A Year and A Month in Review

A Year and A Month in Review

My year in review starts back in December 14, 2016 when John and I drove to Eau Clair, WI to pick up Riggs one of our puppies out of Glory and Thunder’s 2015 litter. Rigg’s current family at the time couldn’t keep him because of unforeseen circumstances. They tried and tried and finally made the call to me to help them out. We gladly welcomed Riggs back home to Sand Spring Chesapeakes. Riggs was 17 months at the time and still intact, being that we have Gambler who is intact as well and has a case of short man syndrome our best friend and neighbor Roger agreed to house Riggs and have him be his dog and a co-owner with us. Riggs former family still follows along with Riggs adventures and we are still friends, they will always be the reason for Riggs great upbringing.

A couple weeks later we got a call that Preacher needed to come back home as she wasn’t working out in her new home, there was personality conflicts between the two girls that lived together so on Christmas eve Preacher came back to live with us again. All our pups are welcome back home, we hope that they won’t be coming back home but sometimes things don’t work out like we hope and we need to do what is right and take responsibility for the lives we helped put on this earth. We had a full Christmas with Grandma Nellie, Glory, Gambler, Preacher, Guilty and MK all living at our house.

We all rang in the New Year of 2017 together. 2017 brought many ups and a few downs. The winter wasn’t a terrible one so we were able to get out and do some hunt test training. Riggs only had obedience work done with him so at 17 months we had to start out from scratch. Roger along with John and I tackled his training, since we were training him we trained Guilty at the same time since she is 6 months younger. Riggs really wanted to please and was doing really well with his training. Once the weather got nicer and the pond opened up it was time to see what he would do in the water. He hadn’t swum as a little puppy so it took some time for him to figure out the water and now he is like a fish.

February 12th Guilty received her UKC Show Champion title under judge Barbara Burns. Host club was the WI Boston Terrier Association held in Ixonia, WI. She was just a week over her first birthday.

March 9th, Guilty received her Alliance of Therapy Dogs and her R.E.A.D (Reading Educated Assistance Dog) certification. Guilty is doing therapy work at Beaver Dam and Fall River Middle School.

In March Preacher received her UKC Top Ten status certificates as well as her invitation to perform at the UKC Premier this coming June in the Top Ten Breed and Dog Standing show.

Grandma Nellie turned 12 in October of 2016. Over the winter she was having troubles with her back legs. She was showing neurological signs. She would crisscross her back legs, they would go out on her and she would fall over, she wasn’t able to jump on the bed like she could in the past she was slowly going downhill. Her mind was still all there so you could see her give it her all until the night of March 14th,when I got home from work and John let the gang out to meet me in the garage she ran out to meet me and then she just stood there and wouldn’t move. She stared at me and I could tell by the look in her eyes that there was something wrong with her. She was a little old lady telling me her time was up. We spend the next day loving on each other and the night she spent loving on John. They said their goodbyes as I knew when I took her to work with me the next day March 16th,  that we would run some tests but I knew in my heart she wouldn’t be coming home. It turned out that she had a heart base tumor and it was bleeding making it hard for her to breath. It was time for her to be at peace. She was an amazing dog, mother, grandmother and best friend. She was our first breeding bitch and gave us 3 wonderful litters. She taught us so much about raising puppies, hunting and living life to the fullest. She will forever be our turd.

May 13-14th Momma Glory came out of retirement for the Dodge County Canine Club show to show in the champion class for a chance to get a leg towards her grand champion title and she took Best Of Breed at one of the shows to receive one leg out of 5 for her title.

In June Guilty received her AKC Therapy Dog Novice title and her Canine Good Citizen title. She completed 10 therapy visits for her title.

Guilty attended the 2017 UKC Premier in Kalamazoo, MI. She tried her paw at lure coursing where she ended the course too early so didn’t receive any passes, she did receive her United Novice Jumper title completing 5 jumps in the novice level. She also won Best Of Breed in one of the dog shows she attended, with that win she got one pass towards her grand champion title and a spot in the top ten breed and dog standing.

Gambler received his AKC Trick Dog Novice and Intermediate titles.

July 30th Sand Spring Lethal Weapon JH “Riggs” received his AKC Junior Hunter title. Host club was the Wisconsin Amateur Field Trial Club, his judges were Richards Andrews and Carol Greenwald.

