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The Last Day of Summer

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2019 Spring Breeding Plans: We are planning a repeat litter of Chief and Fire.  We will not be taking deposits until the breeding actually occurs in the early part of 2019.  Please email bluestemkennels@gmail.com if you wish to be on the contact list for potential placement.  Please see our “Puppies” page for further information about placement, and the “About Our Dogs” page regarding Chief and Fire’s pedigrees and health clearances.  Hunting homes only please.  If you emailed over the summer, I will be getting back to you over the weekend and keeping up with emails going forward.

“O” Litter Homegoings from May

This last day of summer leaves me thinking about all of the letting go that I’ve had to do over the last four months or so.  Our “O” Litter went home in May.  I was not here for most of the homegoings due to unforeseen health issues and Charles had to cover for me on most of them.  The most important thing is that they all went home happy and healthy to great new homes where they are loved.

 

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Kelvin took his second Bluestem puppy (litter name “Ophelia”) home to Colorado.  He and his wife Nancy also have Winston from our “A” Litter

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Dennis and his wife heading home with their pup (litter name “Owen”) to Missouri

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Rodney’s pup (litter name “Obediah”) also at home in Missouri

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Galen and her pup (litter name “Omar”) at home in Michigan

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Katie, her husband and pup (litter name “Osborne”) at home in Minnesota

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John’s pup (litter name “Olivia”) playing in Alabama

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Chris and his wife with their puppy (litter name “Oprah”) in Maine

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Paul, his pup (litter name “Orville”) and me at the airport before they head to Texas

We had other pups go to Oklahoma, another to Texas, one to Kansas and one stay in Omaha, but due to all of the confusion of my absence, we didn’t get pictures.  I hope that everyone is having happy and healthy lives with their new puppies.  I figure that no news is good news!

BB’s Retirement

BB’s last litter was in the spring and she now is happy at her new home on a farm in Kansas with my friend Brice.  Brice is an avid hunter, so she should see some more hunting action in the coming years.  His son Ridge calls her his pet and I see that they recently went fishing together.  I just don’t have the space to retire all of my dogs at home once they are done breeding, so it is great to give them away to folks who really appreciate this breed and can give them a good place to live out their senior years.

BB was imported from Quebec’s Bourg-Royal Kennel, owned by Gilbert Tremblay and Renee Fortier.  She is a fantastic hunter and a valuable foundation bitch.  Thank you Renee and Gilbert for entrusting us with her.

CKC/AKC/NAVHDA Bourg-Royal CB Bluestem JH, NA I UT III and multiple AKC Walking Derby Field Trial Placements

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Me saying goodbye to BB

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Brice and family getting ready to head back to Kansas

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Ridge and BB ready to hit to road with one of their shepherd pups

September Hunting

We traveled to the Nebraska Sandhills for the opening weekend of sharptailed grouse on Labor Day weekend.  I’m taking this season off from hunting for health reasons, but Charles got out for three mornings before it heated up.  The first morning he didn’t see a thing, but Sunday he, Chief and Ruth bagged a limit (pictured).  He also got a limit of three Monday morning with Zoro and Fire, but we didn’t get a photo because we were too busy getting back on the road.

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Charles with a limit of sharptailed grouse, with Ruth and Chief

He also made it out a couple of weekends ago for some teal, sora and snipe hunting with Fire.  Here is a photo of their bag for the day.

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Fire with a snipe, four sora rail and a blue-winged teal

A Change of Seasons

Not only are we transitioning from summer to fall here at Bluestem Kennels, we are taking on a new way of living.  Charles and the kids are moving to a larger home on 3/4 of an acre of land about three miles southeast of where we are now.  They will still be in the Missouri River valley with Fontenelle Forest to the back of the property.  I will stay here with most of the dogs and the day-to-day kennel operations.  Both the kids and the dogs will go back and forth to spend time with us.  The dogs will be trained and hunted by both of us as well.  Charles and I part ways as good friends, co-parents and business partners.  We have started some good things both with our family and our kennel and those things will not change.

The cool of fall is here and with that arrives the ability to work in the outdoors.  That is exactly what I intend to do.  Happy hunting to everyone out there!

Bluestem Kennels is on Summer Sabbatical

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Please be aware that Bluestem Kennels has taken a very important Jesuit summer sabbatical.  The summer sabbatical is an important tradition in the Jesuit community of which I am a very important part of by being member of the Creighton University community who is aligned with the current Pope Francis.  I will not be responding to kennel e-mails until the fall.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.

