2016 year in review
The year started out great with Glory expecting her second litter via a surgical AI using frozen semen. She delivered her litter of 9 via c-section on February 6, 2016. The staff at Veterinary Village in Lomira did such an amazing job at bringing these little one into our lives and making sure momma Glory was taken care of properly during her surgical procedure so she could raise her litter. What made this day special was that I had my friends Tom and Irene right there with me to witness and help out in the miracle of birth. Momma and her little ones went home where we spent the next 8 weeks raising them to their fullest potential until they went off to their new homes. We gained a new family member when we kept Guilty from the litter.
In March and then again in April Gambler became a father for the first and second time. His first litter had 2 boys and then his second litter had 8. My friend kept a female out of this breeding with his female Choptank so we went up to the UP to visit the litter before they went to their new homes. It’s been great watching a few of the puppies grow up. The one male Buck that we get to follow is a spitting image and personality of Gambler. Some online friendships have been made because of these breedings.
Gambler also tried his paw at Barn Hunt, he received his Rat Instinct title which means he could pick a rat out of an enclosed tube. We didn’t go any further with more barn hunt titles as it was getting into hunt test training time and that is more important. It was something fun to do when nothing else is going on.
As the new Regional Director for the American Chesapeake Club for WI I hosted my first Chessie Fun Day, it was held the end of April and about 50 peeps and their brown dogs came. It was a fun day of mock hunt test training, basic puppy training, raffles, lunch and hanging out. This will be an annual event.
In May it was time for Not Guilty to make her journey across the pond to live in the UK. My friend Jacky flew over from England to pick her up and travel back with her. While Jacky was here she met up with some facebook friends and saw an American Hunt Test. She spent the weekend with us in Manitowac, WI where Gambler was entered into a AKC Master hunter hunt test. She got to see how the dogs ran the hunt test game here in the states. The best part of this weekend was having Gambler pass the test and receiving his Master Hunter title. John did a fabulous job handling him to his title. Jacky also visited with our hunt test group along with eating lots of food. It was a short but sweet visit and away Jacky and Summer went back across the pond.
May was also a big month for Preacher as she along with her sister Josey whom lives with the Pawlisch’s were running the UKC show circuit as The Eastwood Sisters, they competed against each other and in the end both girls received their UKC conformation titles along with their SPOT titles which is Socialized Pet Obedience Test.
The beginning of June I took a trip without my dogs to meet my chessie friends in Maryland, I met friends I met before and met new online friends. When your meeting and hanging out with chessie and lab friends a good time is had by all and great memories are made. I got to hang out with such great friends that took me to many different places. Great food, great drinks, great dogs, great sites and beautiful friends.
The end of June Gambler was entered into a UKC HRC Finished Hunt Test, John again handled him to his title. He is now known as: HRCH USJ U-GRCH Sand Spring Ev’ry Paw’s A Winner MH CGCA THDN TT. Quite the accomplishment for my 5 year old. He amazes me with his talent and to think he was owner bred, trained and half handled by me and the other half handled by John. The summer training with Gambler wasn’t stressful this year as it was basically just for fun and to stay in shape for the hunting season.
In August we entered Guilty and Preacher in a few UKC HRC Started tests, Preacher rocked the HRC Started tests by going 4 for 4 receiving her title. She is now known as: HR U-CH Sand Spring Pale Rider SPOT. Guilty was a mere 6 months old with not enough training to pull off any passes. We sure had fun training her and watching her antics. Momma Glory also competed in some UKC HRC Finished tests. She passed 3 out of 4 tests towards her title.
By the time hunt tests were coming to a close fall was knocking on our door and a whole new set of adventures were on their way. The American Chesapeake Field Trial Specialty was being held in Ronan, MT the middle of September. Jacky from England flew back over and rode with us across the US to attend the FTS. Gambler was entered in 3 events, the open, the amateur and the qualifying. He ran three series of the open which was way more than I thought he would run. I was so pleased at his performance, for not ever running and only training for a few weeks he made me proud. Field trials aren’t for the faint of heart dog or people. He didn’t come home with any placements but came home with the knowledge that this is a possibility for next summer’s training. Guilty was entered in the junior puppy stake at 7 months of age she ended up in third place. She and John make a good team. Maybe some field trials in her future?
From Ronan Jacky flew back to England while John and I drove across and up to Saskatchewan, Canada to spend a week with our hunting buddies snow goose hunting. John and I took Gambler, Glory and Guilty. Our friend Mike took his Sand Spring pup Pearl who is now 9 years old and Preacher. The Sand Spring gang had a great time retrieving birds. We had good weather and birds. Our total of birds at the end of the week was 179 birds between 6 hunters. We had a scare with one of our hunting buddies as he had a heart attack while out in the field but made it to the hospital in time and got fixed up.
After we got home from Saskatchewan the hunting season in WI was in full bore. The dogs got to go out pheasant, dove and goose hunting. There hunt test training was set aside for real hunting which they enjoy because there are less rules when hunting with JoAnn. Nellie at 12 years old got to go out pheasant hunting as well and got herself a pheasant. Gambler and Glory also got invited a few times to go on guided pheasant hunts for a pheasant farm. John and I also went once with them and the group invited us back in Jan because they enjoyed hunting with our dogs so much and were in awe at their hunting ability.
November and December Guilty and I hit the UKC conformation shows. Sadly Guilty was the youngest in the show ring against the other chessies so she didn’t win any shows. We got practice which we needed and we got our 100 points needed for her show title. We just need 3 competition wins yet. The judge said she was a nice puppy just needed to fill out so I’m good with that. We will be back at it in 2017.
The last big highlight of 2016 was that I got asked to do therapy work with my dogs again. I took a year off because the school didn’t want the program anymore, I really missed it so was happy to hear a new school wanted us to come in and spend time with the kids. Gambler jumped back in like he never missed a day and the kids all loved dressing him up in costumes and petting him. Glory went in once with me and she showed me that therapy work isn’t her thing so I think I will be retiring her. That makes room for me to get Guilty and Preacher ready and have them do it instead. Some dogs are cut out for therapy work and some aren’t. They all can’t be good at everything at least not my dogs.
As I close out 2016 I want to thank each and every one of you that followed along with my adventures, my ups, my downs, my smiles and my tears. You all rock! Come along with me and see what 2017 will bring for the Sand Spring crew.