Then in August Riggs received his UKC HRC Started Title. He went 4 for 4 on his tests. Host club was Muddy Waters HRC.

August 22nd Riggs passed his AKC Canine Good Citizen test while Guilty passed her AKC Community Canine and Urban tests. Gambler and Glory both passed their Canine Good Citizen Urban test.

Over Labor Day weekend Guilty and I set off for Madison Retriever Clubs fall hunt test. She needed one more pass for her AKC Junior Hunter title which she pulled off. She is now UNJ UCH Sand Spring Guilt By Association JH THDN CGCU.

Preacher left our home for her forever home with George and Susie. John and I have known George forever through our trapping and selling of hides. George is retried now and was looking for a chessie. We told him about Preacher he came and hung out with her and took her home. She has been living the life as an only dog, she has been to North Dakota hunting, up north hunting, hunting on the Mississippi river, fishing with George, going to church with George, she spends all her time right by his side. I couldn’t of asked for a better home, I am happy she and George have each other.

Riggs received his UKC Conformation Champion title on September, 11 2017 at Central Wisconsin Kennel Club. This weekend there were 4 UKC shows, Riggs needed to get BOB in three of the shows in which he did. Judges for the shows were Dr. Bev Siglfelten, Jeanne Heger, and Stanley Matsumoto. Under judge Stanley Riggs received a Group 4 out of 7 dogs in the Gun Dog group. Riggs was handled by Tom Pawlisch

The end of September Guilty and Riggs took their American Temperament Test, both passed with middle of the road scores. They have even temperament. “A Sound Mind In A Sound Body”. With Labor Day brings the beginning of the school year so our pet therapy starts up as well. Each session I rotate out the dogs. Gambler, Glory and Guilty all have their titles so I take one each time. I took Glory a few extra times this fall as I knew she would be coming into heat later in the winter and we would be breeding her so she wouldn’t be able to do therapy. Gambler has started back up with the Beaver Dam Middle school kids. He is in one room this year, I have just taken Gambler so far as the kids that need the pet therapy have requested just Gambler come visit as it will help them with consistency.  I figure any way I can help these kids make it through the day we will do. I’ve visited some of these kids for 4 years, it’s nice to see the changes in the kids and know that Gambler is helping them out.

This fall once again we packed up our gear and headed off to Saskatchewan, Canada to snow goose hunt. We took all three dogs, this year I hunted with Guilty all week and John had both Gambler and Glory one on each side during hunting. I had a lot of fun with Guilty, this was my first-year hunting with her as John hunted with her last year. We had a successful hunt, made many new memories with our friends that go with us and we got to hunt with one of Nellie’s puppies again. Pearl who turned 10 on Christmas this year hunted with us again and she did an awesome job for a senior gal. Nellie made the trip with us, she hunted with Guilty and I and on our last day of hunting some of her remains stayed behind in the field we hunted. She also was laid to rest in Kerrie’s flower garden. It was her final flight. Part of her and her father Norman are in a place that we will all ways cherish.

We spent the fall hunting and guiding with our dogs at Lone Oak Pheasant Preserve. The dogs loved being able to hunt pheasants with others. The clients loved hunting with dogs that would flush and retrieve, we all had a great time.

Glory came into heat this fall/winter just like we knew she would. I had spent many months researching stud dogs. We made a decision on who we were going to use so we put our ducks in a row and when it was time for the breeding to take place there was an unfortunate turn of events with the stud dogs semen sample so we needed to come up with another stud quickly. When your bitch is in heat there is a small window of time when things need to get done correctly. We decided we would do a repeat breeding with Bear (Guilty’s dad), a surgical insemination was done on December 13th. Everything went according to text book just like it did in 2015 when we did the exact same breeding, it wasn’t until a week later that things went aray and we would be left wondering if this pregnancy would take place. Glory had a reaction and got an infection next to the surgical incision which is assumed to be from the extender in the frozen semen sample. She needed to be sedated and a drain was placed by her mammary glands to drain the fluid that has accumulated. A couple trips were made during this time to have ultrasounds done to make sure she didn’t have a pyometra. She was put on antibiotics and is healing up really well. We won’t know until the second week of January if the pregnancy took so as we come to the last day of this year we hope to close out the teary days and enter into 2018 with smiles, relief, good heath and little brown furry ones.