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Goodbye Griffonnier

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After four years as editor of the Griffonnier, the magazine of the American Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Association, I decided that it was time to step down and let the board of directors of the club find new leadership for the magazine.

In our time at the helm of the magazine, Amy Caswell-O’Clair of Soonipi Point Griffons, our paid graphic designer Jane Swanson and I vastly improved both the appearance and the content of the club magazine.  With our nomination for the 2017 breed club magazine competition of the Dog Writers Association of America, we walk away with our heads held high.  Best of luck to whomever takes over this weighty position.  Thank you to all of our contributing members and advertisers who made our magazine a smashing success, we always received numerous compliments and were presented with the AWPGA Service Award in 2016 at the banquet in Helena, Montana.

It was also nice to go out with one of my puppies on the cover: Bluestem Winchester SH, NA II UT II retrieving a duck.  The photo is by Jerry Imprevento of Field Dog Imagery and “Chester” is owned by Sal Licata of New Hyde Park, New York.

I went ahead and scanned in my contributions to the Spring 2018 Issue to share with you all.  As I have more time in the future, I may go back and scan in my articles for previous issues to share on my blog.  I hope to devote my writing time to creating a manual for my puppy buyers and writing articles for hunting publications.  And of course keeping you up-to-date with our dog silliness here.

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Griffonnier Editor

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I haven’t been taking many pictures recently, but Zoro is getting ready for his NAVHDA Natural Ability Test in the fall.  Maybe next time Charles goes to a training day with him, I will tag along to take some pics.  Until then, everyone have a great 4th of July holiday!

“O” Litter Bird Exposure and Ruth’s NAVHDA Natural Ability Test

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The “O” Litter puppies have gone to great hunting families all over the United States: Alabama, Colorado, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.  I appreciate all of the new owner families having the confidence in Bluestem Kennels in choosing us as your breeder.  I am working on organizing those homegoing photos and hope to have those posted later on in the week or sometime next week.

For those of you looking for a puppy this year, we are done with our litters for 2018.  We take a break in the summer months, then start taking names in the fall for our spring litter.  We are planning only one litter for 2019, a repeat of the wonderful Chief x Fire breeding.  So please do your research regarding the breed and read the writings and check out the photos that I’ve taken over the last seven years of blogging, then email us at bluestemkennels@gmail.com in the fall if you are still interested in the puppy from us in 2019.

I have yet to do a precise head-count, but over the last eight years, we have bred over 100 puppies with clean bills of health.  We have brought together the hunting bloodlines of Europe and North America in hopes of reconstructing the family hunting dog that Korthals established in the mid-1800s in the Netherlands and in Germany.  The breed, as with all European hunting breeds, took a serious hit during the two world wars.  It survived a genetic depression in the 1970s and 1980s and it is only through conscientious, responsible breeding since that time that we have the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon breed that we all love today.

A couple of years ago, I wrote an article for the Griffonnier entitled “Early Exposure for the Gun Dog Puppy”.  Here is the link to the article on my blog: https://bluestemkennels.com/2016/08/08/early-exposure-for-the-gun-dog-puppy/

This gives new puppy owners an idea of how we approach the raising of a gun dog puppy.  We have found that it is a successful way to expose a pup so that it is successful in the field.  Here are photos of the “O” litter pups and Stonyridge Zoro, our new pup from Wisconsin, with a dead, frozen quail.  I gave each of the puppies access to the quail and let them carry it around, but it is difficult to train and take photos at the same time.

 

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Ruth’s NAVHDA Natural Ability Test

We were pleasantly surprised by “Ruth” Bluestem Peaches En Regalia’s performance at the Heartland Chapter NAVHDA’s Spring Test on May 5th.  We were getting less than 100% water retrieves in practice, but the excitement of the testing environment really made Ruth shine.  She achieved the maximum score of 112 points.  Ruth is now officially:

Bluestem Peaches En Regalia, NA I

She is from our first breeding of Bluestem Otoe Chief, NA II and Bluestem Prairie Fire, NA I.  Chief brings the power from his genetic origins in Montana, Michigan and Iowa.  Fire brings the finess of her roots in the bloodlines of Quebec.  Here are the photos from test day:

In the bird field

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Our nine-year old son, Caleb, was my buddy in the gallery.

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Ruth pointing in the proper style for the breed, known as the “Korthals Crouch”.

In the water and evaluation of attributes

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On the track

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Great job, Ruth and handler, Charles!  Many thanks to NAVHDA judges Tracey Nelson, Dan Pforr and Chuck Casanova, as well as appentice judge Kat Pippitt for their priceless assistance in evaluating our dogs.

In my opinion, the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association has the best testing system for the evaluation of breeding stock of the versatile hunting breeds.  We are so blessed to have multiple active chapters within driving distance of our home.

Memorial Day Thoughts

I hope that everyone is enjoying a relaxing Memorial Day, remembering all of those who have fallen in service to our country.  My rememberance is of my father, Ronald Gene Dredge Sr.  He did two tours in Vietnam with Naval Task Force 116 on the Mekong Delta, aka “The Brown Water Navy” or “The Gamewardens of Vietnam” as they liked to call themselves.  He was one of the first service connected disabilities related to the use of Agent Orange in Vietnam.  Agent Orange was an untested dioxin defoliant used by the military to assist in locating the enemy by forcing the trees to drop their leaves in the jungle.  He met an untimely death at age 49 in 1998 after battling constant health issues since his return to the states after Vietnam.  He also gave me my love of sporting dogs through our childhood dog, AKC ASCOB Cocker Spaniel “Butch”.  He was at peace with our God at his passing and rests easy in the arms of Jesus.

“O” Litter Six Weeks

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The “O” Litter is getting very active and spending most of their time running around and laying around the yard with the other dogs.  I have the whole week to spend with them this week to get them evaluated for their new homes.  I want to spend the next couple of days with them and then start talking to owners later this week.  Last week got away from me with getting ready for Ruth’s Natural Ability test when I wasn’t planning on it being such a time consuming thing (luckily, the work paid off).  Thank you to the new owners for their patience in waiting for me to be ready for all of this!  I will be more in touch this week to reconfirm travel plans.

If the pup is flying air cargo on Monday the 21st, today is the first day that I can book those flights.  Even though the air cargo shipment of pets has had some bad press lately, I have done it over twenty times without problems.  The top show dogs also fly from city to city, so dogs are moving more than you think every single day and one bad trip doesn’t sink the whole industry.  The dogs in Where the Red Fern Grows were shipped by train.  This has to be much better.

I’ll also send out a list of new puppy supplies soon.  Nothing out of the ordinary, but I will share what I use specifically.  So here are the puppies (in no particular order, they are all up to this type of action these days)!

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The little pups with 12 week old Zoro

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One of the big dogs brought a sock out of the house.

Here is the video for this week: https://youtu.be/r8mXEvyB6DA

I have other news to report, such as Ruth’s Natural Ability Test results, we have a new AKC Senior Hunter in the clan, and our “A” Litter just turned eight years-old, but I will post that news later in the week so that I can get these photos up for the new owners.  I also need to deworm the puppies and get on the phone with the airline before the kids get home from school, so I’ll check back in with everyone later on in the week.

 

“O” Litter Five Weeks

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Today the “O” Litter is five weeks old and they are really out and about these days!  I did not have time to get a video of them today, but I will be sure to get one here in the next few days.  Tonight is my daughter’s high school prom, so I’ve also had to take her photos and I’m getting ready to leave to chaperone the post prom lock-in.

Here are the five week old stacked photos.  Well, as good of a stacking job as a nine year-old boy does.  I will take some action shots here soon so that you can see them looking normal too (video does that best, though).

Females

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Ophelia

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Olivia

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Males

Osgood

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Omar

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Obediah

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Osborne

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Orville

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Otto

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Oliver

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Otis

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I will make sure to get a video made over the next few days and I’ll be in touch with new owners about who would be a good match within the next week.  The puppies will start to go home on Saturday, May 19th!

I will write more about the goings on here at the week six mark, but it is time to me to rest for the festivities tonight.  I am “the bounce house bouncer” from 10 PM – 3 AM, making sure that the teenagers don’t pummel each other too much.  Wish me luck.

 

“O” Litter Four Weeks Old and Spring Training

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All of the “O” Litter puppies are spoken for at this time, please e-mail bluestemkennels@gmail.com to be placed on a list in case of a last minute backout.
The four week old “O” Litter puppies are enjoying the outdoors more and more as the weather warms up.  They are in the transition to solid kibble and not quite ready to leave the dog house and kennel.  Next week they will start to show interest in roaming the yard.
Here is the weekly video of them: https://youtu.be/tt2LIbWpDYI
Their four week photos:
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Just this afternoon we took our other dogs: Zoro 10 weeks, Ruth 15 months (and the sister of the above litter), and Chief 2 years all out to the pond for some retrieving work.  At least Ruth and Chief, Zoro primarily watched.
Ruth, 15 mo old sister of the “O” Litter
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Chief, sire of the “O” litter
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Chief wanted to retrieve both bumpers at once

Stonyridge Zoro at 10 weeks

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Happy training everyone!

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