. In particular, neutering prior to the attainment of sexual maturity has been linked to a higher incidence of hip dysplasia, canine cruciate ligament (CCL) injury, hypothyroidism, geriatric cognitive impairment, and certain cancers, including lymphoma, osteosarcoma, and hemangiosarcoma. – See more at: http://sportingclassicsdaily.com/issue/august-2014/article/gundogs-to-neuter-or-not-to-neuter#sthash.TrwIjTZR.dpuf
According to a mounting body of evidence, the practice of neutering at an early age may increase a dog’s risk for developing a laundry list of serious health problems. In particular, neutering prior to the attainment of sexual maturity has been linked to a higher incidence of hip dysplasia, canine cruciate ligament (CCL) injury, hypothyroidism, geriatric cognitive impairment, and certain cancers, including lymphoma, osteosarcoma, and hemangiosarcoma. – See more at: http://sportingclassicsdaily.com/issue/august-2014/article/gundogs-to-neuter-or-not-to-neuter#sthash.TrwIjTZR.dpuf

According to a mounting body of evidence, the practice of neutering at an early age may increase a dog’s risk for developing a laundry list of serious health problems. In particular, neutering prior to the attainment of sexual maturity has been linked to a higher incidence of hip dysplasia, canine cruciate ligament (CCL) injury, hypothyroidism, geriatric cognitive impairment, and certain cancers, including lymphoma, osteosarcoma, and hemangiosarcoma. – See more at: http://sportingclassicsdaily.com/issue/august-2014/article/gundogs-to-neuter-or-not-to-neuter#sthash.TrwIjTZR.dpuf
According to a mounting body of evidence, the practice of neutering at an early age may increase a dog’s risk for developing a laundry list of serious health problems. In particular, neutering prior to the attainment of sexual maturity has been linked to a higher incidence of hip dysplasia, canine cruciate ligament (CCL) injury, hypothyroidism, geriatric cognitive impairment, and certain cancers, including lymphoma, osteosarcoma, and hemangiosarcoma. – See more at: http://sportingclassicsdaily.com/issue/august-2014/article/gundogs-to-neuter-or-not-to-neuter#sthash.TrwIjTZR.dpuf

Introducing Lexi…

I’m finally back from my fishing trip and some other travels. This past week has been especially busy: I started a new job on Monday and on Thursday this little bundle arrived.

Her name is Lexi. She’s out of Superior Pointers in Bayfield, WI. She’s a fantastic pup, and my wife and I are thrilled with her. As you can see in this video, she’s as wild and mischievous as you would expect a 9-week old pup to be: Lexi, English Pointer, Superior Pointers

Lexi, English Pointer, Superior Pointers
Lexi, English Pointer, Superior Pointers
Lexi, English Pointer, Superior Pointers
Lexi, English Pointer, Superior Pointers
Lexi, English Pointer, Superior Pointers
Lexi, English Pointer, Superior Pointers

New pics of the pups…

Here are the latest pics of the pups. These were taking on June 8th. These pups are from Superior Pointers in Bayfield, WI, and they’re just about over 5 weeks old. We’re going with the orange one. Her name will be Lexey.

Superior Pointer Pups from Rex X Haley, Spring 2014
Superior Pointer Pups from Rex X Haley, Spring 2014
Superior Pointer Pups from Rex X Haley, Spring 2014
Superior Pointer Pups from Rex X Haley, Spring 2014
Superior Pointer Pups from Rex X Haley, Spring 2014
Superior Pointer Pups from Rex X Haley, Spring 2014
Superior Pointer Pups from Rex X Haley, Spring 2014
Superior Pointer Pups from Rex X Haley, Spring 2014

Who’s smarter: This Border Collie or your bird dog?

Check out this issue of Nova Science Now : How Smart Are Dogs?, hosted by the big brained Neil deGrasse Tyson. It tells the story of Chaser, a Border Collie who’s pretty darn smart. The video is a bit long, but it’s worth watching just to see how much a dog can learn to do.

More puppy pics! Our new pointer is getting big….

Here are the latest pics of the puppies. These pics were taking a few days ago when the pups were 25 days old. They should be starting on solid food soon.

These pups are from Superior Pointers’s Striking Elhew Rex x Striking Elhew Haley. They’re all females. My wife and I are loving that little yellow girl. The wife has picked a name, too: Lexey – a nice tribute to the parents.

