We will be using Ben as the sire on the litter planned with Velma (De Jac’s Zip-Ah-Dee-Doo-Dah) for 2015. Ben is from our 2011 “B” Litter between Sam and Sue. We had him here as an overnight guest last week in order to get his hips X-rayed, which is really just a formality as there is no sign of anything wrong. It is just one of those things that you are supposed to do before breeding a dog.
Ben has a wonderful temperament: he only barked once or twice out in the kennel even though it wasn’t home and he let me mess with him up on the grooming table without putting up a fight. He is strictly a wild bird hunter of quail, sharptailed grouse, and pheasant here in Nebraska. He lives on a farm outside of Lincoln with Nate and his family. We plan on taking our next stud puppy out of the Velma and Ben litter, they really compliment each other well in their conformation.
I was really blown away by Ben’s head furnishings, neither of his parents have anything near that long. I would put his eyebrows and beard at around 4 in. long. His face really makes me think of the West Coast show griffs. His body coat is more of the hunter lines liver coat, but it isn’t flat like some, it does have a curl to it like Sam’s. Then the chest and the legs have lots of gray fringe on them. He also isn’t too big, 64 lbs. and probably 23 in. at the shoulder, so really the perfect size and right in breed standard. We hope to get out this fall and do some hunting with him too, so I’ll have more pictures of him then.
Mae is doing really well with my brother Ron, and his Siberian Husky Whisper. Whisper used to escape and run away all of the time, but that has changed now that he has an old lady. Mae was fixed before I moved her, so there will be no griff/husky cross puppies (although it was much talked about in jest beforehand). They sit around the yard all day, then play fight in the house at night.
Stan shared a cute picture of old Sue running with Savannah down the driveway, she seems to be very happy playing with the kids. Trey is 12 this year and passed his hunter’s safety, so game birds in Mellette County, South Dakota be warned.
Fire Training Update
Last weekend, Charles took our 5-month old puppy, Fire, out to Skyline Sportsmen’s Club in Thurman, Iowa for training with the Heartland NAVHDA Chapter. She did her first exercise with live shotgun fire and did just fine. She also retrieved bumpers from the water. The veterans of the chapter said that she is ready for her Natural Ability test, so we will go ahead and move that up to October of this year. We were talking about doing it in the spring, but will go ahead and move it up and do the UPT test in Spring of 2015. That way we can get her through the Utility Test prior to her coming into breeding age, probably Fall of 2015.
Cliff in Oklahoma sent over a great update on Bluestem Belle, from our “C” litter of 2012 between Sam and Mae. That would make her a littermate to Chester in New York and TracHer in North Dakota who we get frequent updates from. Here’s what Cliff had to say:
Belle has been just almost the perfect pet. She is so personable and most always very obedient. I will take partial credit on the obedient attribute. We had her spayed prior to her coming into heat the second time, so about 16 months ago. After going through one cycle of wearing doggie diapers and having to be careful what dogs we hunted around that first fall, I didn’t want to go through that again! She is an inside-outside pet. Inside when we are home, but outside if we are going to be gone more than a couple hours. We got our yard fenced shortly after bringing her home, so she has about half an acre to be in.
I continue to be amazed on how smart she is. She can open doors (we have door handles instead of door knobs), know toy names, and last week she fetched my socks and shoes to put on so we could go on a walk! When we go to our public walking area, I usually don’t have her on a leash unless we are about to walk past another dog or geese. She always wants to get in my truck to go someplace. There is a pub in Stillwater that allows pets on leash. Attached is a picture of her in front of a menu board.
She does great hunting, super nose and follows commands: verbal, whistle & hand directions. One of our most fun days out last season was the Jan 31st in north-central Kansas. We woke up to new and continuing snow. Belle loved hunting in that cold and snow. Attached are a couple pictures of her that day. She was caked in snow and had a vast number of icicles in her beard.
I look forward to seeing more of your posts.
Thanks so much to Cliff for that update, I am pleased with how all of these pups have turned out and it really bolsters my spirit to hear from my owners. Infinite gratitude.
General Blog Ramblings
It is hard to believe that I’m fast approaching 300,000 lifetime hits on a totally homemade blog about an obscure breed of hunting dogs written by a gal who considers herself half redneck and half intellectual. I suppose I could sell ads on my YouTube videos and convert this over to a site where I could put ads on it, but it is a passionate hobby and am fearful of taking myself too seriously. But when I am able to see folks from all over the world reading it, like daily hits from Brazil during the World Cup (probably some Dutch and German griffon enthusiasts), it makes me feel pretty self-conscious and aware that I’m representing my breed and my sport internationally. I need to do a better job of being a professional about it and not so flippant. I appreciate you, my readers, for making me feel appreciated and tolerating my sometimes lazy and goofy posts.
I will be taking a sojourn until after the first of August for some family-related travel and hopefully getting a post done for Lion Country Supply and an article ready about the handler’s clinic for NAVHDA’s magazine Versatile Hunting Dog.
I have also finally committed to going to Maine at the end of August for AWPGA National Specialty and the Korthals Cup. I am looking forward to seeing some good friends and meeting some of the East Coast US and Quebec griffonniers that I’ve only encountered online. If you’d like to join us, registration is open until August 1st http://www.awpganationalspecialty.com/.
Enjoy the end of summer and stay cool. Griffs love kiddie pools, so bust one out if you haven’t already.
One last thing: I finally updated the gallery on the About Us/Contact page to include the last two years of our adventures, so be sure to check that out. The button is in the brown top navigation bar.