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Happy New Year 2023!

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Happy New Year from Bluestem Kennels, the South Carolina home of hunting AKC and NAVHDA Wirehaired Pointing Griffons!

We are still awaiting Ruth’s winter heat cycle, but it looks like it will be any day now. We are taking a break from breeding this cycle, but that will drive when she comes into season this summer for our Fall 2023 litter with Obi. We still have spots left on the 2023 reservation list and then we’ll also go for one last litter from Ruth in Spring 2024 before she retires from breeding. Most likely we’ll also do a first litter of Duke and Sally for Spring 2024. Contact us at bluestemkennels@gmail.com if you’re interested in a pup from us in the future.

Puppy Brag!

While I was busy with puppies in the fall, I missed an accomplishment announcement for the first Ruth and Obi pup to NAVHDA test Natural Ability. Congratulations to Clint and Bluestem Ramble on Rosalind “Rosie” on their NAVHDA Natural Ability Prize II, 101 points at seven months-old! They tested on September 10, 2022 with the Keystone Chapter in Central Pennsylvania. That is an amazing accomplishment for a first-time handler and young pup, we couldn’t be more proud!

Congratulations to Clint and Rosie on a NAVHDA Natural Ability Prize II at seven months-old!

Duke’s Health Scans

Then right after the pups went home at the end of October, I got Duke over to Steele Creek Animal Hospital in Charlotte for his hip and elbow x-rays and advanced bloodwork. We are so happy that everything came back looking good! It is only through close work with our veterinarians that we keep our dogs and puppies healthy for hard hunting.

If you look at the graph on this report, the square represents that average of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon breed. Duke’s chances of developing hip issues are significantly lower than the average. Obi’s are slightly lower, but both are perfect for stud dog purposes.

Also his elbows show no sign of problems, which is another good thing. We had extensive bloodwork completed on his thyroid, liver and kidneys and that all came back normal. The reason that we tested the liver and kidneys even though it is not required by any breed clubs is that there are starting to be problems in certain bloodlines in the Upper Midwest where the pups are getting liver and kidney problems at young ages. We have a friend with a pup (not from us) who is battling it now and it is not something that we want to bring into our breeding program.

East Coast Griffon Event Announcement

I almost forgot this! The AWPGA is hosting a regional specialty event in York and Wellsville, Pennsylvania from Thursday, March 16 through Sunday, March 20th. Thursday is a field training day, Friday is the regional specialty dog show in York, Saturday and Sunday are AKC Hunt Tests in Wellsville. I will be driving up on Thursday so I’ll miss the field day, but I will be hanging around at the show on Friday, then running Sally and Duke in AKC Senior Hunter on Saturday and Sunday. After spending ten years in the gallery and helping out at hunt tests, I’m finally going to handle myself. I don’t know that I’ll get any passes, but we’ll have fun running anyway. There is a Facebook group called “AWPGA Eastern Regional Events 2023” that has all of the details. https://www.facebook.com/groups/375079241463081

Our Training

Charles has been working with training Obi for NAVHDA Invitational, Duke and Sally for UPT or AKC SH, and Ruth just to keep her active. Here’s just a couple of random training photos from the last couple of months where he is working with our Griffons and the English Pointers of the neighbors’.

Ruth with the green collar on backing the Pointers in December.
Obi on the right backing one of the Pointers yesterday.

We hope that every one of our puppy owners and followers had a blessed holiday season. We were lucky to have our two adult children come back to us in South Carolina from Nebraska. Here is a photo of the five of us at the harbor in Charleston: Charles, Conrad is 18 and an Information Technology student at Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Cordelia is 21 and a senior in Agribusiness at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Caleb is 13 and is in eighth grade here in SC and then me.

I’ll get back on the blog once Ruth comes in to heat here in the next few of weeks, then we’ll know a little bit more about our puppy making schedule this summer and fall. Stay warm until then, especially my poor people up in North Central Nebraska and South Central South Dakota who have snow drifts up to ten feet tall and are still getting roads and driveways cleared for travel. They have my prayers daily.

Ruth’s AKC SH Pass

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Feel free to email bluestemkennels@gmail.com to enquire about our 2022 litter plans. As of right now, AKC/NAVHDA Wyo Plainsman Kenobi, NA I “Obi” and Bluestem Peaches En Regalia, NA I “Ruth” is a for sure planned litter for Spring 2022. That very well may be it, I am watching Fire’s recovery from her litter this year to decide whether or not she’s up for having another or if it is time to retire her this summer.

Also, feel free to reach out if you feel like you would like to be considered for Fire’s retirement home (AKC/NAVHDA Bluestem’s Prairie Fire, NA I with an AKC Walking Derby placement and around a hundred wild birds both upland and waterfowl). She is 7 years old and in good health, giving her a good 3-4 years of hunting left, and another 3-4 years of being a good pet. Right now our griffons are living to be around 15 years old, with Sue being our oldest retiree at 17. Fire would be spayed and through recovery before re-homing. She really needs a hunting home, whether it be a family or a retiree. She is a great bird-finder and retriever both in the field and in the water. I do not charge a re-homing fee to a high quality home, but please realize that I will ask lots of questions because she is my beloved family member and I want her to be in a good place. She is the first dam that I’ve bred myself. I will get some photos together and make another post once I’ve made my final decision on whether to have her retire this summer or next.

Sally is growing! She’s gained about five pounds since her siblings left. I’ve lost one of my favorite throw pillows to her attacks and one of Charles’s pair of shoes has taken a beating to the chews. She still has a few housebreaking accidents a day but is getting better. Here she is getting her second round of shots last week.

Sally at the vet at 11 weeks

Over the weekend of April 10-11 Charles took Obi and Ruth down to the German Wirehaired Pointer Club of Nebraska’s AKC Hunt Test at Branched Oak Field Trial Grounds. Obi was having rotten behavior with his bracemates, so no passes for him, but Ruth managed to bring a ribbon home on Sunday! This is Charles’s first AKC Senior Hunter pass with any of our dogs so it is pretty exciting. As he gets closer to finishing her title, I will explain the ins and outs of the AKC Senior Hunter Test, but I’m on a time crunch right now and need to just post the pic and move on with the day.

Charles and Ruth with their first AKC SH ribbon

I am pretty much caught up with email except the ones that I’ve gotten over the last week, so hopefully I can get on those over the weekend and stay caught up. Four dogs take a lot of walking, I’ve had to step down from lifeguarding so that I only have one out-of-the-house job of substitute teaching now. My oldest son is wrapping his junior year of high school and there are so many papers, projects and tests to help him study for! And my husband’s firm was acquired about a year ago, so there could always be some surprise changes there. I’m working on getting as minimalist as possible in case a move comes up. It sounds like all of the new owners are enjoying their pups and so that feels like an accomplishment and job well done.

Good luck to other breeders with pups on the ground, owners with new pups getting them started and everyone training and testing this spring.