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

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

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.

Heartbreaking news about my little girl…

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

What would you do to save your dog?

Last January, my vet discovered a tumor on Puck’s lip. Further examination confirmed my fears: cancer. I also discovered that this cancer had spread to Puck’s lymph nodes.

At eleven, Puck isn’t  young. But she doesn’t look her age, either. Other than a little more white in her muzzle and a little less stamina in the field, she barely shows her years. I was hoping to ease her into retirement after this fall, and let her spend her remaining years doing the other things she loves – lying in the sun, going for walks, and being with me.

Puck went in for surgery yesterday. Our plan was to remove the tumor from her lip and the infected lymph node. The operation would have been tricky – Puck has an irregular heartbeat – and it would have been hard on her, with a lot of pain and many weeks of recovery. While there was no guarantee that the cancer’s progress would be abated, I hoped the operation would give her some more time. Unfortunately, it never happened.

As the surgeon prepped Puck, he discovered that the original tumor had spread down her jaw. Several other masses have also appeared on her lip. Removing all these growths requires a more serious and extensive operation, and much more pain and recuperation time for Puck. Worst of all, because the cancer is aggressive, we’re not sure how much good all this suffering will really do her.

So for now Puck is back home. My wife and I are trying to make the most of the time we have left with her. The woodcock will be returning to New England in a few weeks, and I hope to get Puck back out in the field a few more times to find birds.

Puck and I are back in the game…

Puck in the Field, October  2013
Puck in the Field, October 2013

Well, over two weeks of busting my butt at work has worn me out. I meant to get in the field today, but a big opportunity knocked and my ambition answered, so I spent another day at the desk. But now all’s done.

So tomorrow we’ll be heading up to bird camp. Sunday hunting is not allowed in Maine, but we’ll still hit a couple woodcock covers and see if we can move some birds. I’ll just carry my camera instead of my double. I’ll be posting some pics tomorrow night

Puck in the Field, October  2013
Puck in the Field, October 2013. At 11, she looks great.

Until then, here are some photos from Columbus Day weekend. Puck and I made it out Saturday morning – October 12. Puck is 11 years old this season, so I hunted her just a couple hours. She did a great.

Puck spent September at Grey’s Outfitters in Caratunk, ME. They had her on a light conditioning program, and with some regular runs and lots of love they got her in great shape for the season.  Hats off to Garret and Nellie. I can’t thank them enough.

Enjoy the pics.

Mountain off in the vista
Mountain off in the vista
Bumblebee doing what he does
Bumblebee doing what he does

Chasing woodcock with my girl…

Puck Pointing a Spring Woodcock
Pointing a Spring Woodcock

Puck and I finally found some time to get out and chase some woodcock. The birds have been back in the area for a several weeks now, and finding a few them always marks the start of spring for me — even if it was in the freezing all weekend.

Puck is eleven now. We’ve spent ten hunting seasons together. It amazes me how well she did today. Her passion for the chase, and her drive in the field, are still thrilling to watch.

Chasing Spring Woodcock
Chasing Spring Woodcock
Chasing Spring Woodcock
Chasing Spring Woodcock
Chasing Spring Woodcock
Chasing Spring Woodcock
Chasing Spring Woodcock
Chasing Spring Woodcock
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