Thank you to all who follow Sand Spring Chesapeakes, those who support us and share in our happy moments and are there for the sad moments. Life is about ups and downs and without friends and family it would be a lot harder to get through the days so we thank you and love you all. May you all have a blessed and healthy New Year!

Happy 8th Birthday Nellie & Tiny’s 09 Litter

Happy 8th Birthday Nellie & Tiny’s 09 Litter.

I saw this poem on Facebook yesterday so I thought was appropriate to share it today. It sums up breeders really well.

A Reputable Breeder’s Poem
–Author Unknown

You’ll love your little puppy, she’ll make your house a home.
She’ll be your very best friend, you’ll never feel alone.

She’ll make you smile, she’ll make you laugh,
She’ll fill your heart with love…….

Did she come from a breeder or did she fall from heaven above?

If you’ve never been a breeder or seen life through their eyes
as you hold your little puppy, please don’t criticize.

You don’t know of all the anguish and the times that bring such pain.

When we lose the battle with a little one and the tears flow like rain.

Sometimes we sit the whole night through waiting for babies to be born.

Oh the stress and trepidation when they’re still not here by dawn.

Or the panic of holding a tiny baby in our hands who weighs but 60 grams

Do I do this instead of that or that instead of this?

Alone we fight and hope we won’t give him his last little kiss.

We pray he’ll live to bring some joy and make a house a home
We know it’s up to us and we fight this fight alone.

Formula, bottles, heating pads, we have to get it right

Two hour feedings for this tiny guy throughout the day and night.

In our hearts we know we are probably going to lose this epic fight but we keep trying to save him because God willing we just might.

Day one he’s in there fighting; we say a silent prayer
Day two & three he’s doing well, with lots of love and care
Day four & five…..he’s still alive, our hopes soar to Heaven
Day six he slips away again, dies in our hands day seven.
We take this little angel and bury him alone:

With aching heart and burning tears and an exhausted groan
We ask ourselves “Why do this? Why suffer all this grief & pain?

To help them live to grow up strong and see the joy your puppy brings – this self explains.

So when you think of breeders and label them with “GREED”,
If you have a happy & healthy puppy it’s cause they filled his every need.

When you buy a puppy, and with your precious dollars part,
You only pay with money … we pay with a piece of our heart.

Riley, Libby, Maggie, Summer, Junior & Max hope you all have a great Birthday and many more!


Riley’s Waterfowl Season

SHR Sand Spring All Season Adventure – Riley

HRCH Sand Spring Hurricane Nellie SH       x        HRCH Woodland Bay’s Gaelic Destiny MH

2009 litter

Riley and Justin who is a guide at All Season’s Adventure in Wisconsin are having a great season of waterfowl/upland hunting. She is one lucky gal to be able to go out and hunt so much.

Here is a short video of Riley retrieving two ducks at once. Her Grandpa Norman would do this all the time so it is fun to see her carry on the tradition.


Thanks Justin for giving this gal the opportunity to get out there and do what she was bred to do. Love seeing all the hunting photos!



Sand Spring Pearly Mae JH

 Sand Spring Pearly Mae JH

HRCH Sand Spring Hurricane Nellie SH    x     HRCH AMR CH INT’L CH* Nordom’s Apache Rebel MH WDQ


Just about 10 years old and Pearl is going strong in Saskatchewan. She had a great hunt this year. She is 55# and with the heart and desire to get those geese she gives it her all and makes it look effortless. She is methodical on her retrieves. We had a couple of long floaters and Pearl didn’t hesitate to go after them she has been a great hunting companion for Mike. I’ve enjoyed hunting with her each year. Hopefully she has many years left, she sure didn’t show any signs of slowing down this year.

Have a great fall hunting season Pearl, see ya next year in Saskatchewan!

Nothing But Norman #162

Nellie’s Final Flight To Saskatchewan

Happy 13 Birthday in heaven to Sand Spring foundation bitch Nellie. You made your final trip to Saskatchewan with me this past week and sat along by my side and your grand daughter Guilty. Part of you was left behind in the fields we used to hunt together and in Kerry’s lovely flower beds that we got to enjoy when she was alive as well. I hope your both together looking down on us and smiling as I’m looking up at you missing you each day. Thank you for being the best mom, grandma and best friend! Without you I wouldn’t have my two lovely girls that I hug and kiss each day and see a part of you in them. Run free my love in the big blue sky may the birds be plentiful and the wind always at your back.