Striking Elhew Rex X Striking Elhew Haley pups, Spring 2014
Striking Elhew Rex X Striking Elhew Haley pups, Spring 2014
Striking Elhew Rex X Striking Elhew Haley pups, Spring 2014
Striking Elhew Rex X Striking Elhew Haley pups, Spring 2014

Letting go, and starting over…..

Puck, portrait by Michael Thompsopn
Puck, portrait by Michael Thompson

Puck passed away almost 8 weeks ago. Her bed is still on the floor in my office, and I still glance over at it and expect to see her looking back. This spring has been strange. I didn’t realize how much my life built around on having Puck by my side. From chasing spring woodcock to daily walks in the woods, I did so much with her this time of year. I’ve missed all that since she has been gone, and that part of my life feels stagnant and empty.

Fortunately, I have a pup on the way. She should be here around July 3. I started looking for another pointer a couples years ago. The plan was for my wife and I to raise a pup and while we eased Puck into retirement. Life arranged things differently, though.

Our pup is coming from Superior Pointers in Bayfield, WI. She’s out of  Striking Elhew Rex x Striking Elhew Haley,  and we’re hoping she’s a lot like Puck. Her breeding is similar – almost all Elhew – with lots of Elhew Strike, Elhew Kiwi, Snakefoot, and Guardrail in her.

Mark and Kathy Wendling own Superior Pointers. They impressed me with their passion, dedication, and kindness . They “…hunt, and breed, only pure Elhew Pointers with lineage tracing exclusively to matings personally designed by Elhew Kennels’ founder, Robert G. Wehle.” If you have some time, I suggest checking out the “Rambling Thoughts” section on there website. There’s a lot of valuable advice there.

Striking Elhew Rex x Striking Elhew Haley Pups, 9 days old
Striking Elhew Rex x Striking Elhew Haley Pups, 9 days old
Striking Elhew Rex x Striking Elhew Haley Pups, 18 days old
Striking Elhew Rex x Striking Elhew Haley Pups, 18 days old
Striking Elhew Rex x Striking Elhew Haley Pups, 18 days old
Striking Elhew Rex x Striking Elhew Haley Pups, 18 days old

Bet your dog can’t do this: A truly versatile spaniel….

Now this is what I call versatile. Jess the springer spaniel feeds a baby lamb from a bottle.
Now this is what I call versatile. Jess the springer spaniel feeds a baby lamb from a bottle.

Pointing, retrieving, tracking game – sure some versatile gun dogs can do all that.

But Jess springer spaniel goes one step further. Watch as she feeds an orphaned lamb from a bottle.

Thank you…

The reward - Puck with a fresh grouse
The reward – Puck with a fresh grouse

Thank you to everyone who commented on yesterday’s post about Puck. It’s a shame that so many of you have been through the same thing.

My wife and I appreciate the condolences, stories, and kind words a great deal. Losing Puck has been tough, and your notes are a great comfort to both of us.

Puck’s bed is beside me here in my study, and I’ve turned to it several times this morning thinking she’ll be there, ready with wagging tail to go for a walk or for just a rub on the ear.

Goodbye, little girl…

Me & Puck, back when she won the Gundog Stake at the Maine Bird Dog Club's spring trial
Me & Puck, back when she won the Gundog Stake at the Maine Bird Dog Club’s spring trial
Puck passed away today at 11:17am. I’m too shaken up right now to say much more. Yesterday was tough day for us, and so was last night and this morning. Puck seemed fine on Saturday, but by last evening she had lost most of the use of her hind legs. By this morning she was unable to stand up, and she whined and cried whenever I tried to move her. Good by, little girl…

Sleeping with Puck last night, our last evening together
Sleeping with Puck last night, our last evening together

I shot this videos just over a week ago. Puck and I were out looking for spring woodcock. I thought we would get out several more times this spring, but fate decided this would be our last day in the field together.

A quick look at the working Clumber Spaniel…

A Clumber Spaniel
A Clumber Spaniel

Back before I got Puck, I had a thing for the less popular sporting breeds – Vizlas, Griffons, French Spaniels, etc. I also liked Clumber Spaniels.

From what I’ve been told, Clumbers used to be popular in the UK. Today, there numbers are extremely low – according to The Working Clumber Spaniel Society, there are just 134 registered Clumber Spaniels in the UK today.

There are a few of them in the North America, too, and The Clumber Spaniel Club of America does a lot of work to support the breed over here.

%d bloggers like this: