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Message from the Director
April 29th signaled the start of the testing season in the Western Region. Seven dogs from California, Oregon, Alberta Canada, Montana, and Washington arrived in Walla Walla for the Derby. We were very fortunate, after raining most of the week, the sun came out and we had a beautiful day and ideal conditions.
The Judging team consisted of Senior Judge Jeff Martin, from Penticton, BC Canada; Russ Morrison, Medford, Oregon; and Brandon Park, Salt Lake City, Utah. The judges were great with the young dogs and some first time handlers. All of the dogs did extremely well with six receiving Prize 1 and one Prize 2. Special thanks to the judges for traveling so far and striving to make the test so successful.
Each dog was given multiple opportunities to demonstrate their search, locate, and point game. The gallery had the best seats in the house utilizing the topography adjacent to the fields everyone could watch the dogs search and point. Continue Reading . . .
Clay Pigeon Shoot
by Frank O’Leary
A special highlight of a very busy weekend in the Western Region was the Clay Pigeon Shooting Horse Race. The event, structured like a “horse race” during a golf event, created a sudden death competition for the participants. First, there was a five bird round to seat the open competitors into one of three Divisions, with those that did not reach one of the three Division becoming spectators. Then the elimination process began.
In Division One the, three participants, Rob Burns, Randall Cherry, and Gabe Schepergerdes, put on a truly enjoyable shooting demonstration. The three went three five bird rounds before we had the first miss. Then, Rob and Gabe were moved farther away and more to the side to finally determine a winner. Rob prevailed by one bird in the fourth round.
Division Two started out with four contestants, Vito Caramia, Jeff Martin, Brandon Park, and Mike Bucher. After the second round we were down to two, Jeff and Vito. Again the third round.... Continue Reading . . .
Solms Training Well Received
Jeff Martin took the time Sunday, following the Clay Pigeon Shooting Horse Race, to conduct a Solms Training Day for the leaders of the Derby dogs and other interested parties.
Jeff worked with the group and dogs on hand for about five hours. He discussed and demonstrating everything from starting with a eight week old puppy to a finished VGP dog.
One of the major stumbling blocks at the SOLMS always seems to be the rabbit drag. Jeff covered setting up the drag, starting a young dog on the drag, and successfully completing the task reliably...... Continue Reading . . .
Some important information about the fetus and the
by Dr. Harmon Rogers
Veterinary Teaching Hospital
Washington State University
Here are a few interesting medical details about fetuses and newborn puppies. Knowing them may help an owner understand some of what happens during this critical time of life and possibly take steps to reduce the chance of still births and neonatal puppy deaths.
Puppies are called neonatal from the time of birth until they are two weeks old. This is a critical period when there is transition from support of all their bodily functions within the uterus to full independence in the “cold cruel world.”
At birth the puppy no longer gets nutrition from the mother’s blood supply. Energy must come from digestion and metabolism of the milk it consumes. The puppy must get oxygen from its own lungs, and it must discharge all the waste products to its kidneys. To do this there are important things which happen with circulation.
One is the umbilical vessels are cut off at birth. The blood vessels in the body respond to that by expanding to allow greater blood to flow through the stomach, intestines, kidneys, and other organs. Second, a bypass connection in the veins near the liver closes so that blood from the gastrointestinal vessels starts flowing through the liver. Third, a connection in the arteries near the heart closes so that blood from the right side of the heart which bypassed the lungs while the puppy was in the mother is directed to the lungs.
There are very things in life that are more rewarding than spending a day in the field with a good dog. I grew up in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. In those days the small town I grew up in was littered with dairy farms worthy of a Norman Rockwell painting. As kids we were raised free range. We explored the fields, woods, streams, old barns and frog ponds with no parental supervision but we always had the family dog with us. That's the genesis of my story and life with a dog at my side.
By my teen years I started to train dogs and the rewards of the relationship greatened. But, it wasn't until my twenties that I started to work with gun dogs. That's where the real fun began. That's when it changed from what can the dog do for me, to what can we do together. One of the early dogs I worked with was a Chesapeake Bay retriever. She belonged to a friend of mine and around the home there was absolutely nothing likable about that dog. As soon as she got into a duck blind however all the breeding, instincts and training shined through. That dog not only excelled at retrieving ducks in the cold waters of Maine, where I lived at the time, but she'd go ahead and retrieve all the shells and shot cups when we'd let her. If a cripple tried to elude her by diving she'd dive right under and get that duck no matter what. She wasn't half bad on upland either... for a flushing dog.
what qualities each dog had that was desirable. My interests starting leaning away from cold duck blinds to upland. One fall I was working over a friend's English Setter. She had come from champion lines and had been trained pretty well. I noticed however that at every false point, missed bird, refusal to retrieve and every broken point, my friend would start talking about this guy named Blaine who had this "unbelievable line of GSPs." Day after day I kept hearing how amazing these dogs were. I was in the market for a new dog and this concept of the versatile hunting dog grabbed my attention. I finally asked my friend why he hadn't gotten one, he said "I don't know. I love my setters and their fluffy ears." I shook my head and asked for Baine's number.....
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