Thank you Norman and Abby for a wonderful daughter!

Nothing But Norman #160

Happy Saturday All!

Last week I got a really neat package in the mail. My friend Paulette from Cape Cod send me a little memorial for Nellie who passed away on March 16, 2017. She sent me a antique stain glass duck and an Mr and Mrs Quack plate. This is what Paulette says about the items: The plate is made on Cape Cod and is a Pairpoint Cup Plate from the 70’s. People here collect them and put them in their windows. I have a Mr and Mrs Quack plate as well. Hugs

What a very thoughtful gift, I just love them and am displaying them on Norman and Nellie’s memorial. I can see them everything I sit in my chair in the living room.

I got another memorial piece for the display as well from Aunt Kimmi’s Pretty Little Things. I got a memorial candle with Nellie’s name on it so now it can shine bright along side of Norman’s candle. They are together again.


I thank Thee, Oh Lord, for the rivers, woods, and fields wherein lie the game birds I love to hunt. I thank Thee also for the men and women who protect and preserve wild life in all its forms so that future generations will have the healthful pleasures of hunting and fishing. My master means more than life or death to me and I pray for intelligence, ability, and strength to understand and execute his or hers commands and desires. May our companionship lead to complete understanding so that our moments will be the happiest of all. Help my master to comprehend that I will gladly give my life for them, be they millionaire or pauper. Their love and confidence is all I ask. I beseech you to guide him or her and protect them from thoughts, deeds, or actions which will disturb the faith of others in them. I want my master to be respected by their friends as I look up to them. The wag of my tail indicated the feelings of my heart and no blows, privation, or hunger will ever keep me from being happy when I hear my master’s voice or footsteps. When the curtains of death are about to close my active life, I pray Thee, Oh, God, that my master be near, their hand caressing my head as my eyelids close.

Most people don’t know it was penned by a chessie person, Mr. William Hoard of Ft. Atkinson, of Deerwood Trigger fame in the 40’s.

Have a great Saturday, hug your furry’s.

Sand Spring Chesapeakes Is Now An AKC Breeder of Merit


Sand Spring Chesapeakes Is Now An AKC Breeder of Merit

It all started in 2000 when we got our foundation stud Norman. We knew we wanted to become breeders so we did all that we could to ensure the success with Norman. We followed the guidelines in what the American Chesapeake Club recommended for proper health clearances on breeding stock, we knew we wanted to produce hunting dogs that would excel in any performance events as well as be structurally sound, correct conformation and live a long healthy life. In order to do all this besides health clearances we needed to “prove” our dogs have/had  what it takes to be great hunting/performance dog so the hunt test game began. We started training Norman in hunt tests when ready we would enter him so we could eventuality get his titles to “prove” he had what it took instead of just saying “we have the best hunting dog out there”. Norman went on to become our first UKC HRCH Finished and AKC Master Hunter titled dog.

Foundation Stud Norman

We bred Norman and got our foundation bitch Nellie in 2004. We continued on doing everything correctly with Nellie so we could breed her in the future. We completed her health clearances and started entering her in hunt tests as well. She went on to be our second dog with a UKC HRCH Finished and her AKC Senior Hunter title.

Foundation bitch Nellie

We chose a stud dog that we thought would compliment Nellie and have puppies that would better the breed. Our first litter was December of 2007. Nellie went on to have a total of 3 litters, 17 puppies in the end.

Nellie and Rebel 2007 puppies. Litter of 7

Nellie and Tiny 2009 puppies. Litter of 6

For Nellie’s last litter we chose a stud dog that we wanted to continue in our breeding program. We knew we would spay her after this litter so we would need a bitch to keep the Sand Spring line going. We kept  the little red girl and she became known as Glory.

Nellie and Lefty 2011 puppies. Litter of 4

Before breeding Glory, we ensured all her health clearances were up to par and started training her for hunt tests and so far have gotten her UKC HR Seasoned and AKC Senior Hunter titles. Glory we started doing other events with with, we went on to get her UKC Conformation title and her AKC Canine Good Citizen and Community Canine titles, Therapy Dog Novice and Temperament Test title. She is one of my therapy dogs.

Glory and Thunder 2015 puppies. Litter of 8

Nellie’s great maternal instinct was certainly passed down to Glory as she was the best mom you could ask for with her two litters she has had. As long as Glory is healthy we will have another litter with her this fall/winter.

So where as all this breeding gotten us? It has gotten us after 10 years the AKC Breeder of Merit accomplishment.

The following must be met in order to be accepted into the program:

  • Has a history of at least 5 years involvement with AKC events.
  • Earned AKC Conformation, Performance or Companion* event titles on a minimum of 4 dogs from AKC litters they bred/co-bred in each breed applied for.
  • Member of an AKC club.
  • Certifies that applicable health screens are performed on your breeding stock as recommended by the Parent Club.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to ensuring 100% of the puppies produced are individually AKC registered.

*Applied for titles, i.e. CGC, Barn Hunt, Working titles, etc., do not meet event requirements. 

We couldn’t be more proud to have had 3 generations of Sand Spring puppies in our house at one time. This past spring we said good bye to our foundation bitch Nellie, she was a great ambassador to our breeding program and taught me so much, without her there would be no continuation of Sand Spring.

Sand Springs letter explaining the benefits of the Breeder of Merit Program.

Glory is continuing on the tradition and soon her daughter Guilty will be entered into our breeding program pending her health clearances and performance titles. Guilty already has started her therapy dog career and has her AKC Therapy Dog Novice title as well as her Canine Good Citizen along with her UKC Conformation title and Dock Dog Novice title.

Our certificate.

Norman, Nellie and Glory have all had offspring that have gotten performance, conformation and companion event titles. There offspring are still going strong and I have to take a moment to thank their owners for training and entering their dogs in various events. Without them I too would not be where I am today. At Sand Spring we strive to always better ourselves in our dogs. We are learning as we go and hope to be passing on our knowledge to our puppy buyers so they can make informed decisions on their pups. In 2015 we have implemented the Puppy Culture way of raising our puppies as well as started doing Early Neurological Stimulation on our puppies.

USJ HRCH U-GRCH Sand Spring’s Ev’ry Paw’s A Winner MH THDN CGCA TT TKI – Gambler

Our foundation stud Norman is no longer with us either but he lives on in the swimmers we have in storage waiting for future use and lives on in his children especially Gambler who is now the living stud dog at Sand Spring. Norman was my heart dog and I never thought a dog could out do Norman but his son has proven to have out did his old man in accomplishing so much more in performance and companion events. He also has offspring that are playing the hunt test game and hopefully soon they will be getting titles and proving their worth out in the field.

We will proudly display the AKC Breeder Of Merit Banner on our website and continue to breed to the standards of the AKC and the American Chesapeake Club.

AKC Breeder of Merit Participants demonstrate a commitment to the AKC Community, dedication to their breed(s), and actively promote the sport of purebred dogs. The AKC is proud to recognize AKC Breeders who are dedicated to breeding beautiful purebred dogs whose appearance, temperament, and ability are true to their breed. These breeders are the heart of AKC. *AKC website*

Rest Easy Sweet Girl

Nellie was laid to rest on March 16, 2017. She’s been hanging out in our living room by Norman’s memorial. Since this weekend is Memorial Day weekend and we remember those who gave their lives for us which my dad was one of those people I thought it was only fitting that Nellie be put to rest at her final resting place by my dad. My dad isn’t the only one at this special place, my mom my dads mom and dad, Norman and various other animals along with my best friend Susie are all resting in this remote secret location. I go here to think and just be alone.

I never opened Nellie’s cremation box until yesterday. I took some of her fur and her ashes and spread them in the same place I spread everyone else. John and I cleaned up the memorial. I feel Nellie is with all my loved ones and is watching me from above.

Before and after.

Thank you dad and all the other soldiers for your time in the service. Peace to all!

We are joining Dachshund Nola & Sugar The Golden Retriever for the Black and White Sunday Blog Hop.

Happy Earth Day ~ Tribute To My Dad

Happy Earth Day Everyone. Every Earth Day since 1994 is the Anniversary of my dad’s passing. Each year I plant a tree for Earth day and in memory of my dad. My grandparents owned a 24 acre wooded piece of property that they gave to my dad and now my brother and I own it. It is called Bradley Branches and the Bradley’s that have passed rest there. Grandpa, Grandma, Dad, Mom, many of my parents pets as well as my pets rest there as well. Nellie will be the next pet of mine to be laid to rest with the other loved ones.

Go out and enjoy this Earth Day and please respect it, it’s the only one we have and if we don’t take care of it we won’t have it.